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company naming tips

Our experts share insights on naming, branding and starting a new venture.

Trap: Picking a Name That's Not Your #1 Choice.

If you select a name that was your 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th (or yikes) 6th or lower choice, you are sacrificing something. Keep in mind that your name is the keystone of your start-up. Don't sacrifice the success of your business on a second-tier company name.

Tip: Don't Be Different, Be Outstanding.

Any company can choose a name that's different. Your goal should be to select an uber-cool company name that stands head-and-shoulders above your competitors.

Trap: Don't Use Hyphens or Dashes in Your Domain Name.

If you use a domain name with a hyphen or a dash you're telling the world you couldn't obtain the non-hyphen domain name. Hyphens and dashes look unprofessional and will compromise your online status. They’re also incredibly difficult to communicate and you’re quite likely to be sending people to the wrong site, hopefully not your completion. Hyphens only stand as an obstacle between your customers and website!

Tip: Harmonize Your Company Name With Your Strategic Objectives.

Many start-ups fail to align their name with the key strategic objectives of their firms. A great name communicates a core message in a flash of a second.

More Naming Tips & Traps

Check back regularly for new start-up tips and traps to be avoided.

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7 Tips for Developing a Great Product Name

Developing a Great Product Name or Service Name

Company naming, product naming and service naming follow similar developmental processes. But there are some unique challenges when it comes to naming a product and a service.

In product and service naming, consideration must be given to congruity with the brand line, product line, and the organization as a whole. The product name should support the overall strategic planning decisions of your firm.

Check out some of the recent product names developed by the Brandings™ naming team:

stand out product names

In the case of product naming, it is not necessary that the product name be the same as the company name – unless your firm only offers the one product and you don’t ever plan on expanding. In the case of a single product company, we recommend that the product name, company name and the domain name all be identical, in a way of streamlining your operation.

In general a product is a tangible good – something that you can feel and touch – whereas a service is intangible. There are hybrid goods where the company provides a customer with both a physical good and an intangible service. For the purpose of simplicity, we will use the term “product” in reference to both goods and services in our tips for naming a product below.

7 Characteristics of a Great Product Name

  1. Product Name Availability    One of the biggest challenges facing product naming professionals is the issue of availability. Over the years at Brandings™, we have created tens of thousands of great names for products -- only to find that the name can’t be used. With billions of products on the market, and more launched each year, there is a very high likelihood that a product name choice is in use somewhere around the world.

    With that said, just because someone is using your product name idea, DOES NOT mean that you can’t.  Get familiar with how the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) works and how they divide products in different “Classifications of Goods and Services.”  As long as your product is not “Confusingly Similar” to another with the same industry, you may be able to use the same name.

    Learn more about how the USPTO works here.

  2. Dot-COM Domain Name Availability   It is essential that the dot-com domain name be available for the product. The product name and the domain name must be identical. For example Proctor & Gamble must own Tide.com for their laundry detergent Tide. This is a key consideration when choosing a product name.

    If you can’t procure the domain name for your product you MUST move on to another name.  Using a Domain Name Extension that is not the dot-com will only lead your customers to the wrong site, and this just may be your competition.

  3. Product Name Length Matters    When choosing a new name for a product, length matters. In most cases, a successful name for a product is fewer than 11 characters. So you will want to ensure that the name of your product is tightly focused. The longer the name, the greater the chance for confusion, mix-ups and misspellings.

  4. Texture of the Product Name   This is the “art” side in the creation of a winning product name. The name selected should roll off the tongue and have a pleasing sound and texture. The best names for a new product are clear when vocalized and easy to pronounce. A good product name should also have a visual design that is consistent with the overall strategy of the firm. Design considerations should be undertaken in conjunction with product name creation.

  5. Spelling of a Product Name A good product name is easy to spell. Ideally, the perfect name should have only one spelling option; there should be only one way to spell the name. The more alternatives there are in the spelling of a prospective product name, the more likely a firm is to confuse or lose customers. In our global marketplace English has emerged as the clear language of choice for global business. The dot-com domain extension also emerged as the domain extension of global business. The best names for a product may be in the preferred language of a region but should have a clear English translation.

  6. Alphabetic Characters When creating a name for a product, the selection SHOULD NOT contain numbers or hyphens. There are a few isolated cases where hyphens and numbers can be used effectively but in general hyphens, numbers and other characters like &^$#@* pose challenges and careful design to avoid consumer confusion.

    For example, picture two people talking about your product name?  One person is trying to explain where the ampersand goes in the name, or is trying to explain that the dollar sign really represents an “s.” It’s just going to confuse people.

  7. Global Implications   If you are planning on selling your products outside of your home country you should consider the universal appeal of your product name. The best names for global products should have a global appeal and be culturally non-offensive.
examples of available product names

We hope this article was useful as your create a name for your company product. We welcome your comments and suggestions and we’re available to help you in your product naming activities. Our naming specialists can help you select the right name for your product. A great product name is just a call or click away.

To locate a name for your product you will want to start your search here: Search Product Names.

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We Have Great Business Development Tips Too

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TOPIC: The Fundamentals of Corporate Branding  In this posting our experts demystify the core elements of corporate brand management. We’ll share the “art and science” of creating and maintaining a great brand. We’ll discuss the importance of aligning your delivery system with an authentic and differentiated brand promise and share a few key tips the successful management of your firm’s brand experience. To read the full article, click here:  Corporate Branding

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