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7 Tips for Developing a Product Name Consumers Remember

Posted by Kevin Keating at PKG on May 29, 2019 in trends

The process of naming something, whether it’s a product, a company, a baby, a pet, or even a boat, can be fraught with anxiety.

Man appearing scared.

When you name a new product, you want the name to be memorable and meaningful. It doesn’t necessarily have to be predictable, but it should fit in with your overall brand and product suite. A great product name is one that consumers will immediately associate with your brand and that they’ll have no trouble pronouncing or typing into a search engine. If it sounds like a tall order, it is! Here are seven tips to help you discover the perfect name for your new product.

1. Make It Descriptive, Especially for New or Innovative Products

If your product is the first of its kind, a name that describes what it does will be more meaningful to consumers than a random name will. The connection between the product name and its function gives people something to latch onto. Think of “PayPal.” Without going into detail, the name indicates what the service does.

2. Play Around with Words

Using old words in new ways, coming up with creative spellings (KitKat), adding prefixes (iPhone), or even creating a blend of two words (Pictionary) are word-play exercises that can help you find the right product name. You could even come up with a brand-new word, as long as it’s memorable and makes sense for your brand and product.

3. Know Your Target Audience

The right product name for a product targeting teenage girls will be different from one targeting retired investment bankers. Understanding your target audience helps you know just how creative and nontraditional you can be. It can also help you determine which websites might inspire product name ideas.

4. Keep the Name Short and Easy Enough to Spell

Woman sitting at her desk looking at her laptop.

You may have a brick-and-mortar business, but people will be typing your product name into search engines. Is it memorable enough, easy enough to spell, and not too similar to the spelling of other products? 

5. How Does It Sound When Spoken Out Loud?

Maybe your business operates strictly on e-commerce, where people order your products by typing and clicking. Nonetheless, make sure your product name sounds good when spoken aloud. If it sounds too much like a word with negative connotations or if it could be confused with something else when spoken aloud, perhaps you should reconsider.

6. See if the Word Has Meanings in Other Languages 

You could make up a word that seems exactly right for your product in English, but what if it means something else in another language? Know the languages spoken by your customers and check to be certain your product name doesn’t have a meaning in any of those languages that might be detrimental to your brand.

7. Make It Search-Friendly

When a product name is brief and easy to spell, you’re on the right track. Think of the most likely misspellings of your product name and test them out on search engines. Ideally, a slight misspelling of your product name would prompt search engines to suggest the correct spelling, but you can’t count on this. You don’t want an easily misspelled product name to send searchers off in the wrong direction.

Take the time to brainstorm, play around, and sleep on it when naming new products, and you’re more likely to come up with a winner that’s good for the product, and good for your brand overall. PKG Brand Design is always on the forefront of new CPG branding and packaging initiatives; please subscribe to our blog for the latest package design industry news!

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