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BRANDING | The 8 Principles Of Product Naming | Part One

BRANDING | The 8 Principles Of Product Naming | Part One

Even at the best of times, naming is a contentious and emotional business. Whether you’re naming your baby, your boat, or your brand, the process can breed nearly endless deliberation. Keep these principles in mind as you scout the perfect name.

  1. MAKE IT MEMORABLE 

The search engine has changed everything. Instead of worrying about your spot in the phone book, you need a name that’s relevant and truly compelling. The key to any name–simple or complex, abstract or descriptive–is grabbing attention and staying memorable.

Example: Yummy Tummy Koalas

Intriguing, irreverent, distinctly Australian: Yummy Tummy Koalas instantly conveys the fun factor of this brand.

  1. FILL IT WITH MEANING

Choose a name that tells your brand’s story. Over time, you can expand the meaning of your name and add layers of depth to make it even more powerful–a visual identity, a color, a sound. The more significance your name carries, the more work it will do for you.

Example: Visa

From a word that initially meant only a stamp on a passport, Visa has surrounded its name with a host of associations–travel, access, opportunities, identity, official status–that allow it to tell the right story at the right time.

  1. SAY IT OUT LOUD 

The best names are the ones that people can’t wait to tell their friends about. Names that roll off the tongue invite customers to become your viral marketing agency. Say, shout, and even sing names you’re considering to see which one will echo for years to come.

Example: Schweppes

Happy coincidence? In 1783, Johann Jacob Schweppe opted to name his bubbly, effervescent soft drinks after himself. More than 200 years later, consumers still love calling out his name.

  1. DON’T WAIT TO FALL IN LOVE

Even the best name may not seem terrific the first time you hear it. As your name evolves into a brand, it will acquire more and richer associations. Give the names you’re considering a chance to grow on you–and try to imagine what they might stand for five or 10 years down the road.

Example: Google

Originally a variant of googol, the numeral one followed by 100 zeros, Google has come to represent a playful and innovative culture that delivers everything from email to operating systems.

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