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What Is In A Product Name?

Aug 25, 2008
So what things should you be considering when you are thinking about a name for your product? Of course there are many things to consider but let's keep this simple. We'll start off with learning what the four basic categories of product naming are. The four categories are descriptive, suggestive, arbitrary, and fanciful.

The first category descriptive is just what it says. Examples of descriptive product names are Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Florida Orange Juice, Boston Clam Chowder, and so on. Each one describes what the actual product is within the name itself. Obviously food products are a good example. And many food products are named this way.

The second category we have is the suggestive name. Hershey's Kisses are a great example because they want us to feel like eating one of their small pieces of chocolate is like receiving a kiss from someone. Soft yet exhilarating. Mr. Clean cleaning products is suggestive in its way to. That they will get things clean. Burger King Burgers are the king in the fast food industry. Of course these are just some examples.

The third category is the arbitrary name. This category is not used to suggest a product meaning or be descriptive to its consumers. In fact there is no particular reason for the name that relates to the product. It usually is something chosen by the creator or owner of the product for whatever personal reason they might have. Or for no more reason than that it just sounds good. Starbucks Coffee for example is a business name that is arbitrary. Starbucks is actually named after Captain Ahab's first mate in Moby Dick.

Our final category for naming products is the fanciful name. Examples of these sorts of names consist of products like Kool Aid, Coca-Cola, and Jell-O. These are the names of established brands. You simply need to say the name and people know what you are referring too. For a name to be effective using this technique today it needs to be meaningfully coined. An example of this would be the Razr phone by Motorola. Of course the Razr refers to its thin profile. If someone says they bought a Razr phone then people will know what they are talking about.

There are of course many other things to consider when creating a product name. But first you must start with what the point of the name should be if there is one. If you pick an arbitrary name then you are not necessarily trying to send a message to consumers. But a descriptive name is definitely one that would be used to get some sort of message across. Deciding which technique to use is an important step when it comes to naming your new product. Many products have failed not because the product was faulty but because the name failed to attract the needed attention.
About the Author
Cash Miller is an experienced entrepreneur and speaker who has spent over a decade as a small business owner. His years of experience in small business cover a variety of topics. If you are looking for more small business help please check out http://www.smallbusinessdelivered.com
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