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Branding: What’s in a Name?

One of the most important marketing decisions any company can make is what to name a product or service.

In today’s over-communicated society, getting your message through to your customers is hard enough.

Using a product name that’s confusing or meaningless makes it almost impossible.

In some industrial and technology firms, the job of naming new products falls to the engineering or R&D departments. Invariably, they end up with a great product that has a name like “QR-105” or “X-Plus”. Of course, these names lack memorability and in reality are totally meaningless to the customer.

Other companies name products by using software to mix and match syllables and words. This method will produce large quantities of “name constructs” to choose from, but rarely will include any really strong contenders that work, or that your customer will understand.

Still others assign a group of employees to come up with a product name.

Committees being what they are, this is a sure-fire way to end up with a name that has all the pizzazz of a cold mashed potato sandwich. Beware of the infamous employee contest, too … a trap that may saddle you with a name that’s “the best of the worst.”
The most effective way to select a name for a new product or service is to tie the name to the marketing strategy.

Spend some time analyzing competitive products, their names and their marketing strategies. Then determine what position you want your product to have in the minds of your customers.

Choose a name that is “position descriptive,” and it will help drive your marketing efforts, rather than hinder them.


Contact Mullin/Ashley

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