Although it might sound like a small step, naming a product can often be a very tough task in a brand-building process. By creating the product name, you’re also consciously or unconsciously creating the product’s image, price, target audience, associations, and expectations in customers’ minds.
Therefore, using some product naming tips can help you build a brand, position your store on top of the Google search and increase sales.
Disclaimer: Although deep branding studies indicate differences between naming a product and a business, this guide is written in a way to combine mutual characteristics. Thus it can be used for both – naming a product and a dropshipping store.
What makes a good product name?
There are many theories about what a good name should look like, and most of them are partly right and partly wrong if we take them as an exact formula. That’s because creating a good name takes not only a recipe but creativity, courage, risk, and luck.
Still, marketing and brand experts agree on some common characteristics that should be considered when creating a name. In the following text, we’ll primarily focus on things necessary for dropshipping brands, taking into account lower budgets and high competition. Having all that in mind, a product name should be:
1. Unique above all
Once you’ve found a winning product, you’ve created a great ad, and you’ve targeted the right audience, all that’s left is getting your customers to see the ad and buy it. Unluckily, what almost everyone does after seeing an interesting product is not immediately purchasing it but trying to find the same thing at a lower price.
Since no one sane wants to spend his/her money on advertising the products that will be bought from someone else, being the one who appears on top of the Google search results is crucial for the dropshipping success.
By choosing a unique name, you’ll get the advantage of having fewer businesses to compete with for ranking on Google search, which will save you money and attract customers.
After the customer sees your ad and googles the product, you’ll be the only one appearing for that search. That will give them the sense of a strong, reliable brand and the assumption that your store is the only place where they can buy it.
By choosing a unique name, you’ll get the advantage of having fewer businesses to compete with.
Although descriptive product names are more likely to appear when someone types in a keyword for your product, that doesn’t promise you the top 5 places in the search listing. Instead, it ensures an expensive and exhausting battle with the rest of the stores.
Therefore, save the keywords for headers, descriptions, and tag lines, and choose something unique to reduce competition and expenses.
A name itself should trigger the right emotions and send the right messages to your customers, depending on the type of product you sell and the target group you’re aiming for. Ask yourself – does the name say who it is for? What are its benefits? How should it make you feel?
Ask yourself – does the name say who it is for? What are its benefits? How should it make you feel?
Let’s take the example of Nike. Nike is the name of the Greek goddess of victory. Thus Nike communicates the message of winning, achievement, and success. Following the same principle, Hyundai wanted to present themselves as a futuristic company that strives to provide progress for humanity, so they took a name that stands for “modernity” in the Korean language.
Many good names are playful in a way, so they keep customers’ attention and make them solve a little puzzle when they hear it. They are more catchy, amusing, and easier to remember. Still, a too complicated name can have the opposite effect, causing confusion and making it too difficult to recall.
An example of a thought-provoking name is Wiktionary, a compound noun made of two words: Wikipedia and dictionary. The name origin is pretty evident to everyone, still more catchy and amusing than simply calling it Wikipedia dictionary.
A name should indicate the purpose of the product. Creating a metaphor in customers’ minds makes it easier to remember and connect with the product. A suggestive name can point out not only the purpose but also the product’s characteristics or benefits.
Examples of good suggestive names are Todoist, Evernote, or Post-it.
Creating a metaphor in customers’ minds makes it easier to remember and connect with the product.
Except you have a considerable budget set aside for brand building, try avoiding meaningless words.
They indeed were good choices for some companies like Kodak or IKEA because completely made-up words with no meaning give the brand the privilege to start with a blank page. With no connotations connected with the name, they had a chance to create a brand image as they wanted it to be.
It’s also a plus for trademarking, but we suggest you stick to the relevant names for dropshipping products because it will cost you less and give faster results.
Of course, following all of these characteristics is not a straightforward formula for success, and it’s not such an easy thing to do. Still, you can strive to implement as many as possible in order to increase your ranking and sales eventually.
8 Tactics to create a product name
Let’s now take a look at some of the techniques to come up with a great name. We’ve chosen to present the ones suitable for dropshipping businesses – methods that help you create a unique but still meaningful name. You can use just one or combine more of them, and it’s totally up to you – it’s brainstorming time!
1. Blended names
Blended names are developed by combining two words. You can create it by making a list of words that describe your product or can be connected somehow with the product and its functions. Use emotions, benefits, associations, features, and more. Then try to make up a new term by combining two different words.
Create a blended name by combining emotions, benefits, associations, and features that describe your product.
Some of the companies that used blanded words for their names are Microsoft – as the company devoted to microcomputer software, or Pinterest – combining the words “pin” and “interest.” They could have called their company “pin your interest” as well, but blended names are commonly used because they are more catchy, original, exciting, and easier to remember.
2. Metaphorical names
Metaphorical names use actual words that serve as a metaphor for their brand or product. This method is attractive because symbolic names already have their meaning in language.
“Dove” cosmetics chose this word for their brand because it represents something white, pure, and innocent and symbolizes love and peace. Jeff Bezos named his company “Amazon” after the world’s most voluminous river, indicating the potential for a larger volume of sales in an online bookstore.
Still, have in mind that using metaphorical words isn’t cheap, and it’s often challenging to rank organically on Google, which you should take into consideration when using this naming technique. However, you can use them in combination with some of the other methods or combine them with your company name.
Metaphorical names are expensive and challenging for ranking on Google.
3. Misspelling or twisted names
Get creative and spice it up a bit by using a common word that represents your product or brand but with twisted writing. It’s interesting and original, easier to remember than the word of origin, and practical for Google ranking.
That’s how Lyft got its name as well as Reddit, Fiverr, and Vimeo.
4. Translated names
Look for the name inspiration in other languages as well. In the Latin language, “Volvo” means “I roll,” while the “Lego” name was formed as a combination of the Danish words “leg godt,” which means “play well.”
However, it is essential to do a cross-cultural analysis before launching a product. It may happen that the name you’ve chosen also has a meaning in some other language, which may have a negative connotation and can potentially harm the image of your brand.
Make sure the name doesn’t have a negative connotation in some other language.
Even the big players made this mistake. Honda named their new model Honda Fitta with a slogan, “Small on the outside, big on the inside.” Unfortunately, they discovered too late that “fitta” is the name for female private parts in Sweeden, Norway, and Denmark, costing them thousands of dollars for rebranding.
5. Names with added prefix or suffix
This technique consists of adding a prefix or a suffix to a word that represents the product. Like Shopify or Spotify, Apple also used this technique to name its products iPhone, iPad, and iPod.
You can add prefixes and suffixes arbitrarily or because of the specific meaning or connotations they have. For example, -ex usually signifies “expert” or “excellency,” so we have Rolex, Kleenex, and Windex. Suffixes -elle or -ella are typically used for feminine and gentle products like P&G’s Naturella.
To get inspired, take a look at the top trends of the moment. These days, popular names often end with -ly, -io, -able, -ify…
6. Names from cut words
Opposite to the previous technique, a product name can be formed by removing a part of the longer word that describes it. It can be either a beginning or a word ending. That’s how Excel (from “excellent”) and Acura (from “accurate”) got their names.
7. Rhyming names
Just like 7-Eleven, FireWire, and StubHub sound appealing, using a rhymed name can enhance your success cause human brains easily remember rhymes. Moreover, these names are recognized as funny and unusual, which increases brands’ possibilities to be remembered by customers.
8. Names made of verbs
Running out of nouns that describe your product? Try using a verb instead. It’s different, it’s innovative, and can be very suggestive at the same time. In this manner, Apple named its product “iPod Shuffle” while Asics named its product line “Gel-Excite.”
4 bonus tips
Sure, creating a good product name is easier said than done, so for the end of this post, we’re giving you give you 4 bonus tips to help you in the brainstorming and decision-making processes in order to come up with a suitable name for your product.
1. Brainstorm like a master
Take a block of sticky-notes, a pen, and a stopwatch. Then try to come up with as many product-related words as you can in 15 minutes. Without evaluating, without judging, write down anything that comes to your mind because there are no stupid ideas in brainstorming!
One of the helpful techniques to generate ideas is Mind mapping. After the time is up, try to create potential product names by using the words you wrote and the naming techniques written in this post.
2. Write an advertising headline
If the brainstorming from no starting point doesn’t work for you, try writing a headline or a short text that describes your product. Then use the words you mentioned in the text and make a product name by following the techniques written above.
3. Helpful tools
Your best friends in this product-naming process will probably be Thesaurus.com and Oxford dictionary, which will help you find the synonyms and uncommon words you can use.
Moreover, there are hundreds of different name generators available online. Even if it might happen that you don’t like any of the names they suggested, you can still use their “way of thinking” and generate some ideas and synonyms to create your own product name.
4. Go outside the building!
After brainstorming and generating the top 3 names that you can apply, use the wisdom of the crowd and interview as many people as you can about your name ideas. Approach your family members, friends, and, if possible, real customers of your product, and you’ll see which name fits your product most.
Besides asking a question “Which one do you like more?” ask them about associations the name gives them, how they imagine the product called like that, how much it costs, for whom it is meant, whether it is easy to pronounce and remember, and you’ll see if you’re on the right track.
Let’s get the party started
With all of this being said, it’s time for some hands-on knowledge. You have all the tips and shortcuts that you need and instead of saying “I’m not creative enough,” think of the product-naming as one more skill that you can gain by experimenting and practicing.
Give a name to one product and then to one more, and you’ll see that each of the following will be easier than the previous. For all the questions and feedback on the created names, you know where to find us 😉