In the 2021 century, it’s not enough to just run a good business and make use of traditional advertisements. Amazon alone sells 71 million products. When you extrapolate that to imagine all of the products in the world, the numbers are truly staggering.
In this age of neverending products, how are you going to make your product stand out from the sea of others? How are you going to represent your company? On top of that, there are over 500,000 brands out there.
One of the best ways is to come up with a unique product name and a unique brand name. This article will walk you through all you need to know about creating names to make your brand, and your brand’s products, stand out.
A Good Name Demonstrates Values
The 21st century has seen the rebirth of the small-town culture. In days of yore, people only had their local suppliers to rely on, so word of mouth and reputation was extremely important. When the 20th century swept in, this mattered less, and people went to large stores to grab their products.
However, in the age of social media, word of mouth has made a comeback. Now, people can get online and share their opinions. It’s easier than ever to share a product you love (it’s also easier than ever to boycott a project).
Because of this, a brand’s values has come to mean more than it has for a long time. People are very easily able to find out what a business is all about. Because of this, they only want to shop with businesses whose values they support.
A good brand name — or product name — can reflect shared values.
Brand Name Examples
In Philadelphia, the Good Karma Cafe has mastered this art. They’re a coffee shop that provides large spaces for hanging out, casually dressed baristas, and very high-quality coffee. Their name has helped establish them as a place you can go to for “good vibes”, something very important in the Philadelphia hipster community; they quickly grew from a single location coffeeshop to a four location titan of Philly.
Check out this great article we found on choosing a brand name. It’s always good to gather as much research as possible before you make this decision, because rebranding is extremely difficult, and can lose you a lot of traction.
One of the most ingenious product names of the last decade was the indie video game sensation “Getting Over It With Bennet Foddy”.
Getting Over It is a famously difficult game in which the player plays as a man stuck in a cauldron, trying to climb a mountain with a Yosemite hammer. The game is difficult because the controls were designed to be clunky. As the player fails and gets more frustrated while playing the game, a narrator begins to chime in — the game’s creator Bennet Foddy.
As you play through the game, Bennet muses on various philosophical topics, talks about the creation of the game, and offers encouragement that sometimes feels mocking, other times feels genuine. At the end of the day, the game’s message is about anger, and “getting over it”.
While this may seem pretentious to some, the postmodern art-esque game quickly went viral and shot to the top of the charts on Steam, beating out other, much more established, titles. The name “Getting Over It With Bennet Foddy” lets anyone know that they’re about to get into a very sarcastic, meta, smart, and unique experience.
A Good Name Can Be Visually Distinct
A good name isn’t always about what the language of it conveys. Sometimes, the best names are so wonderful because of the way they look when displayed.
PayPal is a great example of a name that looks extremely distinct. The words taken apart, “pay”, and “pal,” doesn’t mean much. Even when you just say them, they seem oversimplified, even slightly childish.
But when you take a look at the name smushed together “PayPal”, you suddenly see why it comes together. Though “pay” and “pal” sound different, they’re both three letters long, and only one letter off in spelling. The double capitalized P’s works like McDonald’s famous golden arches.
Another great example is the currently popular song “Rapstar” by Polo G. Though it reads like a simple corruption of “rockstar” when capitalized and placed on promotional material — RAPSTAR — looks imposing and intense.
A Name Can Have a Connected Meaning
When naming your products, you might choose to give them a similar name to your brand. This is important because it creates streams of meaning for your customers.
Think about the way that McDonald’s named their products — McBurgers, McFries, McChicken’s, McBreakfasts. By adding this simple prefix, they’ve made it extremely easy for people to recognize their products.
The prefix has also made it extremely easy for people to joke about the product. Cheesy, oversized mansions have been called McMansions; the commercialist United States has been referred to as the McWorld. While these are certainly digs at McDonald’s, there’s no bad publicity; this type of memeification has kept them on top of the game for many years.
Product Names and Brand Names Are Extremely Important
There are hundreds of millions — if not billions — of products out there in the world. There are probably thousands in your industry. How are you going to make yours stand out?
One of the best ways to start is by focusing on product names. A great product name can let people know what your values are, be visually distinct, and demonstrate a stream of meaning.
For more articles like this, check out our “marketing” section.