How To: Name gamz

Written by Allan Britnell

Names like Ebeneezer, Dweezil and Olive Oyl might have the right ring for your child, but you’re not trying to sell them, are you? Picking good product names is a riskier proposition. Here’s some sound advice for christening your next offering.

Create emotion The name should reflect your product’s desired personality. “Names that evoke the right emotions and feelings are going to be more communicative,” says Toronto marketing consultant Tom Beakbane. If you have a trendy product, for instance, give it a trendy name.

Sound it out “Sounds like B, P, G and C are more efficient at communicating the qualities of reliability and dependability,” says David Placek of California-based Lexicon Branding. “If it’s speed you want to evoke, Z and V are the two fastest sounds in the English language.” Generally speaking, hard consonant sounds are the most memorable.

Do your homework Survey successful and failed brand names in your field to develop some idea of what works.

Ask the customer Consumer research can reveal unwanted connotations, such as a vulgar colloquialisms. But Beakbane warns that focus groups can also be narrow-minded and unable to envision the brand you want to create.

Take your mark Conduct a trademark search to make sure your perfect moniker isn’t already taken. Fabricated sobriquets (think Swiffer or Fixodent) are easier to trademark than real words.

© 2003 Allan Britnell

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