Creating the right product name

Creating the right product name

There are some important considerations when trying to find a great product name. Following some industry guidelines when choosing a product name gives you the best chance to achieve the maximum amount of exposure while expending the least amount of resources. 

Let’s start with search engines. Don’t make them guess when someone searches your product or service. While massive strides have recently been made by search engine algorithms in their ability to determine the user intent behind a given search query, they are not perfect. In order for your product to achieve the maximum level of exposure, your greatest weapon is to remove as much guesswork from the equation as possible.

The second thing to consider when selecting a product name, don’t use a name that resembles a mistake or misspelling. Search engines automatically make adjustments for queries they deem to contain spelling errors. Google has even gone so far as to automatically show users the results for what the algorithm assumed they were intending to spell. This greatly reduces exposure of your product until your misspelling is adjusted for in the algorithm. In addition, you should also avoid excessive capitalizations or punctuations. You may be prevented from fully advertising these names due to search engine regulations. For example, in Google AdWords, these types of names don’t meet their Editorial & Professional Requirements. 

Next, you should avoid names that force a system to choose between you and a location. Names without a modifier that correspond to a city, state, region, territory, country or continent will force search engine algorithms to decipher if the intent was to look for a product or find out more about a location. In today’s digital environment, which one do you think will win? For example, searches for terms like Paris, Champaign, NorthWest will almost always refer to the geographical location, and not a “thing”. And while you’re add it, Avoid using animal names, particularly ones that correspond to sports teams like Lions, Bulls, Pelicans, etc.

 Finally, most importantly, create a unique product name that maximizes your potential to be matched for any and all related search queries. Avoid using common words or broad categories. Using a common word ensures that the first few results returned when a prospective customer searches for your product will not belong to you. These types of searches typically return definitions from multiple sources and other enhanced search results like images, videos and news. While these results reduce your visibility on desktop searches by pushing you lower, it can completely banish you on mobile devices due to a decreased number of available slots. When it comes to promotion, the broader the common word, the more competition it has and the more expensive it will be to compete on. Avoid using two and three letter words, acronyms or abbreviations. This is the most cost prohibitive rule to break as there are multiple overlapping uses for two and three letter search terms. Stock symbols & trade associations are common results for three letter search queries.  Acronyms and abbreviations are often used in email, messenger programs, SMS, Twitter and other types of communications that require shortened lengths. These meanings can change quickly over time.

Since we covered the don’ts of choosing a product names, here’s list of things you should do.

Create product names that are verbs. Verbs are treated differently than nouns in search queries and are therefore much easier to search for.

Create product names that contain four or more letters. Essentially, the more clues you give the search engine algorithms, the better. Using four or more letters will help you completely avoid all of the issues associated with two to three letter names.

Create product names that are multi-word combos. Multi-word combos contain two signals that help search engines algorithms understand that the search is product related and not informational. However, if you are creating a multi-word combo, do not hyphenate or otherwise punctuate the combination. This will result in the product name not following several of the previously mentioned rules.

And the rest is up to your imagination. Choose thoughtfully and judiciously.