Have you ever been completely fooled by a product name? You think it's one thing, only to find out it's something completely different?
I was in Indianapolis recently, and as a Minor League baseball fan, I decided to check out Victory Field, the beautiful home of the Indianapolis Indians. The Indians are a Triple-A affiliate of a Major League team.
Indianapolis is a four-and-a-half-hour drive from the City of Cleveland, Ohio, and Cleveland is home to Major League Cleveland Indians. Therefore, I naturally assumed that the Indianapolis Indians were the AAA farm team of the Cleveland Indians.
But... I was wrong.
The Indians aren't affiliated with the Indians; the Indians are affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I know... I didn't get it, either.
How would you like to be the parent who promised their children that they'd take them to an Indian's minor league game, only to find out that the team on the field is actually the Pirates?
When naming a product, give it a name that will make sense, and set clear expectations for the customer. While there are plenty of sound tips for naming products, I'd like to focus on three specific steps that can most impact the customer experience.
Choose a name that accurately defines the product.
If you're the Pirates, call yourself the Pirates. Don't call yourself the Indians. The customer should know what the customer is buying, and the product name shouldn't prevent that.
Choose a name that describes the benefits of the product.
A good name describes the results that customer receives from using the product. (Remember the marketing adage, "Customers don't buy 1/4 inch drill bits; they buy 1/4 inch holes.") A favorite examples of the benefits-oriented name is Leggs - the pantyhose introduced in 1969 by Hanes. Woman didn't want hosiery; they wanted the legs that resulted from wearing the hosiery.
Choose a name that will make sense to the customer; not the product designer.
Do you remember the Ford Edsel? Considered one of the greatest product and marketing failures in the history of the automobile, the Edsel was named after the son of Henry Ford. Critics said the car wasn't attractive enough to sell, but the name certainly didn't help. While it meant something to the company's founder, it had no meaning for the customer. When you name a product, do it for the customer; not for yourself.
Name your products from the customer's point of view; a well-chosen name can impact the customer experience, as well as the success of the product.
What are some of the more successful product names that you can remember, and why?