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How to Name A Product or Service

by | Marketing

So I was recently reading a book written by Ken Segall. Ken is a copywriter and a marketer, best known for his work with Steve jobs and the ad company that Apple worked with during those crucial years of recovery.

Recall that Apple turned around from a failing company to become literally the biggest company in the world!

I want to bring a little snippet of insight out for you here that I drew from reading his book, Insanely Simple.

So how do you name a product or service?

Much could be said, but the ironic danger is in making this more difficult than it has to be. Yes, it can actually be hard to make something simple!

With that said, here’s a brief look at Ken’s three suggestions for naming a product in a framework of simplicity:

Simple

Well, there’s a shocker.

Yes, you should make the product name simple! It’s all about clarity over and above cleverness and confusion.

The more clearly you can communicate how the product will serve your customers, the easier it will be to sell. And the best way to communicate something clearly is to simplify.

There’s an important insight here from Donald Miller’s StoryBrand program worth mentioning. Most people communicate about their products/services at around the level of a 6, on a scale of 1 to 10.

The problem is that the customer is not always steeped in the lingo and usually communicates between the levels of 1-2.

You can avoid this by stepping into their shoes and asking how simply naming your product would clearly communicate the result it produces for your customers.

Obvious

The product name should make your customers think, “Oh, that makes sense!”

Apple is truly the master of this.

They came out with a watch. Rather than some esoteric or clever name, they simply opted for “Apple Watch.”

Btw, the Apple Watch is, to my knowledge, the best selling watch of all time.

So it looks like they have the right idea here.

A product that is named something both simple and obvious will avoid making your customers have to think any harder about purchasing, and that’s what marketing is all about: removing those obstacles.

Everything—even product naming—is marketing.

Easy to Remember

Finally, the name should be easy to remember.

Why?

So it’s easier to share your products with others!

And also because your potential customers may not choose to buy right away, and when the need arises once again for the solution you offer, you want to be the first name that comes to mind.

For a personal anecdote, I’m fond of a social media scheduling tool called RecurPost.

This is a great demonstration of all three criteria: It’s simple, painfully obvious, but also easy to remember. When I was back in the market for a new social media scheduling tool after dissatisfaction with the last one, I easily remembered that “RecurPost” might be a great place to solve the problem of “recurring posts.”

These three criteria make for a powerful naming framework.

Don’t make your customers work too hard.

Now, we both know this is harder than it sounds. And oftentimes the problem is just that you’re so close to your product!

It’s not as though you’re doing anything wrong; you just suffer from the curse of knowledge.

One of the services we offer here at NorthMac is product development. We can work alongside you in the development phase to make sure your products and services connect with potential customers.

What good is it to spend time developing a product that no one knows they want?

Reach out today to determine if our services would be a good fit.

To your success!

—Steve

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