Why You Need Creative Names for Your Products & Services

Naming your products or services is hard!  Not quite the level of naming your children (the hardest) or your business (the second hardest) but close.

And naming architecture matters.  What you call your products or services matters to your business & it matters to your clients.  


Because your product names are another opportunity to emotionally connect with clients.  They're another opportunity to shout out your worldview & have your ideal clients recognise themselves in what you're selling in a way that gets them excited to buy or to be a part of your brand experience.

And the names you choose for your products/ services will attract certain types of people to your business.  Which is why package 1, package 2 and package 3 just ain't gonna cut it!  Or the ever popular bronze package, silver package &...wait for it...platinum package (didn't see that coming did ya?) elicit yawns the world over.

I hope you're groaning & rolling your eyes as much as I am, it means you wouldn't dare use those in your own business.  But if you have fallen into the trap of lame overused package names then pay attention - because I'll be telling you WHY it's so important to come up with something more creative & giving you a step-by-step guide to create names you'll love.

So, are your product names purely descriptive or do they have a spark of imagination?

What kind of emotional connection are you trying to create?

Do you want something that says we're fun & playful?  We don't take ourselves too seriously?  Check out these brands who have mastered fun, creative product names.

Herbal Essences:

Tea-Lightfully Clean, The Sleeker The Butter, Moroccan My Shine, Hello Hydration, Tousle Me Softly, Totally Twisted, Hydralicious, Colour Me Happy, Body Envy & Honey I'm Strong

Ben & Jerry's:

Chunky Monkey (my personal fav), Karamel Sutra, Hazed & Confused, That's My Jam, Boom Chocolatta, A Swirled of Difference, Americone Dream, Blondie Ambition, Brewed to Matter, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Therapy, Chubby Hubby, Everything But The... & Coffee, Coffee, Buzz, Buzz, Buzz!

Do you want something that says strong & powerful?  That if you use our product you can , "just do it"?  Check out some of the names of Nike's shoes: Free, Force, Elite, Zoom, Lunar, Epic, Air Max, Blazer, Hyperdunk, Lunarglide, Pegasus, Presto & Alpha Pro.

What about Mac's operating systems which for the longest time were all named after big exotic cats.  Ex. Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, Lion, Mountain Lion.  What vibe do you get from that naming architecture?

Now if you're up on the latest Mac OS stuff you'll know that they broke with this trend with names like Mavericks, Yosemite and El Capitan.  I'm not sure why they did this (maybe they ran out of big cats they loved?) but it does go to show that whatever strategy you choose you need to think long term.  Pick a naming strategy that can grow with your brand over time as you evolve & expand.

All of these examples, while engineering a specific emotional appeal to customers also make excellent use of naming architecture.  The names aren't random.  They all have something similar holding them together.  Mac using all cat names.  Both Ben & Jerry's and Herbal Essences make use of puns & playful imagery.  Nike uses strong, powerful words that help you envision the action you'll take when wearing their shoes.  

An example of excellent naming architecture that exudes personality is Dry Bar.  They're a salon that specialises in blow-outs (no cuts or colour).  But they also sell styling products & tools.

Here's how their naming architecture works:

Company Name: Dry Bar

(everything centers around the idea of being a "bar" that's how their different, aside from the fact that they only do blow-outs (their USP) they have a unique personality because they're not just another salon they're a "bar")

Services: All named after popular alcoholic drinks (ex. The Cosmo, The Uptini, The Mai Tai, The Southern Comfort, their kids service is called a Shirley Temple)

Styling Products: under a heading called "The Sauce".  Product names relate to bars/ drinking.  Example: Happy Hour, Blonde Ale, Sake Bomb, Detox, etc.

Styling Tools: under a heading called "The Hard Stuff".  Most products here also have alcohol-related names example: The 3-Day Bender, The 1/2 Pint, The Full Pint, The Double Pint.

They have a membership which they call the Bar Fly Membership.  A hair mask is called a Mudslide Treatment etc. etc.  In other words, they must have had a blast naming all their stuff!

They've woven the idea of being a "bar" into every aspect of their naming architecture.  It's an integral part of their identity.  And I'll bet the women they attract love walking in to order a Cosmo or an Uptini & maybe picking up a bottle of Texas Tea.  Because these product names fit exactly with the story they're already telling themselves.  They match their worldview.

And when you can proudly show-off your worldview in every inch of your business.  With every word & every image.  Your loyal fans will be lining up to work with you.  And naming architecture is just one piece of that puzzle.