This report provides insights into naming a smart product with adaptive screen technology. The first part outlines the recommendation to choose a descriptive name, the second part highlights naming practices in the tech field, the third part provides naming recommendations in general, and the fourth part details naming practices to avoid.
Choose a Descriptive Name
- The average attention span is 8 seconds, meaning that product names have that amount of time to effectively impart their function.
- Successful product names can descriptively reflect what the product does, such as Internet Explorer. In the case of dynamically-adaptive smart signs, for example, “Dynamic Sign” describes its utility.
- Product names that feel appropriately descriptive (such as Google) have the benefit of potentially being used to describe any associated products or actions in common vernacular. Phrases such as “I’ll Google it” are not uncommon.
- When product names are descriptive, companies have to invest less into advertisements that explain what a product does.
- Depending on the client’s name and familiarity, products can simply be direct, simple descriptions following the brand name (such as Apple Watch) to great effect. For this product, for example, it could be “Client” Sign (with “Client” replaced by the client’s name).
Additional Insights into Naming Practices for Smart Digital Products
- Standout names at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2018 were cool, impressive, and accurate (Samsung: The Wall); short, inviting, and memorable (Numi Intelligent Toilet); or related to the manufacturer’s name (Mad Catz: The Rat Air gaming mouse).
- Standout names at CES 2020 were evocative (Samsung: Odyssey), associative (Fisker: Ocean), memorable (HydraLoop), mysterious (Alienware’s Concept UFO), or alliterative (Netgear: Nighthawk).
- Speak the language of the audience you are aiming for, using words that are familiar to them.
- Tech companies often utilize words with hard “Z” sounds to emphasize how speedy and exciting their product is.
- Make the name a verb to increase its common usage, such as adding “-ify” to one of its functions (such as “Adaptify”, “Signify”, “Smartify”). Spotify had great success in creating a name with a high “cool factor” and many have followed their lead.
Additional Tips and Tools to Assist with Choosing Product Names
- Onym is an extensive list of resources and linguistic tools for choosing product and brand names, including rhyming dictionaries, name generators, and psycholinguistic databases.
- In general, product names should be memorable and unique. This can be accomplished by misspelling common words (such as Trix), adding a prefix or suffix (such as iPhone), or blending words (such as Nyquil, a blend of night and tranquil).
- The Kolenda Naming Process provides several factors to take in mind when considering a product name, including branding and business goals, ideal length, and how enticing it is to say.
- The Kolenda Naming Process also provides techniques for name generation, including using alliteration, rhymes, and homophones. These techniques improve the memorability of names.
- Product names should be pleasant to pronounce, even when they aren’t necessarily said aloud very often. The mind translates words into sounds automatically.
Product Names and Techniques to Avoid
- Technology-related names should avoid over-used suffixes or prefixes (like “bot” or “.ly”) to stand out from the competition.
- Overused technology product names from CES 2018 are Gemini (233 live trademarks), Spark (1022 live trademarks), Sense (2113 live trademarks), Nano (1263 live trademarks), da Vinci (111 live trademarks), and Icon (546 live trademarks).
- Avoid using code names or in-house names that make less sense to the buyer.
- For a broad public market, descriptive names can be less effective. Descriptive names generally lack pizzazz, are not catchy or memorable, and are tough to establish a competitive advantage with.
- Avoid hyphenations to prevent product names that are spoken from being lost in translation when searched for.