Marketing tip #42: How to name a product

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Over my career, I have worked with many companies and entrepreneurs to name their products, services and organizations.  It's actually much more science than art — you need to have a very good understanding of what you are trying to communicate.

It's much more about tone than the actual words — that's the tough part to help clients understand.  It's the feeling the name evokes — not so much the literal translation of each word.  

Take the product above — Anti Monkey Butt Powder.  Sure…they could have called it Chaff-B-Gone or something that was more clinical.  But this company decided that part of its brand and its product was to have a little fun.  They wanted it to pop off the shelf and for its packaging to be difficult to ignore.

I think they accomplished their goal.  Now…why was this a good decision?

Their name:

  • Gives us an idea of how the product can help us
  • Takes into account the attitude of their core customers (bikers, people that work outside in the heat, extreme sports enthusiasts…and now they have added, new parents with their baby version)
  • Is memorable
  • Differentiates them from the competition
  • Gives us a sense of their corporate culture/attitude — what will they be like to do business with?
  • In today's world — you can find the right URL.  (Hard to imagine that someone else hadn't scooped up already!)

Many business owners get hung up on the wrong thing when they're trying to name their company.  It's not the specific words — it's the overall effect.  If the folks at AMBP had worried about including the word "butt" in their name or debated if "anti" was a negative word….and they only wanted to create positive feelings — they would have ended up with a boring and forgettable name like Chafe-B-Gone. 

But…they let the attitude, tone and message of the name carry their decision.  They didn't over analyze or get too far into their own heads.

They trusted their culture and their brand.  And created a very memorable name!

And if you're wondering if the Anti Monkey Butt Powder is just a gimmick — check out their testimonials.  Pretty impressive.

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