product names

Business, Service & Product Names

"Hmm what should we name it?"  "I don't know, what do women want?"

“Hmm what should we name it?”
“I don’t know, what do women want?”

What is in a name?

We weren’t going to post today, but this was just too good.

Every once in a while during our daily internet browsing, we will come across a post or image that provokes thought and spurs us into action. In today’s case it was a post on Reddit by user “jdtreddit“. The post (on the left) was such a blatant example of the type of basic thought processes involved in marketing, that we had to share.

You can actually imagine the conversation as it took place on the marketing team:


Adam: “Alright guys we have a new shampoo product that needs branding. It’s designed for women. It’s pink and smells like lavender. We need a name, GO!”

Terry: “Lavender Love”

Adam: “Dafuq Terry why do you even work here, this isn’t My Little Pony! Who else?”

Jonesey: “Apparently Acai berries are very in right now, we should reformulate”

Adam: “Darn it Jonesey, we reformulated to Lavender last month when you said that was the next big trend, Engineering will have my head if i reformulate again”

Jonesey: “…”

Adam: “C’mon people we need a name, what are women looking for?”

Terry: “Sex!?”

Adam: “That’s it Terry you’re fired! who else?”

Malcolm: “Equality?”

Adam: “Yeah like that’s going to happen, c’mon here people, give me something!”

Michael: “Relationships?”

Adam: “I like it, but not enough, flesh it out, what else?”

Terry: “Sexual Relationships!?”

Adam: “TERRY! I said you were fired… someone get this guy out of here!”


Malcolm: “Reliable Relationships?”


Adam: “Bingo! We have a winner, Terry write this down and get it over to design asap!… Terry? Alright where did Terry go!?”


Alright so that probably is not EXACTLY how it actually went, but it is 1:00pm on hump day and we have had a lot of coffee. That fact is that a pile of research goes into the names of just about every daily product we use. Whether to use “Purple or Lavender” to name it the “Camry or the LE-3” etc. Product and services are given their names based on what is perceived to be a draw to consumers.

In the example above, we see a rather hilarious nod to this process. Someone somewhere realized what many women (and men) are looking for and went straight for it. One sees this sort of “4th wall breaking” advertising action more often with smaller, service oriented businesses than they do with multi-product-line corporations, who generally try to play it safe.

Small businesses with niche clientele are safer in choosing “ironic” names or names steeped in hyperbole. They choose names that matter to them and that they think will appeal to their specific customer base. Corporations on the other hand will almost always tend to go with more generic “Lavender Love” names.

So what is in a name? How do you choose to name your products and services? are you quirky or corporate? Both have pro’s and con’s. Your product names needed to be tailored to your specific type of business and the customers it applies to.

First impressions matter and your business, service and product names are an enormous part of that. To put it into perspective, I would probably visit a pub with the name of “Three Drinking Buddies” but would avoid a software company of the same name.


Transition Marketing Services is a small business marketing firm in the Okanagan. Our passion Small Business Marketing. Educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds. We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how we’re doing or if you have any questions.




What’s in a name? The Marketing Behind The Naming of Luxury Automobiles VS Regular Ones

Disclaimer: Recently on Reddit a discussion took place revolving around the question: Why do auto makers like Toyota, Nissan, Volkswagen, Honda, Ford name their cars something like Camry, Versa, Passat, Accord, Fusion; while luxury auto makers like Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, Acura, BMW only name their cars using a series of letters and numbers like RX, G35, A4, MDX, 328i?

One particular user /u/gaqua had incredibly informative things to say about it and was able to describe much of the market research and background behind these decisions. The following is this user’s comment which solidly articulates the product and market research, and many of the thought processes that take place when choosing a product name. The comment has been copied in completion below and has not been edited by us in any way. The link to the original post is here.


What /U/Gaqua Had To Say About The Market Research Behind Product Names:


“This is a huge part of it, and it’s based on solid market research.

“Premium” products and the companies produce them want you to focus on the brand, which is why very high-end items (or perceived high-end items) typically have model numbers.

In fact, Nissan, Toyota, and Honda all came to this conclusion in the mid to late 80s when they launched their premium brands (Infinity, Lexus, and Acura) respectively.

Those Acura still had names at the beginning.

This has evolved over time, in the past, high-end products still had names. Lincoln Continental, Cadillac El Dorado, etc.

You can sometimes see variants of this approach outside the auto industry.

For example, Apple does weird little sub-brands, but almost never change them. Very rarely do they add a real name.

iMac (Macintosh sub brand)
iPhone 3G, 4, 4S, 5, etc (iPhone sub-brand)
iPod 40GB, etc. (due to the tremendous success of iPod, they had sub-sub-brands, iPod Mini, iPod Classic, iPod Touch, iPod Shuffle, etc)
Macbook (Pro as a variant)
Apple TV (no variants)
In fact, Apple is so ubiquitous that the name “Apple” doesn’t even need to be used much anymore since everybody knows “Mac”, “iPod/Phone/Pad”, etc, are Apple products. Kind of like how GM doesn’t call it a General Motors Chevrolet Camaro. They let the GM part stay out of the marketing name.

There are a few basic assumptions we see today:

Very few people will ever use more than one or two words to describe a product. “I drive a Corvette”, or “I have an iPhone”, for example. You might see “I have a Samsung Galaxy” or “I drive a Toyota Camry”, but you’ll almost never see the 3rd word. “I have a Samsung Galaxy S2” or “I won a Toyota Camry LE” or whatever. The third word is usually reserved as a trim level or modifier.
The addition of a “model number” adds an aire of performance/technical prowess.
Part of this comes, in the US at least, from the way the military names their hardware. With the giant US defense budget and the idea that the US military is driving technology and research & development, the US public subconsciously has heard about all the high-end military hardware referred to by model numbers for years.

The M16, the M1A1, the F22, the SR71, the A10, the B2. These model numbers denote technology and performance in the US and as such, in the US especially, other companies have tied into that and used a very similar “letter followed by numbers” naming scheme. Auto manufacturers are the most obvious. Camera manufacturers do variants of this too. Nikon D700, Canon 400D, etc. Why don’t they use something like the “Nikon SuperPhoto” or “Canon UltraDef” or something? They keep those at the low-end. CoolPix and Powershot. The high end gets model numbers.”


Important to note is that the processes outlined above pertain to every industry, not just the automobile sector. There is a great deal of research that goes on behind the scenes of all of your favorite products. /U/Gaqua touches on information that applies to every business and the decisions they make when choosing names for their products and services.