“That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
-William Shakespeare’s (1595) Romeo and Juliet,
“Shakespeare was wrong. A rose by any other name would not smell as sweet . . . which is why the single most important decision in the marketing of perfume is the name.”
– Al Ries and Jack Trout
Research from the business world and from the scientific community gives evidence towards the fact that a name of a product is very important. It is important in the decision making process of the consumers. The best product names are so effective they become the standard (an eponym) by which all similar products are named.
So how do you name a product:
Framing: Researchers have found that if they take a generic product, and “frame” it towards the positive or the negative by simply changing the words on how they describe the product to the consumer it changed the behavior of the consumer. Based solely on words the consumer chose one over the other. The one that was chose most was framed in a positive way. The consumer felt a sense of gain from this.
Categories: A product name can also invoke the emotions of the consumer. Consumers typically categorize everything internally based on their previous experiences. If your product name has a positive association with it, it will be put into the positive category in the consumers mind. If it carries a negative name, it will automatically be classified in the negative category. Taking the time to test the responses from consumers will give you an idea of how it is categorized by the target consumers.
Color: Color has been found to influence people, consciously and unconsciously. Colors can elicit different moods and affect responses. It has also been found that when a name is generic is it less effective than if it is fancy, such that “mocha colored cake” would be more appealing than “brown cake”.
When you name your product, it would benefit to test the above factors.