How To Name And Brand Your Product

When it comes to giving your product a name, this is something you want to put some thought into and not just “shoot from the hip”. Don’t take the name of your product lightly. This episode can help you avoid problems down the road in your marketing.

Episode #140 | Episode Date: December 9, 2015

When it comes to giving your product a name, this is something you want to put some thought into and not just “shoot from the hip”.

I’ve had some real doosies for product names. My first product was called “3 Day Money”… which is probably my worst product name of all time. But, even the Blog Monetization Lab itself used to be called “Inner Circle”… then the “VIP”. 😀

What is wrong with these names?

Well, in this episode, I boil it down to 3 things to keep in mind with your product names:

  • Brand-ability
  • Communicating the benefit
  • Avoiding Confusions

I explain each of these in this episode. I also talk about the exercise you should go through to arrive at an awesome product name. Lastly, I discuss 3 specific followup tasks you should do, both while considering a name, as well as after you’ve chosen one.

Don’t take the name of your product lightly. This episode of Coffee Break can help you avoid problems down the road in your marketing.

So let us go in and get into our topic of today…

We have already talked about it in several episodes of the show; the process of creating a product. We talked about that in a few different episodes here. Again, you can go view the archives and go back and find that.

But we need to talk about naming the product, as well, because what you call the product is an important part of the marketing of the product and it then has something to do with selling it. So we need to discuss how we name it. Do we just name some summary type of title that just kind of says what it is about or do we need to think about some other considerations there? At the end of the day, your product name needs to serve as a brand name for that product. The name of your product needs to be something that can stand alone. It does not mean that it needs to go out and be on a whole separate website or it needs to stand alone from you, but it needs to be able to exist as a brand unto itself.

To show you some examples of kind of how I have screwed this up in the past; because I am not going to sit here and tell you that product naming has always been my thing, even to this day this is something that I struggle with. Now, it certainly helps that today, my main offer with my business is the Blog Monetization Lab. So, right now, I only really have one central product and it is fairly well named, actually. But I want to give you a little bit of background into some of the stuff that I kind of pulled in the past and you can kind of see what I am talking about here.

Some Bad Names

One of my very products I ever sold in this particular market and that was… “3 Day Money”. Now, think about that as a name. 3 Day Money! If you listen to that name, you would probably think that I am going to show you how to make money or make money online and do it in three days, right? And that is what many people thought, and that was never my intention and that is why it led to some real confusion. The reason I called it that was because it was designed to be a 3 day course; not because I was sitting there and making promises that you were going to make money online in 3 days. That was promise I would never ever make, actually. And so, that was a bad name. Now, I cut myself some slack on that because it was my very first product. The other thing I do not like about it is the fact that… 3 Day Money… So what is the outcome of that? Money, right? Well, money; you can make money in a number of different ways. It was not even anything about that product name that really lent itself to what direction I was going to take anybody. For all I know, I can be sitting there teaching you how to run a garage sale. I mean, you would never really know. And so, for multiple reasons, the product name 3 Day Money kind of sucked. And do not go out looking for that product because if you see it now, it definitely is not me. That product has been off the market for quite some time.

Another one that I did was called “Time Master Formula.” Now, that was not the worst product name I ever came out with, but it is a little bit weird. It is a little weird. Do you really know what that would be about? Now, it does have the word “time” in it, but what is a Time Master? I mean, does that really make a lot of sense? Now, I went and renamed this and this is actually what is currently called… “How To Step Into Your “A” Game“. Now, it might be a little better but the word “A” Game can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. And that is why I am still not a huge fan of this but I have not changed the title since. And in fact, this is not one of the courses on time management and alleviating overwhelm and getting goals accomplished. And this course exists right now inside the Blog Monetization Lab. And right now, the only way you can get it is inside the Blog Monetization Lab.

Now another one that I have in there is called “The Finisher’s Formula.” Okay, it is kind of brandable, it is memorable; that I liked about it… But at the same time, what is a finisher?  Like, you know, that could mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. And so that is kind of where that product name falls a little bit flat is that when somebody sees it, they do not really know what exactly what is it going to be about unless you have some follow up marketing along with it. Other than that, The Finisher’s Formula is actually not a bad product name; the course is actually pretty good, if I do say so, myself. And again, that course has to do with systemization and how to introduce systems into how you manage your time and also how you approach your business. And by having that systems mindset, it allows you to get things done in a lot more predictable way. It also figures out what is holding you back. And so, it is really a great course based around the Theory of Constraints and that course also is found inside the Blog Monetization Lab.

The Now Called “Lab”

Now let us look at what my product is now. Blog Monetization Lab. It was not always called that. The first name for it back in the old days, so to speak, was called the “Inner Circle.” Okay, so the Inner Circle… like you got this idea of the Velvet Rope thing… I mean, I don’t know. It was not really a good name. I didn’t really know where it was going to be heading when I originally named it. And then I had the bright idea… Let us rename that thing to “VIP”… the VIP Program. I mean, that can mean anything, right? There is nothing about the VIP that lends itself to what this thing was all about, right?

So, it is now called the Blog Monetization Lab. And let me ask you… Do you have any doubts when I say “Blog Monetization Lab”, what that thing is going to be about? I mean, especially if you are in my target market. If you have no familiarity at all with blogging or any of that, then maybe you would hear the word “monetization” or whatever and you do not really know. But then, that kind of kicks you out of my audience because you are not part of my target market so it kind of achieves that as well. So there is not really any doubt when you hear Blog Monetization Lab; what is that all about. And it also happens to be brandable and easy to communicate.

And so that brings us right in to 3 product name (I’ll say) “criteria”, that I want to communicate with you today.

3 Product Name Criteria

1. Your Product Name Should Be “Brandable”

Now, what I mean by “brandable” is you should be able to say it, or somebody else and they are going to be able to remember it or it needs to be able to tell a story. It needs to lend itself to a story which of course, that you would then tell as part of your marketing. But the idea there is that once they have heard that story, then it is going to bring to mind everything that that product name means.

One example that I know about out there is Ryan Deiss. And one of his first products was called “The Napkin Project.” I think it is a course that he still sells, but the Napkin Project; I mean, when you hear that, it is very brandable but it does not lend itself immediately to what that is all about. It does get your curiosity, because you are like… “Okay, a project… on a napkin, interesting.” But when you actually go and you look at his sales page for it, he goes into this whole story about how he created a business model on a napkin. And that is what the course is teaching. And so, because of that story, you hear The Napkin Project, and it is memorable and for that reason it is a very good brand; a very good name for a product.

So when you are coming up with your product names, you want to be thinking in terms of brandability. Is it easy to say? Is it short? You do not want to have real long product names. Or does it lend itself to a story that you can then tell in your marketing. People really remember stories really well.

2. It Should Communicate The Benefit

Now, I will say, again, going back to the Napkin Project; the name itself does not have to have the entire benefit inside the name like, The Blog Monetization Lab; that has the main benefit inside the name of the product. The Napkin Project, does not. But it lends itself to that story and that is where the benefit comes in. So, what you need to be doing is you need to think about what is the real benefit of your product… What is the outcome that they are going to be getting from it? And then you need to brainstorm from there into how to communicate that benefit in a very short way that could be brought in to the name of your product or into the back story of your product and how it came to be and then you can bring that into the name of your product. But you definitely want people to think about the benefits of your product and the name helps because it is that piece of marketing that is out there that they do not need to read the whole sales letter for.

3. It Should Not Lead To Any Confusions

So some ways you can lead to confusions might be really vague product names that they do not lead to anything, going back to my story about 3 Day Money, I mean it was just an extremely vague product name and it led to confusion as to what the thing was all about. Are you making money in 3 days? Is that a 3 day course? How are you making money? There was just a lot of questions being introduced by that product name so it kind of blew. But the other thing, too, is you want to be aware of other products in the market and you do not want to name your product in such a way that it can lead to brand confusion with other products out there. So that is something to be aware of as well.

Now let me reiterate those 3 product name criteria:

  1. You want it to be brandable or lend itself to the backstory of how it was created.
  2. You want to make sure that it communicates the benefit that they are going get out of it.
  3. You want to make sure that it does not lead to any confusion or follow up questions.

My Recommendations

So, when you are coming up with your product name, I would highly recommend that you sit down with an empty document… Google Docs, Evernote, piece of paper; it does not really matter, and just brain dump a bunch of potential product names. That is what I recommend that you do. Your first instinct is probably not going to be your best one. I mean, 3 Day Money was kind of my first instinct and there it is… So, I recommend that you sit down and just start naming out as many potential product names as you can come up with.

It is kind of like headlines. You probably heard that the best way to come up with the best headlines for your blog post is to sit down and create a list of like 20 of them. Because the first headline you come up with is probably not going to be your best one but if you force yourself and go through the exercise of writing 20 headlines to one blog post; one of those 20 is probably going to be really, really, good. And that is what you can use. Well, do the same thing with naming your products. Treat it kind of a headline… It is not going to be that long, but you can get some really good ideas when you do that.

And then once you got that list of ideas maybe you can go out to a few people you know and ask their feedback on those things. Maybe get their opinion on it. Realize that opinions are very all over the place and just because you get a wide span of opinions and there is not really anything that jumps out as a favorite, then whatever… make your own mind up. It is just something that can help you with some feedback.

Now to end off this topic, I also want to give you a few follow up things that you are going to want to do and look at as you pick your name…

The first one is that you want to go out and see if the domain name is available for it. I think that is probably going to be a good idea when you are branding your product; is to see if the .com is available. Do not go off and get one of the other domain extensions because they are kind of dumb and you know, most people are not going to assume those things, okay? So try to stick to a .com as much as you can.

Now, if it is as good as a standalone as its own thing then you definitely need to have your own .com. But even if it going to reside on your blog and would kind of be mixed in with other stuff, it is not a bad idea to have that .com because then you can tell people about it via word of mouth. You could be a guest to somebody’s podcast and you can direct people to it. And just set it up as a domain redirect. It isn’t as if you need a separate hosting account for it; you just set it up as a redirect, right to the page on your blog that talks about that product. So for example, blogmonetizationlab.com… That is not its own website, it simply points to the page at blogmarketingacademy.com that talks about the Lab. So that is an example.

Two other quick things you are going to probably want to do… You are going to want to get a logo made for the product because that will help you with branding it, talking about it outside of your sales page; things like that… Also, raising the perceived value of your product; that logo does affect perceived value.

The other thing that you would probably going to want to do is get a few product images made for the product. Now, again, I am specifically here talking about digital products. So go and get images that really signify that product. Common ones done are a DVD or a book; it literally is product images as if your product was a physical thing. And this thing kind of help with branding that product and bringing the value of it forward when you are actually selling it.

So if you want to dive deeper into this, but also go into all the particulars in actually creating your product, I have got an Action Plan over and inside the Blog Monetization Lab called the Product Creation Blueprint which goes over a lot of these stuff. So head on over to the Lab, check out how you can become a Lab Member today. It costs less than a buck a day to do this and there is a lot of material in there to help you grow your business. Basically, we are taking what we are doing here in Coffee Break Blogging but we are really, really, really speeding it up using a checklist systematic approach inside the Blog Monetization Lab.

Thank you so much once again and I will see you next time on Coffee Break Blogging!