[Guest Article] How to Name Your Products for Better Sales

2019-07-25

Guest Article by PickFu

Your product’s name affects its marketing and sales. If you’re lucky enough to have customers rave about your product or recommend it to friends, the name you choose is how they’ll talk about it. So when trying to name a new product, what should you consider? 

Your product has two distinct audiences

As an e-commerce seller, you should be familiar with keyword research and search engine ranking. These considerations are essential to making your listing discoverable online.

But search engines are only one audience. You must not forget your other audience, your customers — real human beings who will look at and potentially buy your product. 

The two audiences influence each other. Most keyword tools and optimization techniques emphasize how to earn top rankings so that more people look at the product. But the signals flow the other way, too. If lots of people look at your listing and then abandon it, you’ll ultimately lose that ranking you worked so hard to build.

That’s why it’s important that as you optimize your product listing, you take into account both audiences, considering their needs and wants. 

Your page title should address both audiences

What does each audience want in a product name? Your answer needs to address both.

Search engines want keywords and straightforward descriptors of what the product is. But your human customers are drawn to names that are memorable and catchy. 

Your page title, therefore, should combine a memorable product name and some target keywords. On Amazon, for example, you have about 200 characters for the page title. Use this space to include a branded and distinct name for your product that will appeal to customers. Then supplement this name with descriptions or product attributes that will make the title understandable to search engines.

Here’s an example of a product I recently bought on Amazon:



Notice the elements of this page title:

  • A memorable name

    • The name CROWN SHADES evokes an image of a royal crown. A crown is something that goes overhead just like this canopy shade. The idea of royalty also makes the product seem stately and important.

  • Product attributes

    • Size: 10ft x 10ft

    • Color: Blue

    • Product inclusion: Carry bag 

  • Keywords

    • Outdoor Pop up Portable Shade

    • Instant Folding Canopy

All of that is contained in exactly 107 characters!

What makes a product name memorable?

What the search engines want is plain. But what people want is often more mysterious. 

Think about these factors when weighing what might appeal to them: 

  • Name length

    • In general, shorter product names are better. They are easier to remember and to integrate into everyday speech. 

    • Shorter names have the added benefit of taking up fewer characters.  

  • Longevity

    • Depending on the nature of your product, you should consider whether you want a name that will endure, or whether it’s okay to follow trends.

    • “Trendy” names might include current slang terms or naming conventions, such as ending a name in -ly or -io.

  • Messaging

    • Think about what your name might convey. In the Crown Shades example, think of all the associations a symbol like a crown evokes.

    • Your own product’s name might seek to say something about what the product is, how it will make you feel, who it’s for, or the value it will add. 

    • Be sure to consider any potential negative associations, too.

  •  Misspelling

    • Product names are often intentionally misspelled, especially in an effort to claim trademarks and domain names. 

    • However, misspellings can sometimes seem accidental (Downy’s Unstopablesis inexplicably missing a p) or be off-putting (I hope I never get picked up by an Ambulnz). 

  • Pronounceability

    • One quick way to turn people off is to use a name they don’t know how to pronounce.

    • However, in rare cases like Häagen-Dazs, a hard-to-pronounce name helps a brand stand out. 

Always test product names before launching

Consider again your two audiences: the search engines and people. With the search engines, you’re probably consistently checking your rankings and making sure everything is on the right track. You must do the same with people.

One fast and effective way to test product names is by running surveys with PickFu. Using PickFu, you can poll hundreds of people in minutes. Your poll may be targeted to your customer base using traits like age, gender, exercise habits, mobile device, homeownership, pets, diet, and Amazon Prime membership.

With PickFu, you’ll discover how people react to your product’s name. Often this surfaces associations you may or may not have foreseen. 

One business owner used PickFu to test two potential names of a fire ant pesticide: Diatoms or Frustules. In under an hour, 50 respondents showed a decisive preference for Diatoms. Their comments provided insight into what they liked and disliked:

  • “Diatoms sounds more scientific and tested.”

  • “Frustules doesn’t sound appealing. Frustules sounds like a part of a body (I think it’s because of the –ules ending).”

  • “DIATOMS sounds like a substance that will kill insects when you say the name aloud. It sounds powerful, simple, and to-the-point.”

  • “The first syllable [of Diatoms] sounds like ‘die’.”

Misspellings and pronounceability are especially important to test. A foreign language education company geared towards children used PickFu to test two potential names: Studio Doulos or Brain Nomad. 72% of those polled preferred Brain Nomad, often citing pronounceability as the reason:

  • “[Studio Doulos] seems hard to say/pronounce”

  • “[Brain Nomad] is easier to pronounce”

  • “[Brain Nomad] is simpler to remember and pronounce. Any person who has heard of the company will remember the name easier in order to tell others about it or ask others if they’ve tried it.”

Conclusion

Product names can evoke images, feelings, and desires that impart a lasting identity. It’s important to test product names not only with search engines but also real people. By surveying potential names, you uncover what people read into a product name, whether they find it difficult to pronounce or remember, and what tone it sets for your messaging. Optimizing product names in this way may help boost sales and contribute to your product’s ultimate success.


About PickFu

An instant polling service that e-commerce professionals use to optimize product listings. With PickFu, sellers can quickly test product names, photos, description copy, and UI layouts with shoppers within their target demographic, including Amazon Prime members, those within a certain income bracket, or people based on traits such as homeownership, marital status, or cooking habits.

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