Naming a product is hard

Every new product deserves a brilliant name. Over the years, we’ve established a few guidelines, but coming up with those names is still really hard.

As inventors, we relatively often get to name a new product. Which might sound fun, but often turns out to be a tough nut to crack. It is just incredibly hard to come up with something original that fits the product – and that no one has named their product before us.

We are not a marketing agency. We try to facilitate open-minded brainstorming for new product names, but at the same time, we don’t want to spend too much time doing it.

However, when the name is out there, it tends to stick – and we have to live with it. This is why we’ve come up with a few guidelines over the years.

Our few ground rules

The guidelines for the naming process are relatively simple:

  • It has to work in English and be available (the first idea is always used by someone else).
  • It has to be short (JeeBee, Opløft, Conhoist).
  • It has to be catchy and stick (which might be more subjective).

Other than that, we don’t have a set recipe for our product names.

Of course, we think about the industry and customers. When snobby marketing people call “SmartMover” or “Upclimber” lame, they seem to forget it’s aimed at the building industry: it has to reflect what it is and does (It’s smart and it moves stuff) which tends to resonate with the practical people we cater for.

The same goes with Opløft (”Uplift” in Danish) which is a swing at building Nordic Design into the name while targeting a better working environment in office spaces.

And if the product gains traction when it’s eventually launched its name usually starts to fit the product. Maybe not immediately, but even corny names end up working; it is just what that invention is called now.

Name and identity hand in hand

A decade ago we also got to name our company. Lolle & Nielsen Inventions. It’s neither short, nor English, but nevertheless, it stuck with us all these years.

At this point, it would be a big project to change it. Not that we want: We are starting to see some brand recognition and it almost always evokes some kind of reaction.

Recently, a fellow entrepreneur in a business network very honestly shared his thought about the company name: It sounds a bit silly, he thought. More playful than serious, big corporation. But maybe playful isn’t the worst association for inventors?

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