An Inside Look at How Products and Companies Are Named

Several times in the last few years we have noted how difficult it is becoming for marketers to come up with names for new products and new businesses. Back in 2012, we saw the difficulties Kraft Foods encountered when they split into two companies and were searching for a name for the new entity. Kraft, like many companies, faced a number of challenges when contemplating a new name including whether someone else owns a name, how well a name translates into other languages. and whether there are Internet domains still available for a name.

Just two weeks ago we saw another situation where product naming was becoming an issue. The example this time was in the craft beer market, where companies are discovering that the explosion of craft beers has made it extremely challenging to find names for new beers.

Given the issues with product and company naming, it should be no surprise that there is a growing industry of firms offering naming services. One such company was highlighted in this New York Times story that was published last week. It looks at the circumstances that led a start-up tech company to seek out a naming specialist to create a company name. The story explores the techniques used to come up with various naming options and then what was involved in getting to the final name – Jaunt. If you think that name seems pretty simple, the path taken to get to that name is quite involved.

The story also offers a number of additional highlights including a brief history of the brand naming business. It also looks at what it costs to hire someone to develop a new name (as much as $75,000) and the key industries where brand namers are in demand. As would be expected, given the expense in using a naming service and as we noted in our post regarding the craft beer naming, companies offering naming services primarily direct their services to well-financed clients and not to small businesses that have little cash. While Jaunt is a startup, they are backed by some big investors including Google.

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