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Friday, September 25, 2015

Naming new products and versions

New product naming is always a challenge a fun experience. Name plays an important role, be it just a product or a brand. Naming products when improvements are introduced rapidly is handled to an extend by including a version - ing system. Thus a V2 product is an enhanced version of its  first entry and is always a better one. While naming a product, the following are the deciding factors -

Product name should align with your brand be it the parent company or the segment. For example ipad mini means a miniature version of orginal ipad and ipad air is the lighter version. A good example from the online advertising space if Google DoubleClick suite of products.

Product name should ring a bell without making a buyer think on what it means. For example, when the next version of ipad was introduced,  it being called ipad air 2. Having said that here the interesting  part - how about when Apple introduced all these products for the first time? At that time iPod is new, iPad is new. But even then, the usage of pod indicates related to music, and pad being something related to holding in hand to write or do something. Another fact is it used the 'i' append to relate and align with Apple products.

One example which completely screwed up this part is the kitchen appliance maker TTK-Prestige. If you consider their induction cooktop, they use a weird naming convention to differentiate between models. For example, PIC 3.0, PIC 6.0 V2, PIC 14.0. It is a natural tendency for the end user to think a 14.0 model is better and the latest. However that may not be the case at all!

Let's take another aspect. Let's assume we are going to market with an improved version  of an already prominent product in the market. We see many marketers naming such offering Next Generation. This name is such a cliche that every Tom, Dick and Harry uses it. Things get complicated if the next generation offering misses some favorite use cases the old version was doing (even if they are  silly!); then it puts a doubt on the existing customer base about the maturity of next generation. 

Another challenge in this type of naming to consider is what if we are envisioning to come up with another version in future; what will we call it then ? It may look awkward to even call it Next Generation V2 ...isn't it?

What do you think about naming products?


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