Decisions about name and packaging name testing

Debate continues in the marketing world about just how important the 'right' name is in contributing to the success of a product or service. Both sides can point to names that have been a help or hindrance to marketing appeal. Some argue that with sufficient advertising support any name can be made to work for the product or service; others, that if a name is to be given advertising support, then it surely makes sense to ensure that the name has at least no readily uncovered negative associations. This debate has particular resonance in international marketing, with numerous examples of inappropriate or unexportable brand names having been used. Out of this debate, some generalizations about choosing the name for a product or service can be made.

■ The name should be consistent with the overall marketing strategy for the product. This implies that any research about names should start with a clear statement of the marketing objective for the brand.

■ The name should be easy for its target market to read and pronounce in a consistent way. (How do you pronounce 'Noilly Prat' or 'Meux' in Friary Meux?)

■ The name should project desirable associations for the product, and have no negative associations.

■ Any imagery associated with the name should be appropriate for the product, its use and its target users.

■ The design and execution of the brand need to be acceptable in an online environment:

o Does the domain name exist already?

o Are the colours 'web safe'? o Are the font and design acceptable on screen?

■ It helps if the name is easily recognized and recalled. These aspects of naming are amenable to research testing, as listed in Guide 3, and explained in the following notes.

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