It's time to get out your invention notebooks, and set up a list of possible names for your invention.
The branding stage should take a good long time because you are an inventor, and you will keep coming up with more brand names to challenge prior names. Also, as you move your invention through prototype, production testing, and marketing design, you will see your product through different perspectives that may affect its name.
Here are my top 10 tips for branding your invention:
1. Think ahead.
If you will be developing a product line from your invention, will you need a "line name," as well as a "product name." How will the product names relate to each other? In the case of Nukkles, its cousins Nuzzles® and Snukkles®, have an auditory, oral, and functional similarity. But the seeds of this trio did not sprout until I discovered that different materials could be used in the Nukkles mold that would enable different massage effects... different strokes for different folks and kids and animals! From another line I created, HoundsAcrossAmerica®, came HoundBag® and HoundToy. Of course, look no further than Apple®'s "I"- "you're the apple of my eye"- products. IMac®, IPod®, IPhone®... now there was some planning for the future!
2. Know your market before you choose a name.
Will the product be sold on television, the internet, or in high- end retail? The more mass market your product, generally, the more your product name should say what it does. Names like Urine Gone! or Nicer Dicer, may not work well for Neiman Marcus, but will do super among infomercial junkies. (Admit it! You are one too!)
3. It's a new product. Give it a new name!
The name should not remind prospective customers of any product that is already on the market, especially ones similar to your product. Please don't say you've invented another ab machine; they are confusing enough as it is to identify. Ab Wheel, Ab Trainer, Ab Sculptor, Ab Roller, Ab Straps, Ab Incline, Ab Crunch, Ab Board, Ab Slider, Ab Toner, Ab Shaper... most of these names are not trademarkable because they are descriptive words in common use. Mr. John Abdo was able to trademark his abdominal machine, the AbDoer®, because the brand comes from his own name and not the words "ab" and "do." Now wasn't that lucky! (More about the intricacies of trademarking in next week's blog.)
4. Pick a short memorable name.
The majority of top brand names are two syllables; some three syllable names get in there, and four syllables will work if your name is Coca-Cola®. I was not a fan of the brand This Can't Be Yogurt® which is now called TCBY®. I can never remember that acronym. And what About I Can't Believe It's Not Butter®? Who ever gets that right? Will it soon become ICBINB?