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Creating a Literal or Descriptive Product Name

Today’s Tip

Best Practice: Literal product names comprise a word or a few keywords to help people quickly identify the product i.e. corn flakes

Muffin Mix Literal Product Name

Muffin Mix Literal Product Name

Today’s Article:  Creating a Literal or Descriptive Product Name

Literal or descriptive product names comprise a word or a few keywords to help people quickly identify the product. There are two types of categories; standalone product name or those under the umbrella of a larger brand i.e. Kelloggs: Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Kelloggs Corn Pops, Kellogg’s Fiber Plus, Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes or Kellogg’s Raisin Bran.

Pros: Makes it easy to understand what the product is. If marketed under a larger brand, the value of the larger brand adds value to connecting to the literal or descriptive named product.
Cons: If it is a standalone product name, it may be seen as a generic product. Many descriptive product names have already been used. May be difficult to find a matching domain name without a hyphen that is trademark free.

Other examples of branded literal or descriptive product names:
Cocoa Krispies, Cocoa Puffs, Grape Nuts, Herbal Essences, Honey Bunches of Oat, Milk Duds, Milk-Bone, Mini Wheats, Pizza Pizza, Pizza Rolls, PlayStation, Pull-Ups, Rice Krispies, Rice-A-Roni, Shake ‘n Bake, and Snack Pack

Other examples of non-branded or generic literal or descriptive product names:  whole wheat bread, swiss cheese, potato chips, oatmeal cookies, whole wheat crackers, strawberry jam, soaps, cola soda, etc.


Brand Product Name Filter
The brand product name filter below will help you objectively evaluate how available and good a name is.

Number System: 0-poor, 1-fair, 2-good, 3-excellent.
___ Easy to Say and Pronounce
___ Easy to Remember
___ Easy to Spell
___ Name is Web-Ready: Exact Match Domain Name with no hyphen (Domain Search)
___ Trademark is Available (Trademark Search)
___ Available in Your State (Online check with your State Department of Incorporation)
___ Social Media Identity Availability (Example Facebook (B2C), LinkedIn (B2B), etc.)
___ Stands out from the Competition in a Favorable Way
___ Has no Negative Meanings (Example: when translated to a foreign market’s language)
___ Name Allows You to Add New Services or Products in the Future
___ Number of Points


Action Step: Make a list of words to create a literal product name that would help people quickly understand what the product is. Take the list of words and start combining them until you come up with 1-3 that you like. Next go to the product name filter above to evaluate them.


Note: If you are having trouble coming up with a name that you like and is rated high by the brand product name filter, it may be time to look for an outside source to help you. Ask the Expert

Recommendation: In a branding process, it is important to look at product name possibilities in different name categories: Attribute, Legacy, Initials/Numbers, Word Combination, New Invented, Related, Alliteration or Rhyme and Inquiring. This helps you expand the way you look at your product, find the best name to connect with your target market and stand out from the competition that reflects your brand position.

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   Additional Resources

    Return to Product Naming    Return to Brand Library      Return to Brand Yourself



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