Naming Technology Companies, Services, and Products November 20, 2012, by Peter Mirus in Information Technology, Branding, Marketing

Technology companies have many different approaches to naming themselves, their services, and products. Some companies find it to be a very simple process: they sit a bunch of people down at a table and do some brainstorming, kick around some ideas, settle on a couple of options, have a trademark attorney screen the name to make sure it is available, and then move forward. This is a fine way to create a brand name, and it can work well for the company that is confident in its creative abilities and has a very clear idea of its market position.

Technology companies with a less clear idea on market position favor a more strategic approach, beginning with market research and continuing through the process of building differentiators and positioning. Having completed such a process, they feel sufficiently informed to generate naming concept that will resonate with customers.

STA’s clients, including a variety of technology product and service firms, often assert that they know the market in which they operate and can therefore embark on aspects of branding (including naming) without additional market research. We often must politely challenge the accuracy of this assertion.

Some clients intuitively collect information about the market using roughly the right approach—and do in fact have all or most of the information needed. However, we know from experience that companies frequently are missing key pieces of information. For example, many companies can identify only a small percentage of competitors in their space—typically the client’s customer base sees a broader variety of companies as potential competitors than does the client. This might seem like a small missing piece of information but it has a great deal of impact on naming. At the least, you do not want to cause market confusion by using a name similar to one used by a competitor.

So be sure that you have good, verified knowledge of your market position before naming your technology company, service, or product.