In October we are changing the names of several products for a few reasons, so we thought we’d explore why we’re doing it and offer some tips on naming your own products with the perfect product name.
The main issues you’ll run into while naming your skin or haircare products are FDA regulations on claims, and standing out in a busy industry. While there isn’t much you can do about avoiding claims (or anything the FDA considers to be a claim), there are still chances to get creative, balance your level of description and association, and choose words that match your brand and stand out.
Our goal, as a wholesale manufacturer, is principally to describe the products and either what is in them or what they do. This philosophy has dictated our current round of name changes (see below), but in the retail environment, you are looking to have your name(s) caught in the consumer’s mind. We’ll run through some key guidelines in choosing your products’ names and then list our products that are changing.
How Descriptive Should Your Product Name Be?
Deciding how descriptively you name your product depends on your personal preference and your brand. It is often useful to have at least the brand name or the product name be descriptive. For example, if you have a brand called “Body Scrub Boutique” you can get away with a product simply called “Glow” or similar. Conversely, if your brand is less descriptive, something like “Radiate”, it might be beneficial to choose a product name such as “Overnight Brightness Serum” etc.
Often the brands of products that are most successful use of associative names—names that may not be a real word but you can figure out some associations that are appropriate for the product. For example, Facebook is not a real word but it makes sense to have a catalog of your friends. Youtube plays that same game successfully.
Create an Easy Name
If the name you have chosen is hard to spell or hard to pronounce, people will avoid saying the name or writing it. Erring on the side of ease and readability can go a long way to keeping customers on board.
But Still Get Creative
But an ‘easy’ name doesn’t bar you from a fun or creative name. The beauty industry is a busy market with a lot of competition, so sometimes you have to get a little fast and loose with spelling or even make up a new word. Some strategies include:
- Using real words with a twist (perhaps a number inserted, change spellings, tweak or blend words)
- Add a prefix or suffix (for example adding ‘bio’ or ‘eco’ might be popular)
- Create a compound word (this includes things like Facebook, but it could be anything!)
Keep Your Product Name SEO Friendly
Always keep in mind how your customers are going to find you and your products. The popularity of internet searches in finding brands means that your SEO (search engine optimization) must be clear and up to date. This means a name that is not already taken, is somewhat unique, and a page with the right keywords and metadata. For example, calling a product after a place name, like “Mediterranean,” will bring up a lot of information on the sea, and you will have to compete with every other webpage using that word.
Evoking an Experience
Obviously short and punchy names stand a good chance of being remembered, but to encourage people to actually buy your product it can help to choose a name that evokes an emotion, a feeling, or an idea. An easy way to do this if you don’t simply want to call your massage oil “Relax” or similar is to brainstorm. Riff on anything that is related to a descriptor of your product. Write down words that are associated with the main benefits or features. For example, if your product is designed to be relaxing, then other words associated with relaxing might be spa, massage, yoga, Sunday mornings, vacation. So perhaps you choose Sunday mornings as your imagery and name your product Sunday Morning Detox.
As with everything related to your brand, you should do what feels right and aim for consistency. But when it comes to how to name your products, you can definitely have fun. Write down all the ideas before eliminating any, and let us know how it goes!
Old names are on the left, new names on the right:
Completed Name Changes
Red Color Therapy Masque => Beetroot Powder Mask
Orange Color Therapy Masque => Turmeric & Beetroot Powder Mask
Yellow Color Therapy Masque => Restoring Turmeric & Mustard Seed Powder Mask
Green Color Therapy Masque => DMAE & Kaolin Clay Powder Mask
Blue Color Therapy Masque => Blue Green Algae & OptiMSM Powder Mask
Violet Color Therapy Masque => AHA Clay Powder Mask
Upcoming Name Changes – Formulations haven’t changed.
Citrus Lotion => Citrus Burst Jojoba Lotion
Baby & Belly Oil => Every Body Oil
Baby Dusting Powder => Fine Hair & Body Powder
Whipped Mango Rescue Butter => Unscented Whipped Mango Body Butter
Chocolate Mint Crème => Cocoa Arnica Mint Body Crème
Chocolate Orange Crème => Vitamin E & Cocoa Butter Crème
Chocolate Mint Lotion => Cocoa & Shea Soothing Muscle Lotion
Chocolate Butter Body Scrub => Grapeseed & Cocoa Butter Body Scrub
Milk Chocolate Masque => Cocoa, Clay & Goat Milk Soothing Facial Mask
Lingonberry Cerise Lip and Cheek Shimmer => Tinted Vegan Lip Balm
Olive Lotion => Olive & Vitamin E Deeply Nourishing Lotion