Bullet 17

How to Name Your Product

…including 21 examples of great names

Dear Marketing Top Gun,

The best product names have a benefit built right into them.

For example, Kleenex embodies the benefit of clean.

So does Mr. Clean.

I love the name Swiffer, the dust picker-upper that swiftly glides over your floors and under your coffee table to snare the dust bunnies.

Health & Healing, the newsletter from Healthy Directions, is a great one.

For an oven cleaner—Easy Off.

For a car window shade—Way Cool.

For weather stripping that blocks winter drafts under your front door—Draft Dodgers.

Fat Blaster, Wonder Bread, Mr. Peanut, Arrid Anti-Perspirant, Vein Away Cream—great names.

I like my own company’s name—Accountable Advertising, Inc.

A new product I recently came across is named Bites. These are bite-sized oatmeal and jam treats from Quaker Oats. A splendid little name,Bites. Quaker Oats is already selling 5 million Bites a day.

I love the name Blue Blockers, Joe Sugarman’s famous sunglasses that shield your eyes from harmful blue rays.

If you’re well-known in your field, consider naming your product after yourself, as did Ransom Eli Olds with his Oldsmobile and also his company, Reo Motors, named from his initials. The benefit here is that your market respects you and knows that if you’ve put your name on a product, you’re proud of it.

Louis Rukeyser could not have chosen a better name for his newsletter than Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street. It quickly became the most successful launch in the history of investment advisory publishing.

If you’re in a service business, it can likewise pay to name your company after yourself, as clients like dealing with the person whose name is on the front door.

Whenever you come up with a good name, be sure to do a name search, so you don’t step on anyone’s toes, triggering angry cease-and-desist letters or a costly lawsuit. If your search reveals that your name is unique, lock it up quickly. Have your attorney apply for a trademark.

Always keep your eyes peeled for good names and jot them down.

While driving recently, Pauline and I spotted a paint store with a name we liked—The Fresh Coat Paint Store. It immediately planted the idea of how nice a room or house looks with a fresh coat of paint.

Just as we do, make it a game, a hobby, to collect great product names. Your list can goad you to greatness when you need inspiration.

Another time while driving, we passed a dentist’s office in the Hamptons, where we live. His sign: Gentle Dental.

The True Story of “Painless Parker”

Speaking of dentists, have you ever heard of “Painless Parker”?

You’ll enjoy this.

Back in the early 1900s, there lived a famous dentist and flamboyant pitchman named Edgar R. “Painless” Parker. He looked like Colonel Sanders and behaved like P. T. Barnum.

He wore a top hat and a necklace made of teeth he had pulled from his patients’ heads. To attract new business, if you can imagine this, he crisscrossed the countryside with a combination circus-and-dental-clinic.

He would roll into town, with his circus-and-dental-clinic in tow, proclaiming “Painless Dentistry!”

He’d set up his dentist’s chair on the bed of a horse-drawn wagon parked in the center of town, and hired a brass band to play as he pulled teeth. The twofold purpose of the brass band was to attract a crowd and drown out the moans of patients, who had been plied with whisky and other pain-reducing concoctions.

For his outrageous antics, he incited the holy wrath of his fellow dentists. The American Dental Association denounced him as “a menace to the dignity of the profession” and vowed to put an end to his shameless promotions, which made headlines and attracted scores of patients wherever he went.

The dental establishment hatched a strategy. They accused him of false advertising since he claimed that his dentistry was painless, and no dentistry could truly be called “painless.” If they could legally deny him the right to promote “painless” dentistry, they’d severely undercut demand for his services. At last, the deacons of dentistry had their rogue treed and surrounded!

But the wily pitchman outfoxed his tormentors again. Parker legally changed his first name to “Painless,” and they couldn’t do a thing except gnash their teeth. Emboldened, “Painless Parker” opened a chain of some 30 West Coast dental offices, all featuring his ingenious name which proved so appealing, he employed 70 dentists and grossed $3 million per year, quite a fortune in his day.

Never underestimate the power of a good name—one with a built-in benefit!

Sincere wishes for a good life
and (always!) higher response,

Gary Bencivenga Signature

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