Market Research Options for Naming a New Product

After spending months or even years perfecting your product, you are ready to introduce it to the market.

Like with most roadblocks that come with introducing a new business venture, market research can help your team find the perfect product name. Here are a few options we recommend.

You're sure it's going to sell like hotcakes but there's just one thing missing: the perfect product name.

The right product name has many advantages and could be a key factor in the success of the product.

Perhaps you and your team brainstormed a few options and ideas but are at an impasse or disagreement on which one is best. 

Like with most roadblocks that come with introducing a new brand, product, or service -- new product development market research can help make this critical decision.

This blog post will discuss the qualitative and quantitative research methodologies we offer and recommend for determining the perfect product name.  

How to find the perfect product name?

Naming a New Product with Focus Groups

Whether or not you have names under consideration, qualitative research will help you create or narrow your list.

The purpose of using qualitative research initially in your study is to understand what name qualities and characteristics consumers value most and how they influence their purchasing decision(s). 

The most commonly used qualitative research method for new product development studies is focus groups.

Focus groups can gather hard-to-reach information that is very difficult to capture in quantitative methods such as surveys. 

For a new product name study, a focus group will provide the following benefits.

1. Target demographic perspectives

You can recruit participants of your target market to offer their opinions on the name.

For example, if you’re product is targeting females aged 18 to 34 years old, your focus group could contain most or all of this demographic. 

If your product doesn’t have a target market, the focus group would be a variety of participants of different ages, races, incomes, etc.

You could conduct exploratory research to see which demographics would be most interested in your product and begin the process from there. 

2. Consumer qualities

The feedback gathered from the focus group will tell you which qualities consumers prefer in a product name.

For example, they may prefer names that are short and roll off the tongue or dislike names that sound cheesy or are difficult to pronounce. 

Also, if you have a list of possible names, you can ask for feedback on which names participants liked the most/least and why.

This is how you can trim your options down or add new and revised names. 

3. Influence on purchase decision

Participants in a focus group can describe thoroughly how their buying decision is impacted by the product name more so than respondents in a survey. 

This information helps you understand the product name factors that drive sales. 

Consumers can like several competing product names but knowing which name characteristics influence their decision to purchase one over another is vital.

Other factors such as the packaging, price, and shelf placement can sway consumers but the product name is sorta like a first impression - it means everything.

In summary, the insights obtained from a focus group will answer the following questions:

  • What characteristics do consumers, either targeted or general, want in a product name?
  • How do these characteristics influence consumer purchasing decisions?
  • If I have a set of names, which ones are liked the most/least and why?

The answers to all of these questions will allow you to condense your name options and proceed to the next step in the study.   

For more insights, read our blog post Why Focus Groups Are Important for New Product Development.

Naming a New Product with Online Surveys

The quantitative component of the product name study will measure the final options against each other to provide you with a singular answer. 

The most effective and economical quantitative method is an online survey. It offers a terrific ROI for your business and can provide you with results in a short amount of time. 

Okay, so how would an online survey work with a new product name study? Let’s see what it could entail!     

1. Customized survey design and target audience

The design and length of the survey can vary on the objectives and specifics of the study.

Typically, the design of the survey would be fairly straightforward and take no longer than 5 minutes to complete, if not shorter.

Additionally, our market research company recommends keeping the length of the survey as short as possible is critical for receiving reliable data and reducing respondent fatigue.

A brief survey can still address all of your objectives and topics.     

Another benefit of an online survey is that it can be sent out to your target audience.

The survey can be sent out via email or shareable link and can be completed on a computer, tablet, or mobile device. 

2. Various objectives answered

The questions in your survey could address a plethora of topics and be asked in a variety of formats.

For example, you could ask respondents to rank the top 5 names provided from the results of the focus group. 

Another question you could ask is how appealing is each name.

The focus group may have provided you an initial sense of whether or not a name is appealing but an online survey will tell you, with numbers, how appealing a name is and which name is most appealing.

You could also ask about consumer preferences regarding a name.

For example, you could ask a respondent if they are more likely to purchase a product if its’ name includes “x” or “y”. This could include words, phrases, or product descriptions. 

3. Reporting Options

A topline or comprehensive report will include graphical data that will allow you to visualize the results of each name. It will present you with a side-by-side comparison that is easy to understand and interpret. 

An in-depth analysis of the findings and recommendations could also be listed depending on the depth of the study. This will provide a comprehensive but concise version of all of the data.

It could include results among different demographic crosstabs (age, gender, etc.) as well as key findings from each question. 

Tips for Finding the Perfect Product Name

Finding the perfect name can have a direct correlation to the success of the new product.

This often starts with brainstorming.

Common product name brainstorming tactics include:

  • Descriptive words: Ex. Band-Aid, Post-Its
  • Real words: Ex. Air Jordan
  • Made up words: Ex. Doritos
  • Blended words: Ex. McNuggets 
  • Misspelled words: Ex. Kleenex 

Another important tool is to look at your brand and your already existing products.

Your brand and products should work together, so the addition of a new product should fit in with your brand with similar language and vocabulary.

The best example of this is Apple products and the “i” in their product name. This has led to cohesiveness in their product lines such as iPhone, iMac, iPad, and iPod. 

Additionally, great product names share similar qualities such as:

  • Excitement: It should invoke emotion, or feeling that aligns with the brand image of your company. 
  • Pronunciation: How does the product name sound when said in a conversation- is it easy to pronounce? 
  • Relevancy: Make sure the product name is relevant to the positioning of your product. 
  • Uniqueness: How different is this product name from the competition? 
  • Versatility: Decide if the product is a stand-alone product or a part of a larger line of products.

Mistakes to avoid when naming a product include:

  • Hard to say, hear or spell: When naming your product, make sure that it is easy to pronounce. A lot of marketing happens through word of mouth so if it’s too difficult to pronounce then customers won't remember it. 
  • Generic: Ensure that a name balances between too descriptive and too generic- if a product name is generic then you will just sound like every other product and customers might not know what exactly you are selling.  

Looking for more new product development tips? Watch this short video.

Conduct Product Naming Surveys with Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company specializing in product naming surveys. Our team partners with brands across the country working in a variety of industries to deliver unique, high-quality data that drives the success of a new product.

Interested in learning more about our services? Contact our team below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040


Justin Eisenhauer

As a Research Assistant, Justin works directly with all team members on client projects. His intrigue in market research formed during his time at Marist College, where he studied business and entrepreneurship. He knows how to approach market data from a client perspective and provides valuable insights to help them be successful.

Learn more about Justin, here.

subscribe to our blog


This post was updated on October 26th, 2021.

Online Surveys Other Market Research Services