How do you name a product?

We’re a hosting company.
Like most hosting companies we have several hosting plans (products)
These plans have names.
Like everyone else the names we’ve been using are boring:
basic; standard; professional
I want to change them. I want something new. I want something that’s a bit more imaginative, but I’ve no idea what!!!
Options on the table at present:
metals – silver, gold, platinum
grades – essential, premier, ultimate
arthurian – round table, holy grail (you get the general idea)
chess – pawn, rook, king
I’m open to suggestions. I’m open to anything at this stage!

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41 Responses to How do you name a product?

  1. Alan O'Rourke September 20, 2007 at 15:51 #

    Try for something more descriptive.
    Standard, workhorse, rawpower.
    Or if it was a car
    saloon, 4×4, truck
    Try for something that indicates the difference in a real world environment.

  2. Keith September 20, 2007 at 16:21 #

    Baldrick; George (or Darling); Blackadder

  3. francis mahon September 20, 2007 at 16:31 #

    Why not Moon, Sun and Stars?
    After all, doesn’t every hosting company promise all three?

  4. Richardo September 20, 2007 at 17:10 #

    Monopoly: Kimmage, Rathmines, Shrewsbury.
    Property: Basement, Flat, Penthouse
    [though maybe not such a good idea in the current economic climate?]
    Or how about breaking the mould and going for something really radical:
    Good, Better, Best

  5. Frank Michlick September 20, 2007 at 17:16 #

    Depending on your customers “boring” can be the way to go. Think usability – people generally understand something that they see all over the place better than something new.

  6. Irene September 20, 2007 at 17:16 #

    How about
    You are cheap!, Budget option, Better than the next guy, bells and whistles, and ‘flash’
    Let’s face it what is said behind closed doors!
    Its all about brand but there needs to be a bit of honesty don’t you think?

  7. Hugh September 20, 2007 at 17:19 #

    On our ratecard we have several packages including: Gold, Silver, Diamond and Platinum. These are (sort of anyway!) related to weddings – well wedding rings at least.
    Maybe if you try something that describes the merits of each package – lower range plans that do the job for a decent plans could be called ‘Business Economy’ or similar, and higher end plans with heaps of space and bandwith could be called ‘Business Enterprise’ or something like that.
    1&1 have some pretty good names for their products. For instance they have a ‘Beginner’ and ‘Home’ packages for beginners and presumably family websites!

  8. tara September 20, 2007 at 17:25 #

    going with the whole ‘knight’ how about:
    page, squire, knight?

  9. Michele Neylon September 20, 2007 at 17:30 #

    @Francis – tempting !!
    @Irene – LOL. It wouldn’t leave much options for spin 🙂

  10. David Raynes September 20, 2007 at 17:34 #

    How about feudal levels? Peasant, duke, king? Or maybe knight instead of duke or something like that.

  11. David Behan September 20, 2007 at 17:40 #

    what about cumputer consoles…
    Commodore 64, Super Nintendo, Playstation 2, XBOX 360!

  12. jude September 20, 2007 at 17:49 #

    I like:
    * Shot Glass
    ** Six Pack
    *** KEG

  13. jude September 20, 2007 at 17:52 #

    I like:
    * Shot Glass
    ** Six Pack
    *** KEG
    For those that left and you’re trying to get back: “*Special Re-Hab Plan*”

  14. Michele Neylon September 20, 2007 at 17:59 #

    Jude – Oh dear 🙂 I like where your head is at!

  15. Robert Synnott September 20, 2007 at 18:01 #

    Maybe it’s just me, but I find ‘cute’ product names extremely irritating.
    I have to admit to giggling at A Small Orange’s plan names, though…

  16. murphyz September 20, 2007 at 18:01 #

    Hop, Skip, Jump.
    I was thinking paper/rock/scissors – but wouldn’t know which is the best 😉

  17. Grandad September 20, 2007 at 18:18 #

    Here at Silver Haired Internet Technology [S.H.I.T.] we sell
    Hmmmm, Wow, and Holy God!

  18. Michele September 20, 2007 at 18:27 #

    Some great ideas guys (and girls!) – thanks for the input so far!!
    Rob – A Small Orange’s naming schema is pretty good. It’s clear and to the point!
    Murphyz – I suppose that’s part of the problem. Everyone presumes that one is “better” than another, whereas in reality we should be pitching them based on them serving a purpose or achieving a goal.
    Grandad – We’re big fans of your products !

  19. Chris Vail September 20, 2007 at 18:27 #

    Music: Acoustic, Electric, 11!
    More Music: Club, Festival, Stadium

  20. Michele Neylon September 20, 2007 at 18:35 #

    Chris – what’s the “11” refer to?

  21. Chris Vail September 20, 2007 at 18:42 #

    It’s the Spinal Tap joke – the amplifier that goes up to 11.
    Err, obviously not as funny as I thought!

  22. Michele Neylon September 20, 2007 at 18:46 #

    Chris – sorry 🙂 I haven’t seen that film in years!

  23. Ian September 20, 2007 at 19:19 #

    I’d go for:
    Sword, Axe, Fauchard (Lance)
    bye, Ian

  24. Rahood September 20, 2007 at 19:40 #

    Or nudge nudge wink wink
    Be the 1st Irish host as Gaeilge 😛
    (big ‘I’ not little ‘i’)

  25. Michele Neylon September 20, 2007 at 19:48 #

    Ian – a bit violent 🙂
    Rahood – I like the idea of maximus etc., The names as gaeilge are an excellent idea, but we’re trying to target a larger market, so I’d be afraid the names would cause confusion. Now if we were to do a version of our site as gaeilge that might work 🙂

  26. Anthony September 20, 2007 at 20:09 #

    How about:
    John O’Shea, Paul McGrath, Pelé

  27. Michele Neylon September 20, 2007 at 20:17 #

    Anthony – That might work if everyone was a sports fan 🙂

  28. James Larkin September 20, 2007 at 20:24 #

    My first thought was something along the lines of Workhorse … then I saw the first post of Alan O’Rourke 🙂
    Then I thought Toto ,the lion … Dorothy … or something along those lines …
    Small Fry … Catch of the Day … Big Fish … ?

  29. Michele September 20, 2007 at 21:23 #

    Why don’t you use nouns of drinks or famous wines. The concept of a modern wine shop or an old pub can even be used to get ideas for your online advertising.
    Something like:
    – Cider
    – Stout
    – Whisky
    It’s just a draft proposal but I think you get the idea…

  30. Michele September 20, 2007 at 21:24 #

    Why don’t you use nouns of drinks or famous wines. The concept of a modern wine shop or an old pub can even be used to get ideas for your online advertising.
    Something like:
    – Cider
    – Stout
    – Whisky
    It’s just a draft proposal but I think you get the idea…

  31. Rahood September 20, 2007 at 21:31 #

    It would be nice to see the site as Gaeilge but I would be the first to admit that there would is little demand and you would end up with Abi/babelfish translated emails from the odd smartars3.
    But with that said the whole exercise is a simple one and would/should/could warrant its own award category(or honorable mention) and at the very least I would view it as an excuse to email the TG4 weather girls with a press release 😉

  32. Michele Neylon September 21, 2007 at 00:48 #

    @James – Wizard of Oz could have some interesting undertones – I for one could see ways of abusing it!
    @Michele – Just because we’re Irish doesn’t make us all alcoholics 🙂 Though I do like the idea!
    @Rahood – If we started getting sales queries as gaeilge our Australian staff member would get rather confused!

  33. Robin Blandford September 21, 2007 at 09:20 #

    I always liked these names as they were themed.
    I think you should go with the Knight thing.

  34. Mike Gilbert September 21, 2007 at 10:27 #

    How about rivers, how big a source to the ‘net-sea’ will your server

  35. Alastair McDermott September 21, 2007 at 17:11 #


  36. David Cochrane September 22, 2007 at 20:18 #

    it would seem the most straightforward and easy-to-remember product name is one which holds a relevance to the product.
    So with hosting it would seem you would want to use numbers dictating the “diskspace, or the particular item that distinguishes the products apart.
    I’d not worry about the product name, and be concerned more about the promotion of the blacknight brand.
    Blacknight 50
    Blacknight 50 + asp
    Something like that the “+” could be like bolt-ons or something.
    Just a thought.
    “Blacknight + Domain” customer 😉

  37. Michele Neylon September 23, 2007 at 14:03 #

    @Robin – Nice. I don’t think I’d seen those before but it’s a nice idea
    @Mike – Interesting idea.
    @Alastair – I’m not sure how we’d spin Robocop…
    @David – Wouldn’t that be confusing for people?
    Thanks for all the feedback so far. We’ve got plenty of things to mull over

  38. Michele September 24, 2007 at 13:34 #

    Ciao Michele,
    why don’t you give us more details?
    For example, would you prefer to focus on:
    – Storage size?
    – Speed?
    – Price?
    – SLA?
    – any specific value?
    I think it would be easier to find pertinent ideas.
    Then you can draw a mind map:
    It’s much more useful than expected, believe me.
    For example you can use the concept of famous cities combining other values linked to the city like this:
    – (charming) Venice
    – (futuristic) Shangai
    – (cosmopolitan) NYC
    Michele (from Milan)

  39. Will September 25, 2007 at 00:59 #

    if the names can be random why not…
    Xiang Qi,
    All from the company name and logo
    the first 3 are versions of chess (Indian, Chinese and Japanese) and the latter three are types of chess piece sets.
    The advantage of this is that you can easily add a new plan if needed since no one clearly thrumps another
    You also could work with chess gambits and openings or with ELO chess ranking

  40. Lar October 1, 2007 at 10:54 #

    We face similar problems when trying to describe products or services for our clients.
    There’s always a tendency for internal jargon to creep out onto a public facing website.
    You could try a card-sorting exercise, there’s an online tool here:
    I’d go for something simple and descriptive
    personal, business, enterprise?

  41. Michele Neylon October 1, 2007 at 16:19 #

    Thanks for the link. I’ll go play with that.
    We were hoping to avoid terms like “enterprise” as they’re quite meaningless