- Product name registration is the process of determining a name for a product, as well as business name registration and domain name registration.
- It is conceptually similar to the process of naming a business or organisation. Product name registration is a crucial part of the process of branding, which also involves all of the marketing strategies that relate to the product image, like the logo design and positioning, and the product itself.
- For product name registration, you must apply both your creative and linguistic skills: your brand name should be unique, identifiable, and will ultimately become your product’s shorthand.
The product name registration process can be lengthy. There are a number of key steps to creating a product name, including:
- Identifying the objectives of your branding
- Developing your product name
- Assessing potential names with market testing and focus groups
- Deciding on a product name
- Protecting your product name with trademark registration
The Principles of Product Name Registration
Your business’s intellectual property could be more valuable to you than all of your physical assets combined. One of the key ingredients to building a successful business is the selection of its title. Good product names tend to have several elements in common.
- They cleverly identify the product from its marketplace competitors by distinguishing its unique attributes
- They capture the appeal of the product’s target market
- The imply the brand’s advantage over the competition
- They are eligible for legal protection through trademark registration
- They permit businesses to connect with consumers to create a loyal following
- They imply a symbolic association that strengthens the goodwill of a business or a product with consumers
- They aid consumers in their motivation to purchase the product
Types of Product Names
Successful brand names tend to fall into a number of different categories.
- Acronyms: Words formed by the initials of a product name – Example: IBM – International Business Machines Corporation
- Amalgams: Names made by meshing different parts of words to create a single word – Example: Nabisco – National Biscuit Company
- Alliteration/Rhyme: These names are particularly memorable – Example: Youtube
- Appropriation: Take the name of one thing and apply it to something unrelated – Example: Apple electronics
- Description: Names that describe a characteristic of the brand – Example: Toys R Us
- Clever Statement: A product name can be more than a word or two: it can be a catchy statement, so long as this statement alludes to the product – Example: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!
- Evocative: A product name that invokes rich imagery that infers brand benefit – Example: Amazon
- Founder’s Names: The use of the names of the business founders – Example: Van Houten Law
- Geography: Names associated with the brand/business location – Example: eBay comes from ‘East Bay’
- Humour/Slang: Lends personality to a product name – Example: Yahoo!
- Ingredients: Product name is based on product contents – Example: Pepsi contains the enzyme pepsin
- Merged Names: When two companies combine, sometimes they combine their names – Example: Cadbury Schweppes
- Mimetics: Using alternative spellings for common sounds – Example: Krispy Kreme
- Nicknames: Use a founder’s nickname or abbreviation – Example: Adidas for Adolf Dassler
- Neologism: Make up a word as a brand name – Example: Kodak
- Onomatopoeia: A sound that refers to product function or brand ideas – Example: Twitter
- Personification: Use a name to create a character – Example: Midas Mufflers
- Portmanteau: Product name combines a number or words and definitions, into a new, made up word – Example: Pinterest
The best registered brand names are those that are the most unique and memorable in the minds of consumers. When you are designing a product name for registration, you should be aware of the names of similar products by competitors, and aim to avoid similar titles. The product name registration of your own product name is essential to the success of your business.
Protecting Your Product Name with Trademark Registration
When you are designing product name registration, it is important that you consider its eligibility for trademark registration. You can establish your product name as a trademark in various ways:
- In Australia, you can establish your product name as a trademark without formally registering it through the use of the ™ symbol. You cannot, however, take legal action against infringers without formal registration.
- You can formally register your product name with IP Australia to gain the right to use your product name exclusively within the country. Trademark registration lasts for 10 years and then can continue indefinitely with timely renewals.
- You can also file an application for international trademark registration via the Madrid System.
Once your trademark has been registered, you must continue to protect your rights to that mark through the use of it in branding, marketing, advertising, packaging, and all other business activities. Your rights to your mark can diminish over time if you do not actively use your mark in your business activities.
You should also decide whether or not you want to own your product name within the digital realm, as well as the physical. You can register your company and product names as domain names to protect your company on the internet. Due to the widespread use of the internet and social media, trademark registration is only the first step in protecting your product name.
Protecting and registering your product name can be a complex process. We can offer you the service of filing your trademark application. We can also conduct a number of cursory and comprehensive searches of Australian and International trademark databases to ensure that your mark is uniquely identifiable within your market
Quick Off the Mark® is a division of Mark My Words Trademark Services Pty Ltd (MMW). MMW was founded in 2011 and is headed by Jacqui Pryor, a registered trade marks attorney with more than 16 years experience.
In 2015 MMW acquired Quick Off the Mark®, which is a fast and affordable Australian trademark registration service. Quick Off the Mark® offers fixed fees that are affordable to help Australian businesses register their trademarks.
Disclaimer – The advice provided in this blog is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your business objectives, legal situation or needs. Before acting on this advice you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, legal situation and needs.