Some thoughts about product naming

03Feb10

After reading a few articles that covered the latest cell phone products, I started thinking about the many questions that arise when you’re faced with naming a product or a series of products. For instance:

– If your current model numbers go something like 8000, 8500, 9000 and so on, do you move on to 10000 after that? How many customers will read it wrong and think it’s the 1000 series, which would presumably be a lower-end offering?
– Is the whole Silver, Gold, Platinum thing a bit overused? Are there better ways to denote different feature sets or service levels?
– If you call one model the Pro or Enterprise version, will people think less of the non-Pro model?

Clearly, there’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. The best approach will vary based on the type of product, how customers perceive the product variations, and other factors. The point here is to think twice before adopting a so-called industry-standard naming convention for your own products. Otherwise, you may be painting yourself into a corner by running out of model numbers, or unwittingly encouraging customers to make assumptions about your products that end up hampering sales.



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