Food naming – getting it right is essential for success

Some humour for a Friday, but also an opportunity to highlight the importance of creating the right name for your food product. For many budding food manufacturers, and even established firms, naming a new  product can be one of the hardest parts of the launch.

Food naming, like food packaging, needs to do multiple jobs at the same time and is essential for your food product to succeed on shelf. Ask yourself:

Am I being as clear as possible?

Does the name tell the consumer what the product is? Don’t be too clever, you’ve got a second to get a shopper’s attention in an intensely competitive environment. The second you’re making people think too hard is the second you’ve lost a potential sale.

Am I telling people how to use my product?

Does the name suggest usage occasions? “Snack”, “Sidekick”, “breakfast” are all words that suggest a specific usage, making the consumer’s life easier. When, where and how do you want your product to be consumed?

Am I aware of cultural differences?

Does the name work across cultures? This is especially important if you’re selling in a multi-cultural environment like Canada or the US.

Am I only talking to myself?

How does the name perform in research? Does it express what we think it expresses, or are we sitting in an ivory tower?

Am I being true to my brand?

Finally, the name of your product needs to be a reflection of your brand essence. What is it that your product really stands for? What are your values and how are these expressed?

When food naming goes wrong

Take a look at these examples, where any meaning the original names might have had got lost in translation.

food  humour

food fun

food  fails

food naming fails

food naming fails

food naming fails

food naming fails

food naming fails



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