Naming the Product First

by Mitch Ditkoff

Naming the Product FirstConventional wisdom has it that the best time to name a new product is after you create it. Unconventional wisdom has it the other way around: first you give your product a name, then you create it.

With this approach, the name — instead of being the description of your creation — becomes the catalyst for its existence.

The key is to come up with a compelling name — one that intrigues, delights, and has embedded within it the kind of multiple meanings that stimulate you enough to decode them.

Let’s use the topic of my book — creativity — as an example. If I was looking to invent new products to hawk in the back of the book, but had no clue what they were, I might start by generating some creativity-themed names — and then work backwards.

CreativiTeas: Exotic teas that boost brainpower.

CreativiTees: T-shirts featuring photos of creative geniuses on the front and their inspiring quotes on the back.

CreativiTease: A strip poker card game in which players match famous quotes on creativity with the people who said them.

Invent some products that are sparked by these names:

  • Shower Power?
  • Chakra Chip Cookies?
  • Cheeses of Nazareth?
  • Sing Kong?


  1. Make up a compelling name for something — even if you don’t know what that “something” is. HINT: Humor, double entendre, and spelling variations are good catalysts.
  2. Now that you have a compelling name for an imaginary product, brainstorm what this something might be.

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Mitch DitkoffMitch Ditkoff is the Co-Founder and President of Idea Champions and the author of “Awake at the Wheel”, as well as the very popular Heart of Innovation blog.

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