Product Name Evaluation (also called Linguistic Screening of Product Names) is a process by which a name of a product or service or a tagline is tested for use in foreign markets. And there’s more to it than you might think! Of course there are the obvious red flags that anyone would want to avoid: curse words or anything else that would be inappropriate. But what about ease of pronunciation, good associations or ambiguity? These considerations can help you build a stronger brand in international markets. Instead of simply avoiding “bad” words, why not have the option to choose a word that’s memorable in a good way? This is where linguistic screening comes in. Typically, there are two processes that can be chosen for product name evaluation.
The first is a Gut level check. This process involves typically many names being narrowed down to a list of a few candidates. If you have a relatively long list of name or tagline ideas, this is where you will likely want to start. The Gut level check identifies those red flags mentioned earlier and takes any nonviable choices out of the running. It can also help you get a sense for which of your options are the best across varied markets.
The other is a Deep dive into Product Name Evaluation or Linguistic Screening. Through this process, additional aspects of a name are tested usually by two or more linguists. You get a more comprehensive rating based on some of the considerations mentioned earlier like pronunciation (will it be easy to pronounce and seem like a natural fit in the target language, or will pronunciation be ambiguous, awkward or impossible?) and associations (positive and negative – does this word remind you of a popular public figure or does it sound like the slang word for vomit in the target market?).
The infographic below is a quick overview of these two options and the basic elements that we test. For a more in-depth view of the linguistic screening process, head over to our Linguistic Screening services page.