Don’t Give Your Products
A BAD NAME
BY JAKE HANCOCK
NAMES MATTER! Few question the vital role names play in defining brands. But banks sometimes forget about the importance of giving the correct names
to products or services. Names create first impressions and are far more permanent than any ad
copy or promotional offer. And beyond describing
a company’s offerings, names shape expectations
of the surrounding brand experience.
When naming new products or services, banks have their work cut out for them.
The category has extremely limited vocabulary to define concepts that are complicated (if not boring) to the average retail customer. There are not many synonyms
for “checking account” or “online banking,” and—given that teaching customers new
language for these concepts is not automatic—most banks are content to stick with
the tried and true.
The result: an industry pandemic of well-worn words, where products are rarely
differentiated and names are rarely engaging. That ubiquitous sameness is a big
oversight for most bank brands, and it has long represented a golden opportunity
for innovators to differentiate themselves through the names they use to introduce