Product Naming — The Art of Choosing a Name

Ever wonder how companies go about product naming or naming themselves?

The Vistage online community is called “Vistage Village.” Nice product naming, I like it. There is a place where you can see a list of members both existing and new. It’s called “Vistage Village People.” As I clicked on the icon I half-expected to be treated to a chorus of “YMCA,” but was disappointed. I think Vistage is missing a great opportunity.

So, as a naming specialist I have to wonder how this product name came about — curious as I am.  I have visions of a bunch of 50-somethings (Boomers) sitting in a conference room with a six pack of Heineken and someone blurting out, “I know, let’s call it “People.”  It will be the Vistage Village People and we can create an icon with a group of “people” each wearing a unique hat. One hat could be a police cap, one could be a hardhat, and the other could be an Indian chief headdress! Far out!”

THIS is how great product naming comes to be…..in case you wanted to know how it is done.

But, alas, the truth is more likely to be that some Millennials came up with the name and thought it was a great fit because it makes sense. And, it does. Then, they probably ran it by some Boomers who smiled and said, “Village People? Really?” They then had to explain to the youthful set who the Village People were. After looking at the blank stares reflected back, the Boomers gently suggested a slight modification to the name might be appropriate.  Thus, “Vistage Village: People” was born — and it was good.

If you are a Vistage member I invite you to visit Vistage Village: People. There is a wealth of information about Vistage members. But, alas, don’t expect to see profiles of your favorite police officer, Indian chief, cowboy, biker, construction worker, or GI. Nor are there embedded sounds files to entertain you, with selections such as Macho Man or In The Navy.  For that you will have to get your Village People fix here: http://www.youtube.com/user/villagepeople.

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2 Responses

  1. I get paid for names–VISTAGE contains the word AGE! No no no. Vista..A view of age…? Age, age…
    This is why people pay for names–I hate this one. And I didn’t even get to the People part. Or the tacko connotation of the Village People–and the fact that only old and mostly gay people would even remember them. And this place is not a Village.

    I need a nap.

  2. Actually, the name came from a combination of “vista” – a view of – and an abbreviation of the word “advantage” – it is meant to connote looking off to the future, and seeing the advantages that being in Vistage brings you. (I work here). It used to be TEC, which stood for “The Executive Committee” … I think Vistage is a big improvement, although maybe not perfiect! 🙂

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