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Mastering the Branding Game: How B2B Startups Can Perfectly Name Their New Products


Imagine the pulsating energy at the launch of a new product — a moment that could redefine the B2B tech scene. Just as Cisco wasn’t named “Tech-Router Pros,” branding demands more than a descriptive title — it’s about resonating with the right audience.


tldr summary


1. Understanding Product Branding for Startups

Definition and Relevance
We all know Salesforce. It’s more than software; it’s a promise to aid sales. Branding encapsulates the ethos, persona, and vision of a company into a memorable, relatable entity. They further cemented their branding at IPO, harnessing CRM as the ticker.

Shaping Market Presence
In the crowded B2B space, unique branding can be the difference between getting lost in the crowd and standing out like Slack amidst a myriad of communication platforms.


2. The Consumerization of The Enterprise 

As B2B startups venture into spaces once dominated by traditional B2B practices, the lines between B2B and direct-to-consumer (D2C) branding have blurred.

Branding in The B2B Individual’s Era
Today, with business units and individuals flexing purchasing power, B2B startups are rethinking their strategies. Brands like Apple and Coca-Cola have mastered the art of individual appeal, with product identities that echo in households. B2B brands can imbibe these lessons, creating products that resonate not just with businesses but with the individuals within them.

Learning From D2C Titans
The likes of Budweiser, Yeti, and Kleenex have created identities bigger than the products they represent. The consistency of Bass Pro Shops, from store design to product naming, offers lessons on comprehensive branding for target audiences with extreme bias. It’s more than just a product; it’s an experience, a sentiment, a legacy.


3. Nine Best Practices for Naming Your Next Big Product:

1- Consistency is Key: Think IBM’s Watson — a name that resonates with intelligence and fits seamlessly with IBM’s brand narrative.

2- Descriptive Names: Like Microsoft’s SharePoint, let your name give a glimpse of its function.

3- Avoid Confusion: Ensure you don’t sound like another Slack or Trello in the market.

4- Keep it Short and Memorable: There’s a reason we remember names like Zoom or Slack quickly.

5- Scalability in Naming: Just like tech debt, branding debt is a thing. You want a name that can scale with your product lines and market penetration. Dropbox began with file sharing, but the name accommodates its growth into a collaborative workspace.

6- Trademark Checks and Domain Availability: Critical steps to ensure your brand’s digital identity remains unique. Avoid the embarrassment Oracle faced when it had to rename its “Java EE” after issues with rights. Don’t get caught like when Dropbox initially didn’t own ‘Dropbox.com’ and had to use ‘getdropbox.com’.

7- Cultural Considerations: Dive deep into cultural nuances. Brands like Microsoft were faced with challenges with Bing in Chinese markets. Bing translates to Illness and therefore the brand was renamed to bì yìng in China, which means very certain to respond in Chinese and thusly underlines the importance of cultural research.

8- Feedback, Positioning, and Market Testing: Take cues from giants like Cisco, Adobe & Doritos that often run beta tests or contests and get ample feedback before finalizing product names.

9- Avoiding the Trend Trap: While “AI”, and ESG are all the rage, ensure you aren’t binding your product to transient trends.


4. The Role of Keywords in Branding

SEO Brilliance
Splunk excels in big data but imagine if it was buried on the 10th page of your search results.

Keyword Research Artistry
Dive deep, understand B2B pain points, and tailor-fit keywords like how Trello emphasizes ‘collaboration’ and ‘workflow’.


Estes Media Blog Branding Startups



The bridge between a startup’s innovation and the market’s recognition often lies in its branding. As B2B startups set sail on this branding journey, remember, it’s not just about launching a product — it’s about launching a legacy. May your branding journey be as strategic as it is creative, and may your product names echo in boardrooms across the world. Our team at Estes Media use in-depth research expertise to develop bespoke marketing strategies for our clients, helping them to grow smarter and get a return on their investment. Get in touch with us today for an honest chat about your organization’s marketing.


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