How do you create a cohesive naming system that can accommodate 130 product launches a year? That can span from $4 computer mice to $500 music systems and still feel like a master brand? That could accommodate the constant improvement of technology, but didn’t lose the story of the category? That engineers could get behind and that had room for the big marketing pushes that consumers needed to fall in love with?
Armed with some research, some insight into the road maps and a (way too deep) understanding of everything the company was asking of its names (including a trip to their factory in China), I created a detailed system of nomenclature that simplified numbering across categories, built criteria for evocative names within the system (and the rules around when numbers had to appear and could be left off), demonstrated how the names would work in each touchpoint and created guidelines and a wiki to allow company-wide visibility of the names in use.
While numbers aren’t always the solution, this combination of clear and descriptive naming, supported by tiering numbers with the flexibility for evocative names that could fit seamlessly into the system has been a success in helping customers and sales teams clearly understand the line up – and speeding time to market on the products they create.