Naming Consumer Products: Silk, A Category Killer
Soy Joy: When naming consumer products, few companies get it just right. Silk, a product brand name for soy milk from the folks at White Wave, is a category killer, meaning that competitors will never be able to find a name that is more effective. Silk is a contraction of Soy + Milk and plays into the positive characteristics of high quality, smooth, pleasurable, and sensual. They've taken an existing word and all of its inherent cultural and experiential qualities and transposed it to an entirely new context.
While names typically fall into one of four categories, Silk manages to straddle three of them: Descriptive, Experiential and Evocative.
Cheerios is one of the best cereal product naming results of all time and follows the same strategy. The name is descriptive, yet has the secondary meaning of a happy greeting. Both names work on multiple levels in the consumer's mind, and are therefore very engaging and tough to beat.