A competitive analysis is an essential first step of any company or product naming process. How are your competitors positioning themselves? What types of names are common among them? Are their names projecting a similar attitude? Do their similarities offer you a huge opportunity to stand out from the crowd? How does your business or product differ from the competition? How can a name help you define or redefine your brand? Can you change and own the conversation in your industry? Should you?
Quantifying the tone and strength of competitive company names or product names is an empowering foundation for any naming project. Creating such a document helps your naming team decide where they need to go with the positioning, branding and naming of your company or product. It also keeps the naming process focused on creating a name that is a powerful marketing asset, one that works overtime for your brand and against your competitors.
We display the results of a given sector of names in the form of taxonomy charts. Here are some example name taxonomy charts, along with a blank one for your own use. This format is also utilized at Igor to examine taglines and language common to an industry.
Accounting and Business Services Name Taxonomy – As usual, and as you might expect, most of the companies on this list have lower-level functional names. Included is the name Vanilla, which Igor created.
Airline Name Taxonomy – Some major airline names classified by category and by level of engagement.
Biotech / Pharmaceutical Name Taxonomy – This is an extensive taxonomy of company names in the biotech / pharmaceutical industries, classified by category and by level of engagement. On this chart, note that nearly all of the company names are heavily clustered in the lower levels of engagement.
The Company Names of Naming Companies Name Taxonomy – If you think that's a mouthful, take a look at this chart of the company names that most of our competitors in the naming and branding space choose for themselves.
Computer Port Technology Name Taxonomy – This chart compares the names of computer peripheral device ports and the devices that love them.
Continuing Medical Education (CME) Name Taxonomy – Nearly all CME companies have names that are identical.
Juice Name Taxonomy – If you're looking for a juicy name taxonomy, you've come to the right page. Here is our competitive analysis name taxonomy of juice brand names. Fresh squeezed, and all the usual metaphors.
Margarine Name Taxonomy – If you thought that margarines -- aka "butter substitutes" -- existed in a parallel universe, you were right! Here is our competitive analysis name taxonomy of margarine brand names. Eat your heart out.
Music and Media Download Service Names Taxonomy – AKA the iTunes space, but here including movie as well as music download services, plus tangential services such as NetFlix and TiVO that offer different combinations of online, offline, broadband, cable or satellite delivery of multimedia content.
Search Engine, Browser and Web Portal Names Taxonomy – Here are some names you may be familiar with in the Internet industry. Note how many search engines went with Functional names that include the words "search" or "crawler."
Social Networks Name Taxonomy – Social networks have existed on the web for some time in the form of discussion groups, online communities, bulletin boards, webrings and matchmaking services. This chart is confined to rating the names of the new breed of social networks, those that leverage many levels of relationships in the form of "a friend of a friend." Included is the name Tickle, which Igor created.
Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) Names Taxonomy – This chart compares the (mostly) rough-and-tumble names of the behemoth cars many people either love or hate. Note the prevalence of Western themes, both of the American and Spaghetti varieties.
Sweet Snack Food Names Taxonomy – The names of snack foods are tough to rank in an unbiased way. Our perceptions of snack food names are deeply influenced by emotional connections to the products formed at an early age.
Toothpaste Names Taxonomy – When you Reach for those Pearl Drops to give your mouth an Ultra Bright Super Smile, is your Sure Choice based solely on what will make you the most attractive Close-Up, or is it Ultrabright branding that's taking Aim at you as if yours were the First Teeth to Crest the tide of Oral-B(eauty)?
Your Name Taxonomy – Here is a blank name taxonomy chart you can print. Try plotting your competition's product or company names on this chart and see how they sort out.