Whitepaper: Portfolio Naming Strategy

Learn from us

Sign up to receive monthly insights right to your inbox
Get on this list

As companies expand through innovation, acquisitions, and mergers, they often find themselves grappling with a robust collection of product names, some old, some new, and some acquired. This complexity not only burdens internal teams, hindering effective brand management, marketing, and sales efforts but also confuses customers. Plus, a pattern of long-term excessive and inconsistent naming practices within an organization can incur unnecessary costs and impede cross-selling opportunities.

Northbound’s Portfolio Naming Whitepaper is a resource for growing companies who are looking to assess and organize names within a complex product portfolio to enhance clarity, efficiency, and ultimately increase revenue.

The Portfolio Naming Whitepaper outlines a structured approach to tackling the challenges that come from the proliferation of portfolio naming. We discuss why developing a naming architecture that aligns with a company's brand identity and messaging lays the foundation for success. While brand architecture focuses on the strategic organization of brands within a portfolio, naming architecture specifically addresses product, service, and sub-brand names. By establishing guidelines and rules for naming, companies can achieve consistency, coherence, and meaningfulness in their naming conventions.

A clear naming architecture clarifies and differentiates a company's offerings, strengthening its competitive position, and enhancing its customer experiences. We demonstrate this with provided examples of how well-designed naming architectures for some of today’s biggest companies streamline marketing efforts, lower management costs, and support business growth initiatives.

Also covered is the importance of considering different altitudes within a portfolio when naming products, services, capabilities, and features. When to use descriptive names versus ownable trademarked names is dependent as to where they sit within the portfolio.

We introduce the concept of categorizing offerings within a portfolio based on three roles for an offering in the business. These aren't roles for the name, but roles the offerings play for the business. And for portfolio managers, we’ve included an exercise to categorize products and services, considering factors such as market trends, customer preferences, and competitive positioning.

Finally, generating a naming criteria based on the roles certain offerings fulfill within the portfolio encourages company stakeholders to ask strategic questions about their business objectives, target audience, competitive landscape, and marketing resources before determining naming strategies.

If you’re in need of a strategic and practical approach to naming for a complex product portfolio to better emphasize clarity, coherence, and alignment with broader business goals, download the Northbound Portfolio Naming Whitepaper to learn how.

Explore more resources

We solve business challenges with brand.