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strategy for naming your products & scents


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I've been thinking alot abut the names of what my products & scents will be and I was wondering your opinions.

There are two ways to go IMO....

1. being very clear about the scent or the product so that customers don't have to guess. ie.. Lavendar & citrus is called just that. And a whipped lotion is simply called a whipped lotion.


2. being very FUN and creative about it kind of like how Lush (are we allowed to say that word? :o ) ie... calling a lavendar scent something like "dreamtime" or a thick lotion called a "souffle" or something of the like.

I'd like to be fun and creative about it but I'm wondering if more people are tempted to just walk away at a craft show thinking "I dunno what the heck that stuff is" or especially selling onlne that people won't be seeing or smelling the product and will be too scared to try it not sure what it is or smells like.:confused:

hmmm. Even though I think I know what direction I'm going in, I'm very Interested in your opinions.

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If it helps any, I have at least 2 or 3 people each week in the store make the comment "Your candles smell exactly like what the name says they are." My customers appreciate the fact that I'm pretty plain Jane when it comes to naming, they don't have to open everything to see what the heck it really is. That actually helps me two fold - I don't have to rack my blonde brain trying to be creative in yet another way, and they don't have to go behind every customer in the store because they've opened every jar & bottle. More times than not, they only pick up the ones that interest them & they recognize, and usually they'll hold onto it and purchase.

As to product naming itself, I'm pretty plain there too. I call my butters butters, my cream cream, my heavy creams whipped souffle, bath bombs, bath tonic etc. I do use descriptive wording on the label - Super hydrating, Intense etc.

That said, I do love some of the creative names companies come up with.

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I bet I had 50 people this weekend say, "Dryer Lint"? Oh, it does smell like the dryer or Bounce or Snuggle. Amazing that just the name made people pick it up and smell it, then play "guess what it smells like".

Oh, it's Clean Cotton, by the way. :D

I like the fun creative names.

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  • 4 years later...

I like being creative too! If I see "plain Jane" names I am less likely to smell it cause I feel like I've seen it before. I am always looking for new and interesting candle names or even the scent themselves but that's just me. I think whatever works in your area is what you should do.

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Personally I have mine just say what they actually are. You can get as creative as you want though and I do think that is a lot fun and great way to distinguish yourself. Take a look at Paddywax candles. Look at their "library" collection where they name there candles after literary greats. Same kind of concept you're probably thinking of and I do think it really adds a fun twist.

I may have to start doing something similar since it just seems fun to do. :)

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Without even going past the OP's original post here is our thoughts.

While doing the "standard" types of scents and keeping the names in line you will get the "traditionalist" candle lovers out there that will just "know" that's their scent. But on the other hand you will also "blend" yourself into the other 1,000,000 candle companies out there too.

By being creative and "different" in your names, scents, marketing, labels, containers, etc you will set yourself apart from all the other guys out there....now in this day and age there are not to many things that haven't been done but its a heck of a lot funner trying to be YOU then being THEM =)

We do a pretty good mix of both for our product lines. We keep the staples as their own and then branch out and do the "odd, different" scents too. If I only had a dollar everytime someone asked us what a Monkey Fart smelled like or Frog's Breath...We wouldn't need to be candle making like crazy =)

I think being different is a great thing just for the fact that it sparks a rapport, you get to talk to your customers and inform them of your products and why they are better then the next guy/girl. And the laughs you will have when you tell them you have a candle they just HAVE to smell and they say "what is it" and you say "BITE ME" = priceless =)

HTH and best of luck =) Now to go see what others have said to this =)

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I went the "say what it is" route the first year I was in business.

After that, I went nuts and named everything weird and that is when my business broke out. Not sure if it is all because of that, but I think it helped.

Funny you said that =) We were just talking about switching a ton of names around and getting even MORE creative with them =) Now all I need is a nice bottle of wine and some good music and let the fun begin =) weeeeeeeeee! *super banana*

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  • 2 years later...

I agree with commenters on both sides of the discussion here. On the one hand, having a product name that is straight forward and smells very close to the name will help with customers understanding what they are getting.

On the other side, creative names spur interest and curiosity, and also sets your candle apart from others.

I would try and leverage both arguments here, creative yet direct (if that even makes sense).

For instance, for my candles, we have the scent name (e.g. Merlot) be very direct which helps the customer know what the candle will smell like. We add some creativity when we name our glass color for the candles (e.g. our blue candle is called 'High Tide Blue', and our green candle is called, 'Sea Grass Green').

Its fun to add creativity to areas that can help develop your particular brand, but does not confuse the customer. My little business is called 'Wicked Wine Candles'. This name can have multiple meanings...

  • Wicked - we are from Massachusetts, next to Salem. The word wicked is local slang for 'really' (e.g. that candle is wicked awesome).
  • Wicked - we use timber wood wicks in our candle

If you are interested, you can check out my site here, wickedwinecandles.com I always appreciate feedback on my brand and candles!


Thank you!

Edited by TallTayl
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