Harvard Research: How to Brand a Next-Generation Product

One of my professors at Harvard Business School just published some new research about naming your next-generation product (or service!).  These findings are just as useful for small companies as they are for big ones!

When you revamp your product or service, is it better to keep the same name and call it “new and improved”–or should you come up with a new name or version number?  Should you offer “the new iPad” or “the iPad 3”?

Key findings:

[fancy_list style=”star_list” variation=”blue”]

  • Experimental research showed that each naming approach affects customer expectations. With a name change, research participants expected features that were distinctly different or new. With a name continuation, they just expected improved performance on existing features.
  • Companies must assess risk versus reward when branding a product upgrade, weighing the excitement generated by a new name against the danger of scaring away customers who worry that new features pose the threat of new glitches and a steep learning curve.


If you want to read the full research report, click here.

What do you think?  What has been (or will be) your strategy for naming next-gen products/services?  Let me know in the reply section below!

Receive free Bite Size Business Tips from Evan every month: click here.