We at Medgadget have been fascinated by some of the names that marketers have come up with for medical products. The names have to be zippy, memorable (but in a good way), can’t make false claims, and can’t be too similar to existing products. Beyond that, according to the San Diego Business Journal, it’s all inspiration and focus groups:
“The Nuancing Group was instrumental in assisting us with the final name, but the (attorneys) looked 10 times deeper at potential conflicts,” Raser noted.
Silenor came out the winner, in part because doctors attributed the name to “peaceful sleep” and “silence,” which are great characteristics for a drug aiming to help patients sleep, he said.
Elizabeth Goodgold, owner of the Nuancing Group, agreed.
“The essence of naming a great product is to attribute a name that’s easy to say, easy to spell, and reflects the personality and the target,” Goodgold said.
A Somaxon employee created the Silenor name, Raser said.
Goodgold, whose client list spans across various industries, said balancing FDA guidelines with the ideas of pharmaceutical clients can be tricky when naming drugs.
“Drugs work differently in each individual, you can’t make any promises,” Goodgold said. “We couldn’t say Somaxon’s drug is called ‘Sleep Now.’ That would be a promised benefit.”
(We wondered if her name conjured positive connotations among clients, but Goodgold could not be reached for comment.)
Compared to drugs, devices are a different beast — they’re more tangible than medications, but potentially more menacing… For instance, we’d bet that patients confident in an Effexor pill would balk at having a device named Effexor implanted under their skin.
More at MessagingLabs, which posts a weekly review of the device names featured at Medgadget.