It’s hard enough coming up with a name for just one product. But when you have a whole portfolio of products that need names, there’s a lot more to think about. How will those names look and sound together? Will they feel like they go together? Will they compete with one another? And if there is a masterbrand, will the product brands support it, or compete with it?
Fitbit has taken a neat approach to naming the products in their portfolio. As they’re surely aware, Fitbit is a powerful masterbrand, and most people simply call their gadget of choice “a Fitbit,” regardless of which particular product they have. So, product names here primarily serve the purpose of differentiating the products from one another at the point of purchase, rather than building a strong sub-brand.
Accordingly, Fitbit product names aren’t super interesting. Their tracker names include Zip, One, Flex, Charge, Alta, Blaze, and Surge. They’re not bad names, but none of them says anything unique about the tracker they stand for versus the other trackers in the portfolio; they’re almost completely interchangeable. They also have a smart scale called Aria, which could function just as well as a tracker name.
What works well in Fitbit’s naming portfolio isn’t the individual names: it’s how they work together. Take a look at all of those names again. They’re all very short and simple. They’re almost all real words (I’m glaring at you, Alta, but you’re pretty straightforward for a coined name). They share an optimistic tone that aligns well with the brand. Ultimately, they hang together quite nicely and don’t compete with one another. Sure, names like Zip, Charge, and Surge may not be super memorable, but because they’re not, the Fitbit name remains the star.
Is this a unique approach? Nope. There are plenty of other brands doing something similar. And it certainly isn’t the answer to every product portfolio. Some brands may function better with ultra descriptive names across their portfolio, or with more memorable names, or even with alphanumerics. But Fitbit’s approach works well for them, and that’s what matters.