Product naming is always a challenge, in fact naming anything. If you are a parent, you might remember at least one discussion about the right name for child before his/her birth, right? I mean I ended up with Kevren, Dijouri, Prescott and Hadrian. For each of the names except Prescott, geography was integrated as part of the process in naming, but Prescott was the product of letting my first two boys pick/suggest names and Dijouri provided Prescott as the name for his new brother. I guess you could say we outsourced boy #3’s name.
Georgraphy or at least the attributes of a community contributed to the recent naming of a baseball team, but it wasn’t outsourced – it was crowdsourced, sorta. The Sugar Land Skeeters came about based on a vote from the community/concerned/interested citizens who wanted to influence the name of the newest member of the Atlantic League. The the short list of names which Skeeters beat out included Lizard Kings and King Canes. I’ve not be able to confirm how the short list was developed, but it appears that at least one Jim Morrison fan was in the bunch which helped determine what names went to vote.
While I’m sure voting for names isn’t relevant for every product or situation, but engaging the community of buyers is a valid approach that uses market data. Not only is there the benefit of getting input from the market, it also increased buzz around the new team. I’m also fairly sure it’s better than having an internal contest to name your newest product you are launching to market.