Rules for race horse names are rules for your product names

On the eve of the second leg of the Triple Crown, NBC Sports recently ran a little video explaining the rules associated with naming race horses. Turns out that the American Stud Book, Principal Rules and Procedures actually lays out some specific rules to do with the naming of those racing horses. These include:

  • Cannot be more than 18 characters long
  • Cannot end with horse, filly, mare, stallion, etc
  • Numbers over 30 must be spelled out
  • Can be the name of a living person but only with written consent
  • May not be vulgar or obscene
  • Cannot be designed to humiliate any individual
  • Cannot be named after any previous triple crown winner

RaceHorseIn my family there have been lots of relatives that  wager on the ponies, but it will never be my diversion. However, as a naming nut I have often been fascinated by horse names, for one other reason:  They all have to be unique.  After all, you can’t bet or race two horses with the same name as no one would know which is which.

So why do so many execs not take extreme care to make sure the name for their product line is not very unique?  Because they thought up the “perfect” name?  Because they simply like that name? Because they are different (or indifferent) to the competition? Or are they just naive or lazy?

Remember, you are naming the product, not describing it. And if you are not very creative with words, simply pick up the latest horse racing form guide and you will have a plethora of new ideas to work from – and have some fun doing it too.


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Posted in Branding, Consumer Goods, Industrial Products Naming, Naming Education, Sports Naming, Technology Names, Trademarks