Ask people what the most important factor is in the success of any company or product and you will have a full scale debate on your hands. I personally have yet to be convinced too strongly one way or another, and am more apt to think it’s a combination of many factors including luck, timing, design, and marketing/promotion.

But what about the product name?

David Placek, founder of Lexicon, would have you believe that it’s the most important factor of all. Lexicon is a naming and branding firm based in California that works with companies in the naming phase of a product launch. Large corporations, from Research in Motion to Levi’s, who believe that a strong name can make or break a product, pay for the help of Placek’s team of experts.

This recent story about Lexicon’s services in the New Yorker offers some great insights into the business of naming our products, and how it has changed over time. Far more effort goes into finding a great product name than one might expect. But it takes little more than a CEO having to apologize for a name as stupid as Qwikster to figure out why the business of naming is an important one.

I want to know what you think. Is the single most important factor in a product’s success its name? If not, what is?