In the last blog post, I shared my 3 effective steps to a defendable name. Now that you have some guidelines and tools for the more technical part of the naming process, I would like to share my view related to the creative part of coming up with a decent name.
Let me start with some basic guidelines you might want to follow. The name should:
- be something you really like (for sometimes hard to explain reasons)
- be easy to spell (for somebody who has heard it for the first time)
- be easy to memorize (so that the person can still recall the name after say a five minutes discussion)
- have no negative associations (actually Wii is a bad sample although quite successful. “No, I actually just came from the bath room.”)
- have the right associations (Instagram must have something to do with instant, right? Gram could be short for telegram, isn’t it?)
- be acquirable and affordable (that was exactly the topic of the last post: 3 effective steps to a defendable name – just the option of buying something available was not really touched)
- have decent logo potential (think about how the letters could be used to be part of a logo)
- pass user and/or friends tests (what do they think about it?)
The advanced guideline is pretty simple:
- don’t make a science out of it (a name is important but not the ultimate ingredient for your product/service/business success – run your iterations on the naming but make sure you are not spending more time on naming than on actually validating some of your riskiest assumptions)
You don’t believe me? Think about “Amazon”, “Wii”, “Kindle” and even the “iPad” (full story here) – none of these are perfect if you think about the rules above. Yet very successful. So make up your mind but follow the 80/20 rule.
Finally, I can really recommend the following creative tool that I came across just recently by hazard: Wordroid. The short pitch of their service pretty much makes the value proposition clear: “Wordoids are made-up words. They look nice and feel great. They are good for naming things.”.
Image source: tim rich and lesley katon