It’s easy to come up with a hundred names for your product, but how do you pick the right one? Most naming guides attribute the decision making process to instinct or a loose framework. However a key component tends to be missing from the process — user or customer validation.
While there’s no silver bullet, this is a process my team and I tried and liked. This is a breakdown of how to pick a name that aligns with your brand values and how your users think.
Wait, what do you mean “easy to come up with a hundred names”?
Names can be broken down into different categories. To start, I would follow a naming guide and generate 10–20 names in each category that align with what you want your users to do, think and feel with your product.
At this point, reflect individually or with your team. Most likely, you’ll be able to vote on and surface 5–10 names that resonate internally. Perhaps you’ve done a competitive analysis and noticed that most companies in your domain use arbitrary trademarks. Or perhaps most of these names sound too much like “penis” (don’t pretend that’s never happened).
With these 5–10, non-vulgar-sounding names, it’s time to visit your company’s brand traits.
Look to others to define yourself
I find it helpful to define your brand’s traits through 5–10 key words. These key words should describe how you’d like your audience to perceive your company, and they shouldn’t be inherently good or evil.
There are certainly imperfections to this process. A survey with a relatively small sample size is not scientifically accurate. I see this as a way to help prevent indecision and back-and-forth, as well as clarify which names are and aren’t probably a good idea. If this post speaks to you, try it out and let me know how it goes.