How to Name New Product, Website, or Service

The new year is off to a great start and I wanted to share my thoughts on a simple but very important topic – Naming.

I know there are tons of topics out there on naming a new product, service, or company. Even so, I wanted to share how we do it. So far its worked well and made it easy to start creating value in our brands from day one.

  1. Use easy to understand words
  2. Use real words (Online thesaurus is great for name generation)
  3. Limit the name to one or two words, two gives you the capability to have a descriptor (Adjective + Noun).
  4. Use a name that gives customers some sense of what your company does
  5. Check if the url is available or available for purchase on GoDaddy.com
  6. Check the US Patent and Trademark database to see if the name is available for trademark
  7. Once you have a list of names that pass the 6 steps above, pick the name you see the ability to build a brand around

If you find a name and the URL is available and its not trademarked, the last question to ask yourself should be “Is the name limiting?”. We made the mistake of naming our apparel line “Collar Free”. It was great for the t-shirts we started with, but no one could see us as being more in the future.

As we evolved as a company, we named our contest software platform “Artistic Hub” and it has been a good fit. We help people engage with companies they love through the use of design, photography, and media.

Its not overly complicated, but we find having a simple checklist when picking a name is very important. It helps us pick a name quickly and move on to the branding and idea execution stage faster. I believe a name is important, but nothing is more important than a good revenue model.

Here is another great article on the topic from Smashing Magazine – “Effective Strategy for Choosing the Right Domain Names”

On another note, we launched a new version of Artistic Hub on Friday. It more accurately shows off what we do and the clients that benefit from our contest platform. Let us know what you think.

  • http://twitter.com/chriswaldron Chris Waldron

    Great points here Jimmy. I think a valuable point is to decide on a name that you can create a brand around. Using a name that is too descriptive limits your growth opportunities. It generally takes several iterations before you have a product/market fit so you want to be careful of your name being too narrowly focused.

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