Creating an awesome product name will give you such a buzz, it really is a eureka moment.
To help you, I have written 9 key considerations based on my experience of creating new products from concept to execution.
1. Find a Domain Name to Match Your Product
When naming a product you should definitely purchase matching domain names, even if you aren’t looking to create a separate website or legal entity for your product right now.
Finding a domain name that matches your business name can be incredibly challenging.
It’s worth starting with a domain search first to avoid disappointment.
My personal view is you should look to buy the .com and also your local domain such as .co.uk if you’re business is based in the UK.
Avoid choosing a domain where someone else has purchased the same name with another domain extension. Doing so might create a legal conflict in the future or clients could get confused who is who.
An example of this would be where the name you love is available with a .global extension but someone else owns the .com.
2. Make your product name memorable
If people struggle to remember your brand name or it is difficult to spell you should think again.
You want people to easily recall your product name so they can find it easily when searching online.
When your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has kicked in this will save you a lot of money in paid advertising – although you may get other businesses bidding for paid advertising on your exact product name, but that’s one for another blog post.
3. Try Word Combinations
It’s highly likely the domain name you want to register is either already taken or there is someone else using a similar term.
It may be useful to blend a couple of words together that have relevance in your sector to create a new brand name. This is likely to also have a low existing search base so you can quickly stand out for branded name search.
For example, I used Surveyor and Tech to create the brand name for www.surveyortech.com.
I chose SurveyorTech because all the social media names were available, at the time search results for the term “SurveyorTech” was below 5,000.
Plus the name made a lot of sense for a product business all about providing software for people and businesses that conduct surveys.
A simple way to do this is to mind map all of the names and terms that may be connected with your product, business or target audience. You may well see a perfect combination jump out at you from the page.
You could also search for Synonyms with any of your name ideas which will also extend your potential word combinations. I use https://www.thesaurus.com/browse/synonym for this.
There is no harm in following your instincts on your selection, be brave, but definitely run the name idea past a few trusted people in your network.
Although, I would add, definitely have a positive outcome for each of the 9 key considerations in this post before seeking feedback.
Your network of trusted friends and contacts will quickly help you decide if you are on to a winner by their initial reaction.
You might want to think again if they ask you to explain your choice.
If they immediately say your choice is ‘awesome’ then great, you are potentially on to a winner.
4. Think branding from the outset
Consider how your business name will look on your website, logo’s business cards, letter heads etc.
When picking a name, the shorter the better.
Does it speak to your customers, will they instantly get what you do?
Will it interest them enough to engage?
Be wary of picking a name for your business based on a current fad or trend if you are in it for the long game. If the term isn’t cool or trendy in five years time your business or product will feel dated.
Avoid terms in a brand that might cause offence or shock to others. Keep it centred in your market.
Yes aim to stand out and intrigue people to pause and take a look. In some markets, amusing names can be effective.
A brand name should make it obvious what you want your product to be known for.
5. Ensure your ideal product name is available on all social media channels
Can you register your brand as a page on all of the major social media channels? If you can’t then this isn’t the product name for you.
Having social media channels that don’t match with your product name may be confusing to your target audience. It certainly doesn’t look very professional.
If someone else has a channel with the same or similar sounding name to your product this can make social listening and brand management a challenge. Worse, that other party could do something damaging online that people may associate with your brand.
If social channels are available that match your product name then that’s awesome!
You should set up a profile for your product brand immediately on each, even if you aren’t ready to post anything.
6. Check product name options for an online past
Just because a domain name is available, it doesn’t mean someone hasn’t used it before.
It could be that another business used the domain and either didn’t publish web content that is attributed to it or the business failed.
If Google has archived any content for a domain the past the good news you can find it. Simply use ‘The Wayback Machine’ to find historical content at https://archive.org/web/.
You might strike gold with what is called an ‘aged domain’ where Google still recognises a websites authority which you can tag onto to give your SEO a boost. Beware though, if Google has ever sandboxed that site the opposite can be true.
If someone else had a website for your domain you will find an exact copy here and you can navigate it as it was at a given point in time.
As an aside:
- If you work for an established business this tool can be great to understand how your businesses web presence has evolved overtime.
- It’s great to take a look at your competitors website too. You will be able to see when their site was first indexed by Google, what it looked like then and how it has evolved.
7. Consider how easy it will be for a product name to stand out online
Pick a name with low search results, preferably in the low thousands.
If you can do this it will make it fairly easy for your product name search terms to dominate the first few pages of the search results.
If your chosen name has hundreds of thousands (or more) page results you should think carefully before proceeding. It may be difficult for you to gain visibility for your own product related search terms.
Look out for negative connotations with the name too. If there are any you need to factor this into your considerations and potentially avoid.
8. Think about reputation management
A standout, unique brand can make it easier for social listening tools to identify brand mentions, either positive or negative across search and social that your business needs to quickly respond to.
Are there any similar named businesses or products? This could result in several potential risks:
- Your target market might get confused as to who is whom.
- It makes it more difficult to manage your online reputation, particularly if the other business is larger. If the other business does something bad online your business brand might get sucked into this.
- You might have a legal battle if the other business has trademarked their brand to protect their intellectual property.
9. Protect your Intellectual Property
You should plan to trademark your business or product name as soon as possible to prevent copy cats emulating your business, product or service, innocently or not.
A Trademark is a valuable asset too and if you are looking to raise capital, any investors will expect you to have this in place.
Check for potential Intellectual Property (IP) Infringements early. Look out for:
- Businesses with the same or similar name as your product.
- Products with the same or similar sounding names.
- Similar sounding names that operate in the same market or do the same sort of thing as your product.
Only settle on a business or product name once you know it is safe to do so.
Your IP advisor may suggest that it is highly unlikely that anyone will object to your IP registration if there is no similar business out there. You may decide to proceed whilst the registration process is formalised as it can take several months to register your IP.
Once you have an awesome product name, pay to protect the IP. That way if anyone else uses a name similar to yours to emulate (innocently or not) you can force that party to make changes to keep daylight between your businesses.