So you have a great idea for a business or product but you don't have a name for it. The name is really important, right? It is the 'thing' that people recognize your business or product by, it's the thing people talk about in reference to your business or product so it has to be perfect, right? With new startups and products literally coming out every minute you'd think that the name is important to standing apart from the rest. It's not. In fact it doesn't even matter what you name it (within reason) it's not the name that makes the business or product it is everything else that makes it up.
Take the App Store for instance. You ever wonder when they will run out of single word names for the apps? Most of the words have nothing to do with what the app actually does. Look at Uber, cool name, has nothing todo with finding a personal driver. What about Viber? It's a chat app. There are tons of these apps.
Lets look at brick and mortar businesses. Apple develops technology products and services. What the heck is a Pepsi if not a soda? It's a made up word.
They are everywhere, business and product names that aren't really descriptive, some are even boring. But that's not what matters.
You know these brands not because of their name but because of everything else that adds up to them. It's the marketing, it's the brand design, it's the website, it's the social currency in using those those products and services.
When I work on establishing a product, service or business I like to think of the bigger picture before I work on a single design, website, promotional item or branding. I like to consider what the essence of the product or service is, how will people use it? What will they say about it? Where will it sit in the marketplace? I used to think the name was important. I used to focus so much on the name that It would cause a road block in productivity. Then I realized that names aren't important at all. Sure, it's great to nail the perfect name, and it definitely helps but it's not imperative to the success of the 'thing' you are creating.
So what do you do you call a new product, service or start-up business before you have the perfect name? Here are a few ideas:
- Use a verb that describes the 'thing'.
- Use a code name
- Use the names of historical figures, Greek gods, or roman emperors.
- Use a thesaurus to find similar words to the most obvious defining word of your 'thing'
- Close your eyes, flip through a dictionary and randomly put your finger on a word.
If you do this, you may just find that the name grows on you; it becomes recognizable with the 'thing' that you are creating and that is the key. That is what your consumers will eventually recognize once they are acclimated to your 'thing'. If the name is meaningful to the 'thing' then you can also use it as a foundation for ideation and iterating the thing to make it better.
In closing, consider the amount of time that you will or have wasted coming up with the perfect name. Consider the amount of money wasted hiring a marketing firm to find the right name. In the end the success of the product, service or business has nothing to do with he name and it has everything to do with everything that adds up to the 'thing'.