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Choosing a name for your mobile app is something you’ll want to do carefully. The fact is that people do judge a book by its cover. Your app’s name will have a significant impact on its success since it will create the first impression. Your name should be memorable, appealing and clear.
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Here are five steps for choosing the perfect app name that will get your brand noticed:
Begin with your purpose
What does your app do and how will it help your customers? Write a few sentences describing your app’s purpose, then pull out key words and phrases from that description.
Next, brainstorm a list of related words and variations on those words and phrases that you’ve just listed. Focusing on the terms that communicate your product’s purpose will help your customers to better understand what your product is and how it can help them.
Some great examples include Groupon, Lightroom and MyFitnessPal.
Work from the inside out
When concepting a name, you’ll want to look both inward and outward.
First, take your company brand into consideration. Your new app will need to mesh with your company brand. How do the potential app names you’ve brainstormed sound when spoken with your company name? Does your brand follow a theme you’ll want to stick with?
Next, check out existing similar apps available in the market. Take a look at trends in how competitors name their apps and consider your approach. You may want to create a contrast to competitors’ conventions, or you may want to take advantage of a well-known naming tradition.
Regardless of your approach, you’ll want to select something that will stand out from what is currently available while reinforcing the perception that your app is trustworthy.
Grab a piece of paper or a whiteboard to start brainstorming app names. Include descriptive words that are directly related to your product offering and words related to how your product should make customers feel. Capture ideas without taking the time to critique them at this point. Even if certain words don’t work, they may trigger some other good ideas. Gather a group of teammates or colleagues to share suggestions, and to provide feedback on your existing list.
Test the names
Review the list of names you came up with and choose the top 10 for consideration. Ask for feedback from a wider group, including those in your target market. Ask about the appeal of the name, the relevance to the product, and the perceived trustworthiness. Does the name resonate with people or leave them scratching their heads? Have people identified any potential issues with the name, such as the name sounding too close to a competing product or an accidental association with something negative?
Note that your app name should be easy to pronounce so people don’t stumble over it as they spread word-of-mouth. A concise name will also be more memorable. If you plan to sell internationally, check other languages to ensure there are no translation or cultural issues with the name you selected. Honda, McDonald’s, Ikea and Coca-Cola have all failed at recognizing product naming issues. This isn’t a commonality you want, even with large and successful international organizations like these.
Before you let your new name out of the gate, make sure it isn’t used by another product or brand that may generate confusion. You don’t want to launch with the “perfect” name, only to find out there’s another well-known product with the same name. Also, be sure the name isn’t a play on a popular product name since people are likely to see this similarity as lacking originality at best, or appearing as a knock-off at worst.
As you’re going through this research process, check domain name availability through a Google search and via a domain name search tool like GoDaddy before committing to the name you selected. It’s also a good idea to check availability on the social platforms you plan to use as well, as you don’t want it to be confusing or difficult for your product to be found.
The name you choose for your app can make a statement or drift into obscurity. Choosing the right name improves your chances for success, especially when it’s combined with a well-built product that perfectly meets your customer’s needs.