I’m working my way through Product in a Weekend and I’m getting stuck on choosing a name for my product out of a handful of contenders. I have two names that I like the best, one is on the catchier side and the other is more straightforward and how-to. Every time I get ready to decide on one, I stall because I worry the other name is better. What do you do when you have two good names for the same product?
Great question, Taylor. I touched on this topic in an earlier post where I had a similar question about a domain name. My answer (reductively) was that as long as the name was good enough to begin with, future success would have nothing to do with the name, and everything to do with how you marketed and ran your business. So any decent name would do just as well as any other decent name.
Now, having said that, that’s about a domain name. We tend to make a little more peace with domain names than we do on other things because if somebody took your “good” name, we get that it’s already gone.
The same is not true for products. You could name your product whatever you want. It’s not like you were going to name your son Jack and then think, “Dammit! Naomi Dunford from IttyBiz already took it! Dweezel it is.” So some of the “calm down, it’s just a name” advice still applies. But I validate your concern. Names are A Thing.
Standard marketing advice is when you're choosing a name, slogan, tagline, headline, etc., the general adage is “clear, not clever.” So that’s a point in the favor of your straightforward, how-to name.
However! You asked for my advice, not StandardMarketingAdages.com’s advice.
Here’s what I got.
I would choose based on the relative establishment of your brand.
The more established your brand, the more I would go with a catchy name.
Having said that, however, in order to apply that advice, we must define “established”. Established in this case means established in the minds of your customers, not in the marketplace as a whole. If you’ve been around 8 months, and 1000 people think you’re a god, in this context you’re “established”. If you’ve been around 10 years and you’re friendzoned, in this context you are not established. (More on friendzoned” here.)
- If you have a decent number of people, and they think you’re pretty snazzy, go catchy.
- If you’re new or friendzoned, go straightforward.
- If you’re not sure, go straightworward.
(One more thing: the more expensive the product, the more you can get away with a little bit of catchy in the name. A little bit of catchy, though, not “requires a codebreaker to figure it out”. Product In A Weekend and The 1-Hour Content Plan are $97, and therefore they have fairly straightforward names. List Explosion is $497, so I gave it a bit of snazz.)
Great question, Taylor. Good luck picking your product name, and thanks for writing in.
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