3rd Feb 2012
What's in a name?
By Alan Millar
Here at GCD we have a great record in taking on projects with start-ups, or existing businesses with new ideas. When it's a brand new product or service it’s very exciting to see it take off and be part of that process from the beginning.
We recently started a mobile project with a client who had a simple but great idea; I’ll not reveal it here as the project is still in development but I’ll leave the suspense hanging. Although the client had the concept mapped out and well thought through, with a clear direction as to where he wanted to get to, there was one thing he didn’t have for his product: a name.
How important is the name?
For this project having no name was a challenge at the beginning, as well as developing the app we were also asked to come up with branding and design – quite a task without a name. There were times when it was tempting to forget about the name for now and just move on with the development – but in practice, a name can really help to define the product. Look at Google – it has become a verb when it comes to web search – “did you google it??” – and you wonder what the social networking world look like if Twitter and Facebook had different names.
So is it the name, or the product itself that makes it a success? The answer has to be both – but if a product is a great product the name can surely only be a contributing factor to that product’s success.
So back to our client – in today’s world, and especially in the industry we are in, finding a good name also means ensuring the domain is available. It can be very frustrating coming up with a great name only to find the domain is taken, and it can be even worse if you find that domain has been parked.
A great tool we came across recently is leandomainsearch.com – type in a word you want your domain to include and it will (impressively in less than a second when I tried it) return a great list of suggestions and if the suggested domain is available. At the very least it’s a bit of fun but you can see how it can be a very useful tool if you’re stuck on a name for your product or business.
Our client did settle on a name that we think works pretty well – but that was before we let him know about leandomainsearch.com! Maybe he will resist the temptation to start looking for a name again but my feeling is he might spend a few hours this weekend looking for some alternatives. And speaking of names, answers on a postcard please if you can guess what the GCD stands for in ours…..
* Image from Adam Crowe @ Flickr