GCD Blog

Alan Millar

3rd Feb 2012

What's in a name?

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

RECENT BLOG ARTICLES

Designing for usability
By Sean Mulvenna
Getting Things Done
By Greg Dalrymple
Its Better to Meta
By Paul Woods
Goal Directed Design
By Greg Dalrymple
The Importance of Testing
By Maurice Kelly