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How to name your next product.

Naming a product, service, mobile app, magazine, blog post, podcast, etc. is a pain. Yet, once you find the perfect name, it somehow makes it feel all worth it!

When I am ready to start working on a new product, how do I go about figuring out a name for it?

How I name my products.

First, step into naming? Brainstorm keywords. I pace around my apartment thinking of keywords and writing them all down. Good or bad, write them all down.

  • What words would people use to describe your product?
  • What words can you use from your mission statement?
  • What are some power words that make you think of your product?
  • What words describe what you are building?

Once you come up with this initial list of 15 or more keywords, I usually give it a day or two to sit on them. When I cook dinner, ride my bike, read, I think about these words. They help me to form more thought about the idea as a whole and add/remove some of these keywords.

Synonyms.

Product names should be fun! They should sound catchy and fun to say. They should be easy to remember. More than likely, the keywords you have thought of so far are pretty boring. It can be difficult to put these words together to create something unique. This is the frustrating part of naming. Working to get to a decision!

  • Get out Google. Start looking up synonyms of your keywords.

> thesaurus.com is a pretty good place for this. Look up your keywords one by one and keep scrolling down the page. You will get inspired by dozens of new words.

  • What are emotions you get thinking about each word? When you think of each word, what other words do you think about?
  • Who are people that are familiar with this word? Example: experiment. Scientists experiment! What are certain types of scientists? Chemists! These are all new words you can use for naming.
  • Colors. Shapes. Animals. Location. Some products I have used in the past had to do with color or shapes.

The whole point of this exercise is to take your original keyword list and make it much larger.

Putting all your words together.

Now that you have a list of ~30+ words, it is time to come to a decision.

Take all the keywords and start putting them together. "Shiny excellence", "Rough manly", "Curious chemist", and so on. Some are going to sound terrible together while some might sound promising at first.

Time to get our my trust tool, Namechk.

Anytime I think of a name that sounds promising, stick it into the Namechk search box. It looks up your name's availability of domain names and on social media usernames. This is a great initial sign of "Wow, this name has barely anything available for it. More than likely this name has already been taken by someone else." or the opposite, "Looks like no one has taken this name at all. I can snatch it right now!".

Some tips here:

  • If your name seems to be taken in Namechk, don't be discouraged. It might even mean it's a good name!
  • If your name is taken on Namechk, edit it a bit. Add "get" to the beginning or "app" to the end of the name and search again. Recently I was working on a name that had it's major domain names taken as well as social media usernames. I added "find" to the beginning and saw tons of availability!
  • If the .com name is taken, again, don't be discouraged. Sure, .com is still the most common domain name TLD and you want to grab it if you can, but it's not the end of the world. Other domain name TLDs are getting more and more popular such as .io and .co. I own a few of these names!
  • When you start to settle on a few names, do a Google search for this name. This is what could pop up for a customer of yours. You don't want to see adult content, for example, show up here. If there is irrelevant data on this page, it may be pretty easy to grab first page results on Google with!
  • Ask friends! See if they can help you think of more names!

This is currently the way that I name my products. Believe me, I am not the best at this and I wish I was much better. Practice makes perfect and I am pretty proud of some of the names I have thought of lately!

Don't forget, you can always change your name later. It's not the end of the world if you pick one you don't like very much. Especially when you are naming your company that sells many products. Not many people care what the company name is. The product name is much more important as it is what people are going to be using each and every day.

Practice makes perfect!

Please, please, please. Reach me on Twitter @levibostian and tell me how you name your products. Would love to hear what you do!

Levi Bostian

Levi Bostian

Indie Android & iOS developer. Founder @findyourcircle, @levimakesapps, @curiosityio. Environmentalist, vegan, minimalist, runner, organic gardener. he/him

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