Saturday, January 12, 2013

Finding the right App name

Finding the right App name is everyone's obsession. There are plenty of theories around setting up brand names : it has to be positive, make reference to something people aspire to etc etc
Well would that be true then someone may explain to me why a pathetic name such as Google has been such a global success? Or Microsoft? Or Volskwagen? Or Lady Gaga?

Let's be serious: of course having a cool name is important, but if the product behind is crappy, it will be shortlived anyway. Like for people, a name, in the end, is just a name. Customers will ultimately decide if the product is worth it or not. And with virus marketing, you can bet they will make your promotion.

 That thing is cool with or without a name

OK but we still need a name, don't we? So how do we choose it? So here's my advice:

Remember the umbrella principle. The name must answer for your app main feature. Don't go look for exotic names, remember that the App Store is a very crowded place and for one category you pick there may be thousands of Apps, so don't go confusing too much the customer.

I also suggest you look for several names and not just one. In my case I came up with iTakeNotes, Minutes and a few others. Then make a quick check that they don't exist on the App Store. Once that's done, pick up a few people from various backgrounds who have no idea what you are working on and who could be interested in your App. That would rule out wife, husband, significant other, mom and dad and whoever would be too nice with you. 5 to 10 people is a good number for a "focus group" because that's what this is.

Then ask them what kind of app they would suppose each name is about. Once they are done, tell them about the concept and see how they react. Listen to what they say (even if it's sometime painful) and which one they would pick. If the whole process ends up without a name, try again.  

Reactions to name proposals can be disappointing

When you have finally picked up your name, I suggest you make a quick reservation of the web domain and why not for a change picking up .

Now here are a few spoilers on the App Store:

-You can add a keyword to your app name in each language: say you have a name for a cooking app, you can add "Cool Recipes" in English and to whichever language you publish your app.
- Don't try cheating with the alphabet, so far it seems that only release dates or ranking have an importance on the positioning of your App.
- Apple prohibits the use iPad and iPhone names, so it seems.

If you want to check for more spoilers, I suggest you check out the following blogs:
- Noel Chenier's blog who has a great article on this subject
- Bogdan's thoughts on app name rejections
- Happi Papi on name changes

1 comment:

  1. A really insightful post, thank you for sharing with us! It's definitely given me food for thought.
    website design