Shakespeare argued that a name means nothing, but there’s a reason companies pay creative agencies up to six figures to create a product name. The name of your app will have a significant impact on its success — it will be either memorable or forgettable, clear or confusing, attractive or unappealing. Choosing a name for your app isn’t something you want to do quickly, just to check that to-do item off your list. So how do you find the perfect name for your app? Here are three steps and bonus tips that will get your creativity flowing and help you pick a name that sets you up for success.
1. Start With Your Purpose
What exactly does your app do? How will it help your customers? Start by crafting a sentence that describes your app’s purpose. Next, pull out the key words in that description. Now, brainstorm a list of related words and variations on your key words and related words. At the end of this process, you should have a strong list of raw material to work with.
The benefit of creating a name that clearly communicates the purpose of the app is that potential users will immediately understand how your app can help them — no explanation needed. MyFitnessPal, Sleep Cycle, and Clarity Money are all good examples.
2. Mix, Match, and Mashup
Armed with your list of words, start writing down various combinations of words. Try adding a prefix or suffix to your combinations. For example, Reflectly, and Listify, and CyberGhost used this strategy. You can also mash up parts of words to create a name (just make sure it’s easy to tell what words the mashups originated from). Let your creativity run wild here — make it your goal to come up with as many ideas as possible in this step.
3. Make Sure It’s Unique
The last thing you want is to come up with the perfect name and start the branding process, only to find that an existing product has the name name or that all the domain variations for your name are already taken. You don’t want to use a name that’s already popular because people will get the impression that your app is a knock-off. Additionally, you need prospective users to be able to quickly find your app when a friend recommends it or they hear about it online.
Do your research to find out if the name already exists — in any form, not just as an app name. Search Google, the App Store, and Google Play. You’ll want to ensure that an easy-to-remember .com version of a domain name is available, so search GoDaddy or another domain name provider for potential domain names.
Tips to Find the Perfect Name for Your App
The app naming process can be challenging. The name is a key factor in an app’s success, so it’s important to choose one that will resonate with potential users. And there are already over 2 million apps in existence, so it can be hard to come up with something original. Here are a few tips to help.
- Use Alternative Spellings —If you think you’ve found the perfect name, but it isn’t unique, consider changing the spelling to something phonetic. Houzz is a successful example.
- Connect With What Your Users Care About — When choosing words from your initial list of ideas, prioritize words that bring to mind what your users care about most. What words evoke emotion?
- Don’t Use Dashes — Dashes can make finding your app difficult, since users aren’t used to searching dashed versions of names.
- Include Popularly-Searched Keywords — If possible, include words that your potential users are likely to search in Google when trying to find a solution to the problem your app solves.
- Keep It Concise — People have a hard time remembering lengthy names, and it’s inconvenient to type long names into search bars.
Crafting a unique name that resonates with prospective users is the first milestone on your journey to building a strong company. Your app’s name is foundational to your marketing strategy and, ultimately, the success of your business.