Naming a product isn’t easy.

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Every week, I write an article to share my learning or discovery during my startup journey. Here is the link to my reasons for penning these articles for myself and for many others like me.

Today I spend my time naming a new product that I am working upon these days.

One school of thought suggests that the first step in building a new product is to assign a name to it.

I also agree with this suggestion. However, I would add that one should not spend too much effort finding a unique and sticky name for your product.

If the product delivers value to customers, the name will be associated with that value. A unique name is not a guarantee for product success, so we should spend our efforts where it matters the most, i.e., in building a good product.

By connecting a name to a product, communication gets easier for the product team. E.g., Now I have a separate folder on my laptop with that product name. Hence all the ongoing market research, competitor’s analysis, market sizing, and sales pitch files will have the product name appended to their respective file names.

Also, it becomes easy to address your product with a name instead of using a long text about what it does. Also, in some cases, entrepreneurs use random words for their future products, which keep on changing with every new conversation.

“Words have meaning, and names have power.”

I thought of finalizing a name for my product. It is an app that will help an end-user speak correct English by giving feedback about the pronunciation of the spoken words.

Let me take you on the journey in which my mind wandered on the naming activity, which looked easy initially, but turned out to be difficult later.

I tried to follow some general best practices for the product naming.

Be Descriptive

As the product is about “Pronunciation,” I wanted to use a word similar to the meaning of “Pronunciation.” So, I checked the etymology of this word, hoping that I could find some unique words.

It comes from the Latin word “pronuntiatio. I thought of naming my product “Pronuntio”. But after speaking the word out loud 2–3 times, it sounded more like a tongue twister. I dropped this name!

Add a prefix or Suffix

I thought of sticking to the letters “PRO” and then appending another word to create a unique word. The following few names generated in my mind -
PROspeak, PROsound, PROspeech

None of them looks interesting to me. I dropped these names!

Make up a word

How about “Specho.” This looks short and sweet and easy to remember.

I googled this name. JEEZ! This is a word in the English dictionary, and its meaning left me red-faced. It is an offensive word and not appropriate to use for the product. I dropped this name!

Use words with a Twist

Why not twist the spelling of a word to get more attention, like Flickr or Tumblr. That’s a brilliant idea (pat on my back).

So, here is how my next 15 minutes rolled with the punches from the google search or, in other words, every new word that I thought already had a product associated with it.

Speecho — Speech to Text Converter is a free app for converting all languages voices into text. I dropped this name!

Speako — Learn a language today. I dropped this name!

This is weird. Had I not searched these names on the internet, I would never have found these existing products with the same names.

Now I understand why some product goes through the renaming and rebranding exercise. They might be infringing these copyrighted names.

I was running out of patience now. Another idea

Create a Compound Word

How about creating a new name by joining two words like FaceBook. So again, this genius (self-acclaimed) came out with a unique name

Speecheasy — a fluency-enhancing device for people who stutter. I dropped this name!

Build on a popular brand

Ok, how about something similar to Grammarly.

Speechly — extract meaning from spoken language in real-time. I dropped this name!

Gosh, and here I thought of just spending 30 min on this task, but even after spending two hrs., I could not select a name for my product.

Although, in these 2 hours, my knowledge about different products has increased. But this is also a harsh truth that I am nowhere near completing my task of product naming.

Well, now I am really under pressure. One more idea popped up.

Use a local language word

let us use some local words like Sprache (German) or Bolo (Hindi). But these local names did not look appealing to me. I dropped these names!

Finally, I chose the name “Speakho”. It does not have any google history so far.

“A name is a powerful thing. It sets one apart and gives significance. — Author: Jessica Khoury”

I need to wind up this naming & branding activity, as it has already taken a big chunk of my time.

So quickly, I created a logo too.

As I look back at my work, It is not an outstanding work, and it looks amateurish. But I do feel this would suffice for the MVP phase, which will help me get the customer validation. Then, once I get positive feedback about its product-market fit, I will redo the naming and branding.

In case, you come out with another unique and attention-grabbing name, feel free to share it with me. I am sure there are more creative minds on this earth.

This creative activity has left me exhausted, so now I will put off my creative hat.

Wishing you all a great week, and I hope you get your creative juices flowing abundantly this week.

The next article will be published at weekly intervals. If you like my article please give me a follow 😇 or simply send me some claps and feedback.

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Anju Aggarwal

Anju Aggarwal

191 Followers

A budding entrepreneur journalling her in-progress startup journey. Expertise in Products, projects & Process management in the IT domain.