The Importance of a Name

Tuesday, 04 December 2012   |   Creative Thinking

Brand NameI'm doing an online course at the moment on how to design things.  This weeks topic is banding.  When most people think about branding they think about things such as 'your name has to be catchy and distinct' or 'your name should evoke the right type of emotions' (eg. a sports brand name should evoke feelings of agility or adventure). These are all well and good but when it comes to new and versatile products I think naming is even more important.

As a creative type, there is a good chance that what you are creating is very new in terms of what it does, or contains some rather compelling unique features.  What you have is most likely very funky.  If your potential users cannot see the benefits, however, then it is going to waste.

A Bit of Psychology

Creative types like you and I look at something and see a world of possibility for how it could be used.  Normal people look at something and usually see only one use, it's intended use.  The name of something (especially if it's name is descriptive) can reinforce this further.  Your product could have many wonderful uses but if it's name describes only one of them then your product will be seen as only able to do that one thing.  Sadly, they will miss the potential and this could lead to them skipping over your product.

This is a lesson I am learning with one of my online tools, my Idea Generator.  When I first created the tool that was it's main intention.  It seemed like an apt name for something that helps you generate ideas.  People quickly started discovering other uses for it and it became apparent that it was for much more than just generating ideas.  You could for instance use it for Pictionary or Charades.  There are many teachers using it for various class activities.  Someone else decided to use it to generate password phrases and more.  Creative teachers look at it and see that it can help them teach. Many probably look at the name and think 'I'm looking for a class activity, this name doesn't suggest that so it must not be what I'm looking for.'  They miss out on the awesomeness.

So now I am on the search for a name that more aptly describes the true potential of this tool in the hope that more people will understand it's value and decide to benefit from it.

If you have any ideas or thoughts, feel free to share them by leaving a comment below.


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