What’s in a name? Naming your business (or product or website) may make or break your business

Product Names

Google, iPod, Blackberry – we take these names for granted – but before they were blockbuster hits, they were a mere drop in a bucket full of thousands of competing names. How and why were these names coined and picked from a sea of similar names? Why did they catch the customer’s imagination  – whereas names such as Zune and Streak (both heavily funded products) failed to do so?  

The answer is simple  – your customer’s brain differs vastly from your product designer’s.   For your customer, your product is one of thousands of other names that they need to remember. Typically, your product name is vying for the same customer memory that includes established brand names – kellogg’s, whirlpool, xerox  etc. 

The Instant Connection: For your product to make inroads into this coveted memory bank, it needs to be able to form an ‘instant connection’ with the customer. This ‘instant connection’ – in the form of an apt name – is what makes or breaks a product.  

The Name Consultant : A decade of coining that ‘instant connection’ : “When people ask me – how did I coin such-and-such name? My answer is always the same – I try to create an ‘instant connection’ (in my mind) to the product – something that is different and yet easy to remember. It doesn’t always have to describe the capabilities of the product or tell a story (such as Blackberry).”

In some cases, it does describe the product – and is also catchy and easy to remember. Google is one such name. Facebook is another.

The name consultant specializes in product branding and naming of complex, technology products.

Website Names

Facebook: The name facebook captures everything that the site sets out to do. In effect, the site opens a doorway to the ‘book of your life’ – using your face (pictures). Nothing else needs to be added to the name facebook. Would adding social network or a similar phrase convey any additional meaning? No – since the implication of ‘face’ (pictures) on the internet – IS ‘social media’.  The name gives it all away at first glance.


LinkedIn – shares the same attributes as the name facebook. One doesn’t need any clarification on what type of site linkedin is – it is a social networking site. In fact, if they had left out the ‘in’ – and gone with just ‘linked’ – they would have been equally successful.

The Name Consultant specializes in domain names – and has coined some of the leading dotcom names in existence today.

Contact ‘The Name Consultant’ to see how we can help with your next product/website/domain name search effort.


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Specializing in high volume web and cloud application architecture, Anuj Varma’s customer base includes Fortune 100 companies (dell.com, British Petroleum, Schlumberger).

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Anuj Varma – who has written posts on Anuj Varma, Technology Architect.

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