There are two parts to product naming.
One is what they call the denotative function.
The other part is the connotative function.
The denotative function is literally what it is. It’s a dictionary product description. The connotative function is the intangible or implied, almost the poetic meaning of the name.
For example, safety is intangible. It’s about risk reduction. Safety is a key issue motivating people.
Corrupted English spelling is fine as long as it’s not corny. That’s a fusion noun. Corrupted English spelling and no spaces create a legally defensible trademark.
Take the name and get a state trademark, maybe 30 to 50 bucks. You don’t need a trademark in every state of the union, nor do you have to get a Federal trademark. You only have to have one state registered.
It’s harder to get a federal trademark when one State already is trademarked. It’s like breaking the handle on the door. Now competitors can’t get in. You can buy more protection than that. But in the beginning, you can use the Registered Trademark Symbol or TM. Also, it gives you some credibility. Don’t put that symbol everywhere. It only needs to appear once in the book or website.
The name needs to pass the refrigerator test. If the name works on a refrigerator, it’s too generic. So, would you say that this is an X brand refrigerator? No, it doesn’t work.
- Can the name be easily spelled and pronounced? Yes.
- Can you say it over the phone? Yes, you can.
- Does it have a regional dialect? Like, some words like niche, data, pecan, and okra can regionally be pronounced differently. We want to avoid those kinds of words., and we’re fine there.
It would be good to do a little test. Get 5 of your buddies, and say, “Hey, what does this name mean to you? What do you think it’s about?” Let them just tell you what they think it’s about. And if they are pretty close to the mark, and they don’t say, “Well, I think it’s a refrigerator.”
The new name doesn’t have many syllables. Is it memorable? Does it limit us in any way? Like sometimes, words will not mean nice things in other languages. We avoid those. Like the biggest naming fiasco was Ford’s Nova. Nova in Spanish means, “no go.” So, the Ford Nova was a failure in South America. It was a joke.
Include the product description, not only its name. The description has to do with the activity of the product. That’s its description, the product description.
We don’t need to emphasize the product name as the website name. Sell the service, not the source.
Then you hit on 3 different bases to help them understand what it’s all about and who it’s for. Those are the domain name, the product, name, and description.
Hidden opportunity is unrealized potential. It has low competition.
We call it the onlyness factor. We can say, “We’re the only site on the internet that does this. We’re special and unique.” And that specialness differentiates us from all others. We play to win. If we can’t win, we don’t play.
What is onlyness? It’s the concept that you stand in a spot in the world that only you stand in. It’s a function of your product history, visions, and hopes. From this spot, you offer a distinct perspective and potentially revolutionary ideas. Sounds good, huh?