How to Get Feedback on a Name

how to get feedback on a nameNaming your new product, service or company is tough enough.  It’s even tougher to find a name that’s protectable, memorable and supports your value proposition.

So once you’ve narrowed your list down to a handful of names, how do you choose? Everyone wants feedback on a name, and it’s tempting to start quizzing family & friends:  “Do you like this name?  What about this one…”

I’m not saying you shouldn’t ask your spouse or running buddy for feedback.  Just don’t rely on that data to make your decision.

First, memorable names that stand out are risky.  A computer named Apple?  An accounting firm called Vanilla?  It’s a lot easier to choose a name that’s safe, so your friends & family will likely try to steer you away from what could be your best choice.

The Right Approach to Get Feedback on a Name

It’s more important to evaluate a name in context.  Instead of asking “Do we like this name?”, ask these questions:

  • What do we want our name to accomplish and how well does this name do it?
  • What are our competitors’ names and how well does this name differentiate us?
  • How does this name sound when I introduce myself on the phone?
  • How strong does the name look in writing?
  • What about the URL?
  • And most importantly, can we protect the name to the appropriate degree?

Pose these questions to colleagues you trust to provide thoughtful answers.  You can ask them one-on-one or put together a formal survey (Zoomerang offers online survey templates with recommended questions for a variety of subjects including names).

Still stuck?  Go with your gut.  Just remember:  If a name makes you slightly uncomfortable, it’s probably the most risky and memorable — potentially the best one in the bunch.

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