Another point of view on choosing a product or domain name…

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In a previous post I talked about our research findings on choosing a strong product or domain name.

In general we found that you are better off choosing a domain name or product name that is descriptive and, if possible, includes at least a hint of your core value proposition.

As an example, MarketingExperiments.com is both descriptive of what we do…we conduct marketing experiments…and also carries the implied promise that we have data to share based on the results of those experiments.

This approach to naming products, services and web sites in a simple, descriptive way is probably the best advice in the majority of cases.

However, in a recent post to his blog, Seth Godin makes some interesting points about the naming of products and services that break new ground.

He uses the example of the word Podcasting.

It is descriptive? Not at all. What kind of “pod”? And how can you broadcast a pod anyway?

For someone who has yet to be introduced to Podcasting, the name is of no use to them at all.

Does that make it a bad name? Not necessarily.

It’s a new word, it’s easy to remember, and easy to spell. These are important strengths if you want your new word to travel virally.

It also targets itself quite nicely. “Podcasting” self-identifies itself as being of interest to the iPod generation.

In conclusion, if you offer a product or service that is simply an improvement on what exists already, use a descriptive name and imply value.

But if you are launching something utterly new, invent a new word that will find its way into the world’s major dictionaries within five years.

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