How to Name an App – Tips, Tricks And Advice
Believe it or not, but the question “what’s in a name?” has never been more important than when it comes to naming a product—that includes your new app. Sorry Shakespeare!
Naming in app is an important step in the app development journey and deserves careful thought and consideration before making a decision. After all, your app name essentially establishes its identity.
You want the name to be clever and leave a lasting impression on your uses. It should be memorable and help your app stand out from the crowd.
The App Store saw nearly 1.8 million apps in the first quarter of 2019 and Google Play saw 2.1 million. By 2021, consumer spending on apps is set to reach a whopping 105.2 billion in the U.S. If you want a piece of the pie, take your time on this important aspect of app development.
So how to name an app and where do you even start? In this article, we’re going to walk you through how to best approach the app-naming process.
The first step is to get into the headspace for naming your app. Sit down and start playing around with different ideas. Get creative, write names down on a piece of paper or on a whiteboard so you can visually see the options.
Start thinking about your app, who it’s for, and what purpose it serves. Jot down any names or even words that come to mind, whether they’re catchy, attention-grabbing, or anything at all that pops in your head. Put together a list which will be used to help come up with a name for your app.
Let’s look at a few ways you can get those creative juices flowing:
- Conduct a word dump: Set a timer and start writing down anything and everything related to your app, no matter how weird or silly it may sound. Think about words, people, feelings, designs, etc. For example, when thinking about feelings write down words related to how users might feel about using your app.
- Use alternate spelling: Once you have a list of words or names, go through and try out different spelling to add a unique element. Think of companies like Lyft (lift) or Reddit (read it), which make their names stand out simply by changing the spelling. When using an alternate spelling, you just want to make sure the word’s meaning doesn’t get lost. It should still be readable and easy to understand.
- Break out your thesaurus: Another way to get creative when thinking about app names is to find similar words to the ones you’ve already written down and running them through a thesaurus. Finding similar words might help you come up with an even better name.
- Use a mood board: Add a visual element to your app-naming exercises by creating a mood board. Grab some magazines and start cutting out words, people, and other images that relate to your app.
- Conduct a focus group: One of the best ways to gain inspiration and produce new ideas is by having more people chime in. Hold a small focus group that will allow others to brainstorm with you and your team. They can help come up with some fresh new ideas, or even help narrow down the best options you’ve already come up with.
One of the biggest questions you have to ask yourself when endeavoring to create a new mobile app is, “how is my app different?”. With all of the apps out there on the market, you want your app to be unique. It should offer something a user cannot find elsewhere, and your app’s name should be reflective of this.
Give your app a name that will stand out from the crowd. Get creative and be original in your ideas. People will often judge a book by its cover—same goes for an app name. If a name rubs a user the wrong way or comes off as sounding too bland and unoriginal, that could be enough to ruin that first impression they have with your app.
Keep your app name terse and stick with just one word. If you look at the most popular mobile and web applications in the world, one they they all have in common is that their names are just one word—Uber, Lyft, Google, Apple, Amazon. You get the point. Keep your app name short and sweet.
While it may seem difficult to choose one name to represent your app and what it does, you can try using compound words to help combine two words in one—e.g. YouTube, WhatsApp, LinkedIn. This will give you more options to play with and even make your app name more memorable to users.
Your app name shouldn’t be some random catchy word, it should carry meaning. Part of brainstorming different app names should involve words and names that carry some kind of idea or meaning with it that will resonate with your product.
Look at Facebook. While the name doesn’t quite convey that it is a social media platform, it does remind users that it’s a place where they can post photos and posts about themselves like an open book. The name carries meaning here in a more abstract sense.
Learn From Others
There are tons of successful apps out there. Learn from what they’re doing and try to apply some of their approaches when brainstorming for your own app names. Check out similar apps and take a good long look at what kind of names they’re using. What emotions and imagery do these names evoke? Why do you think the name works for them?
While you don’t want to copy your competitor’s name (obviously), you can still learn something from analyzing what they did. Just keep in mind that your app name should be unique, and Apple actually rejects roughly 3% of apps just because their name is too similar to existing apps. Yikes!
Once you’ve rounded up some legit-sounding app names, it’s time to test out these names through market research. As you go through the development process of your app, step by step, you should always be testing ideas and features out. The same goes for your app name.
Find out which app names excite users and validate some of your ideas. This could help shape some names at the top of your list, and get rid of the ones that people hate. Feedback from real users is crucial and will help you narrow down your options, keeping you headed in the right direction.
You can even round up some close friends, family, or trusted business associates to collaborate ideas and see what works and what doesn’t. It never hurts to bring in some fresh perspectives when assessing names for your app.
Now that you’ve picked an awesome name for your new app, make sure to pair it up with a solid icon or logo. Just like your app’s name, an icon should attract users and be representative of your app. This should involve another brainstorming session and more rounds of feedback from users, team members, and friends to make sure you get it right.
When choosing an icon to go with your app name, make sure it resonates in the minds of users and creates a lasting impression. Work with your team’s designer to find the right icon and colors that will engage your users and represent your brand
There are tons of tips and tricks out there to choosing the best name for your app, but in the end you want to go with your gut. If you have a focus group that loves a name you hate, it deserves consideration, but your input matters too and is just as valuable.
Having a good understanding of what your app will do and who it will serve best, which our Simple Starter package offers, will help inspire the best names for your app.
The key is to get as many perspectives and opinions as you can, pick apart names and ideas you have for names, and see what works and what doesn’t. If all else fails, you can even try a name generator to help you churn out some quick ideas to get you started.
While the majority of the success in your app will ultimately lie in its quality and what it can deliver, picking a catchy, memorable, and unique name can make a big difference. So give this part of the app development process its due and get started!
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