by Mark Prus of NameFlashSM

Some of my name development clients are fans of long, keyword-rich names. Obviously the appeal of a search engine spotting your website is driving this approach.

Some of my naming clients are fans of short names that can be easily shared on Twitter.

Which approach is better?

I will confess I am a fan of short, memorable names. Steve Baird would agree. As Steve so eloquently puts it, “we live in a sound bite world.”

But I strongly believe that picking a name because it would be more attractive to search engines or because it is short enough to Tweet is a huge mistake. Any time you allow tactics to drive your strategy, you are heading down the road to ruin.

A far better approach is to hone your brand’s strategy and test it with consumers until you find the positioning that is going to make all the difference in your business, then develop a name. David Ogilvy once said "The results of your campaign depend less on how we write your advertising than on how your product is positioned." The same is true for your name. Spend time developing a positioning that rings the bell with consumers and then go find the perfect name that brings that positioning to life.

Sound like a difficult thing to do? Not really. I know I am biased by my 25+ years of experience in building great consumer brands, but this task is not difficult. Time consuming? Yes. At times painful? Yes. Expensive? Could be. But in the end, the process of honing the brand positioning and using that as a basis for name development will pay dividends for years to come.

If the name you choose ends up short enough to Twitter, then you may wish to include that tactic in your arsenal. If your name includes relevant keywords, so much the better! But please, don’t pick names because they work better with tactic A or Tactic B!

Your thoughts?

  • Arlene Teck

    Right on target with the positioning strategy. If your name is great, you’re on your way. if your product is great, then the tweets will follow. Even if the name is long, you still get 140 characters. Long enough to tweet “My-big-excruciatingly-long-name rocks!”