Monday, July 23, 2012

Eliminating Toxic Product Names

Last summer, I read a full-page ad in my local newspaper for a service to make my lawn look greener and more attractive. The company with this service used to be called ChemLawn, but they'd changed their name to TruGreen ChemLawn, with "TruGreen" in very large letters and "ChemLawn" in much smaller letters.

There's a lesson here for software developers: Your product name should reflect the benefit that you promise (TruGreen), and not the process used to deliver this benefit (ChemLawn). And product names shouldn't contain frightening expressions like "Chem". You can say HealthyLawn, NaturalLawn, GolfCourseLawn. But not ChemLawn.

That's why Kentucky Fried Chicken is now KFC. Fried food frightens folks. "KFC" by contrast sounds harmless. Actually, it sounds a little bit like a chemical that you'd put on your lawn to make it greener.

When you're choosing your next software product name, try to get people to associate your product's main benefit with your product name. Choose a positive, happy name that makes people immediately comfortable with your new name, and your new software application. It's good software marketing.

1 comment:

  1. Great example, Al. We have to think about the associations our customers will have with the names (and other words) we use.