What's in a name?

So we're having some serious issues naming our upcoming consumer product.

We came up with three names.   One that is related to our company.  One that I made up that was inspired by something a naming consultant gave us.  And then one that the naming consultant came up with.

One name is Oddpal.   I don't know why we didn't come up with it before.  It is so obvious, but it was never on any of our lists.

So I circulated the name around in an informal survey:

"Oddpal – don’t like it, hard to remember"

"Oddpal makes the most sense but is boring."

"Oddpal - u said u own this one but out of the three i wouldn't pick it it doesnt seem catchy enough"


Ok, so that's out... or is it....

"I really liked Oddpal because it's cute and I can see someone saying like, "Did you get your Oddpal?" lol its cute"

"I think because this is so new and people who aren't as tech or new-media saavy as say, you and I are, they can relate more to this name. It's an explanation of charachter or product. It's your pal. Essential, your pal who is going to lead you through the site. That's my take on it. "

So, it isn't fancy and it tells what it is... but maybe it is too close to Sitepal or not catchy enough.

So, then I came up with a totally made up name and this was the response:

"Cool idea - nice combo of word smithing. I would rank this at numero 2, on my favorite scale. There is a ski company that has a similar name, but I think this one could be fun and is completely separate from the Oddcast name. It def stands out and you almost have a back-story/history for your character just solely based on the name alone."

"love it! its catchy u right away think of vocals and there could be like a cute lil *** character or characters could be named ***'s which is also really cute and i would totally make one"

"sounds like fun, irreverent, spunky."

Awesome!   Score one for me!

Or not...

"sounds like an item on a sushi menu. I don't like this word"

"Simply not like it...I guess it sounds weird..."

"– dislike it. Looks like a Russian word and not sure how to pronounce it."

Then we had a third word that everyone loves.... everyone who is a 12 year old girl...

"It could work if you were skewing this to more of the younger tween generation. I think that could get a nice buzz. I mean we are talking about the youthful generation that went from Barbie to Bratz Dolls"

"it's cute"

"too cute, too toddler, too tickle me Elmo"


"there's something feminine about it - i just can't imagine most guys wanting to say "oh yeah, i'll leave a message for you on my ***"

Great... so, we're kind of at square one.  I think Meez and WeeMee and these people have pretty cornered the market  on Me words...   

Does it even really matter?

You know, part of me thinks of the name that I created as like a Chrysler 300C.  A lot of people, including me, don't like it, but just as many people love it.  Maybe you need a brand that illicits a strong reaction either way.  Would someone really not use a product because it has a name they don't like.

And does the product have to describe what it is?  For every Facebook, MySpace, Blogger, Wordpress there's Skype, Google, Yahoo! and Napster...  names that have nothing to do with the product.

Throw on top of that the fact that namesquatters...  scurge of the web that they are, have pretty much covered almost ever prounouncable word in the english language.  Just mash your fist onto the keyboard and try and secure the domain name of the random letters that came out.  I guarantee you it is taken.