In this opinion piece, Paul Lin, CEO of mobile app developers Empirical Works, says it’s paramount to have a good app name, and gives us the run-down on how to make sure it’s actually good.
It is no exaggeration to say that naming your app well is critical for its success. A well-named app is instantly noticeable and memorable when a user spots it in the app store – with so many new apps landing on the app stores each day, visibility is essential.
A well-named app also tends to pop up high on the search results list when users search for a topic relevant to it.
But naming an app isn’t easy – after all, you’ve only got a tiny few characters to do it, and those characters need to convey a lot of explicit and implied messaging.
What to do
1. Research your name ideas first
The app name obviously has to be original, and it can’t just be original on the app store that you’re submitting it to; if you’re planning on setting up a website, Facebook page, and Twitter account to support the app (and of course you should be doing that), then you’ll need to make sure your app’s desired name is original across the whole Internet. Discard any app name ideas where you spot duplication.
2. Use a compound word
A popular trend among the most popular apps is to take a word that describes what the app does (“note”, “Tweet”), and enhance it with an emotive word that grabs the user’s attention (“Ever,” “bot”). The result is a descriptive word that immediately engages the user’s emotional interest while also explaining what the app does (you guessed it – “Evernote” and “Tweetbot”).
3. Make it pronounceable
This should go without saying, but a person should be able to repeat the name of the app in conversation. So, make sure you have a really good reason before mashing symbols or numbers in between letters in your app name.
4. Use correct grammar
An app will occasionally hit the big time when its name is presented all in caps, or starts with a lowercase letter, but if you do this you’ll be fighting an uphill battle for legitimacy you wouldn’t have to fight otherwise. We strongly recommend that you name apps using sentence-case, where you capitalise the first letter of each word, use lower-case for each other letter, and don’t capitalise small joining words such as “the”, “and,” or “is.”
5. Use no more than 11 characters for the bundle display name
Research has shown that a name should be 11 characters or fewer. Coming in at or below that number will mean the app looks clean and complete on the user’s collection of apps on their device, which in turn helps to generate confidence in it.
What not to do
1. Fail to optimise for keywords
Before your name your app, you should research what the most popular keywords are, related to what the app does. The name of the app should reference at least the most popular search term, because in doing that, the app will be more easily discoverable through search.
2. Use an overused or trademarked name
If you’ve built a game and put “Angry” or “Zombies” in the name, then you’ve deliberately put it out into a swampland filled with “Angry” and “Zombie” games that consumers are tired of wading through. Call your photo-taking app “Insta-something,” and you may well have Facebook’s lawyers come knocking. Don’t infringe on trademarks, and don’t use overused names.
3. Miss out on taking advantage of bundle display name vs app name
After coming up with a killer bundle display name, many developers forget to follow through and come up with something more descriptive. The app name can be significantly longer and more descriptive than the bundle display name, and it is here where you can load your app up with good, highly searchable words to pull in any audience that might be looking on the Internet for what your app is offering.
4. Fail to research your Twitter and Web URL first
So many developers come up with a killer app name that is original and interesting to the app store, only to discover that either the URL or social media profiles for that name are already taken. This can really impact on the public perception of your app, if the pre-existing account and website (where you can’t control content) are of a poor standard. We can’t emphasise this one enough: make sure you’re able to register all social media profiles and websites you’ll need to suit the name of your app before you register the app name.
The app that you’re developing only gets to have one name (with a few notable exceptions). You want to make sure it’s a name that can last, to prevent confusion amongst your audience. Take your time and do your research before settling on a name. Call in some focus groups, or speak to an expert in naming design. That extra couple of weeks or months (and small additional expense) can mean the difference between a best seller, and something that languishes down the bottom of the app store.
Locked down Victorians who don’t currently have an Optus Sport subscription will have complimentary access to Optus Sport from this weekend to enjoy the UEFA Champions League tournament plus access to premium health and fitness content through the Optus Sport app. UEFA Champions League – the world’s premier continental football tournament – kicks off at […]
Torrens University Australia has launched ‘Career Crush’ via VCCP Sydney and Lash, to help match students with a career they’ll love. Career Crush is an online quiz that determines prospective students’ personal strengths, passions and aspirations to match them with the careers and courses they’re most compatible with. One of the toughest decisions young people […]
Pedestrian Group has partnered with Nine subsidiary Mi9 New Zealand to offer NZ brands the opportunity to partner with the likes of Business Insider Australia, Pedestrian.tv and Gizmodo Australia. Next month, Mi9 New Zealand will be representing Pedestrian Group in the NZ market, offering clients the opportunity to work with leading youth publications including Lifehacker […]
ViacomCBS Networks International (VCNI), a division of ViacomCBS, is launching a premium streaming service internationally, appealing to audiences of all ages. The new SVOD service will start its international roll-out early in 2021, offering exclusive premieres of all new SHOWTIME series, including Halo and American Rust. CBS All Access originals will also premiere exclusively on the new service, such […]
As part of a larger project to refine their brand with partner branding agency Re, Optus have engaged experimental creative studio FutureDeluxe to explore how the iconic ‘Yes’ brand mark behaves in a sophisticated 3D environment. FutureDeluxe have produced a series of 8x idents and a number of static key visuals which will be used […]