Mobile App Marketing Tip of the Week: Picking A Name

January 15th, 2014

From the mundane “Get Your Family to Download Your App” to the off the wall “Create Beer Coasters” join us on a 52-week journey of some of the top ways to promote and market your mobile application.

Last week we went with the mundane “talk to friends and family” approach to get you started. This week we are taking a step back and looking at picking a name for your app.

Week 2

Mobile Marketing Tips: Pick the Right Name For Your App

Mobile App Marketing Tip - Picking a NameOne of the most important things to realize when you first start out building a mobile app, whether you are a lone entrepreneur looking to create the next “SnapChat” or a Fortune500 company looking to improve workplace efficiencies through a mobile app, is that an app is a product. It is your brand, or a representation of your brand, and simply building an app and throwing it up on the store will not generate success.

So with that understood – What are you going to call your app? Make sure to think of something jazzy and catchy, but also let’s people know what your app does. And include keywords, but don’t simply stuff your app’s name full of them. Oh, and if there is an app that has your name already, it’s best to pick something different. So that clears it up right?

Some things to consider when naming your app
  • Keywords are Important – When you list your app on the app store, you have 100 characters to list as many prominent keywords as possible for your app, if you can put some keywords in the name of your app, you can clear up some space to add in more keywords in that field.
  • You ARE Creating a Product or Brand – An app is a product or an extension of your brand. This is important to understand when considering names.
  • The App Store is Global – Unless you restrict your app to only the US market, the App store is global, and honestly, there are a lot more non-American smartphone users than there are in the US. So don’t have tunnel vision when creating or naming your app. Chevy once had a car called the Nova, it didn’t sell well in Mexico and other Spanish speaking countries. “No Va” in Spanish loosely translates to “doesn’t go.” So watch out what your app name may mean in different languages.
  • You Can Call it Whatever You Want…If you Have a Great Product and Marketing Behind it – Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, some of the largest brands to emerge in the past decade have names that don’t really mean much, but they had a solid product behind it, they built a large user base, and had a good reason behind the name. A googol is 10^100, or 1 followed by 100 zeros, a very large number. Two tech nerds thought that would be a great name for their new search engine, tweaked the name to call it Google, and thus a billion dollar behemoth was created overnight. Well, they’re probably larger than a billion, and it took a more than a few days to reach that level, but all in all, until they came around, “Google” meant nothing, much like without old Willy Shakespeare we would not have the term Advertising.
  • Don’t get Too Cute – Using special characters or a weird spelling of a common word can hurt when people search for your app.
Tools You can Use

So what tools can you use when picking a name for your app?
There are many different online tools you can use, from doing a simple Googol search (It looks so weird when you write it that way) to asking some friends and family for their advice, here are a couple of tools we typically use here at Accella:

  • Google Keyword Planner – Formerly Google’s ‘Keyword Tool’ this will help you show how popular different keywords and phrases are based on how often they are used (You’ll need to set-up a free adwords account to use this if you don’t already have one)
  • SensorTower – A mobile app SEO tool, you can see if there are already other apps with your name, as well as what keywords apps are using to promote their app. (You’ll need to create a free account to use this, but that’s ok, you should be using this tool anyway – we’ll discuss down the line)
  • AppTrace – A free tool that will help you research other apps out there, giving you invaluable insight to your competition. (Isn’t it odd how valuable and invaluable are so closely related? Kind of like Flammable and Inflammable)

With all of that said, a name is VERY important, but it’s not the only important part of building and marketing your app. A catchy, name can help, but it won’t do it all on its own, while a poorly chosen name can hurt your chances right out of the gate.

Tune in next week when we talk about App Store Optimization


The 52 Week Series of Marketing Mobile Applications
Week 1: Talk to Friends & Family
Week 2: Picking the Right Name for Your App
Week 3: App Store Optimization

Jon Stroz

Jon Stroz is a marketing guru, mostly in online marketing strategies and brand management. After graduating from Towson University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations, he quickly became an integral part of a technology firm in Baltimore, MD. Since then Jon has honed his marketing skills and focused on online marketing strategies where he is also a Google Adwords Certified Individual.

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