Are All Good Product Names Really Taken?

Previously I wrote about How a Good Name Turns out to be Crap – Literally – well, whatever the meaning, it did not hurt JobbyGuy Kawasaki was lamenting on the difficulty of finding a good name/domain (Oops, are you sure you want all that comment spam left there, Guy?)

Now Robert Scoble comes up with a very simple rule: only pick names that do not come up on Google, Yahoo or MSN Windows Live search at all.  It makes sense to me, but of course it’s easier said then done.  Case in point is Vyew, which I just wrote about yesterday.   Dharmesh  (whom I just got to know very recently but am already hooked on his blog) says in his comment:  “Though I will certainly agree that the name is cute, I think it a bad choice as spelling is too strange for a common word. Those that hear it spoken are highly unlikely to know how to spell it.”

What do you think?  Can intentionally misspelled common words that in  pronunciation describe the product, but are only available as domains and are only unique on search because of the “typo” actually become Brands?

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Update (5/1):  I’ve just realized there is a pretty good existing precedent: Wyse, the thin-client company.

Update (5/2):  In another naming related news Jeff Nolan reports that SAP & Microsoft renamed their Mendocino project to Duet.  I can see Mendocino being a project name, but Duet  is more telling for the product – certainly better than Duel.    Obviously Duet by itself fails the Scoble-test, but “Duet SAP” or “Duet Microsoft” works pretty well.

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  1. Anonymous says

    Zoli, when I was ready to set-up ebdex, I was not sure what to call the company. I wanted a name that can be easily pronouced and spelled, and catchy. My first choices were taken – websites and company names. So I settled for ebdex. Initially I started spelling eBDeX, but people got confused. Then I decided to follow easyjet, always lowercase. So now there is no confusion. How can you pronounce vyew. If you are serious, you got to pick up a name that can be pronounced and spelled easily. Trying to be clever and different does not always work. Then again fcuk was a great brand!

  2. Anonymous says

    That’s a good question, I’ve just assumed we’d pronounce it “view”. Perhaps the Vyew guys will tell us 🙂

  3. Anonymous says

    Hi Zoli,

    Thanks for mentioning Vyew in your blog. I have gotten a lot of valuable information and insight through your reader’s comments.

    There are a couple of points that I wanted to address.

    First off, Vyew was one of the only available 4 letter names that most closely reflected what the product was about. Although the spelling is a little abstract, we will continue our branding strategy and see where it will take us (admittedly, we don’t have a whole lot of options). Hopefully, as people become more and more aware of, there will be less confusion in the spelling/pronunciation of our name.

    Secondly, I admit that when I talk about Vyew with folks that aren’t familiar with the term, I say “View”, that’s V-Y-E-W.

    Again, many thanks for your posts and review. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at fred [at] simulat [dot] com.

    Fred Han

    Manager, Marketing and Business Development

  4. Anonymous says

    By the way, ebdex stands for electronic business document exchange. So it was not picked out of thin air as one might suspect.

  5. Gold Medal for Listening to Customers

    And the Gold goes to: Vyew.

  6. Could not find a suitable section so I written here, how to become a moderator for your forum, that need for this?


  1. […] time I asked the question, the majority vote was yes (albeit with few participants).  I used Vyew as an example, which I still think is a good […]

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