8 December 2014 | 34 Comments
Recently I wrote about a tabletop game project called WordTov. A few weeks into the project, the project creator, Michel Nizon, realized that some people were searching Kickstarter for “Word Tov” (two separate words). The searches were unsuccessful.
So Michel did something clever–he changed the full project title to: “WordTov: Word Tov The Board Game of Dramatic Reversals.” The repetition is a little clunky, but it had the intended effect.
This is an example of one of several things you should consider when picking a name for your project–not just the name of the product, but also the full name on Kickstarter. Here’s the full list:
- Legality: Does the name of your product conflict with an existing trademark? You don’t need to secure a trademark before launching on Kickstarter, but you do need to do a trademark search.
- Direct Searchability: The two primary places people will search for your Kickstarter are Google and Kickstarter itself. So before you move forward, search a few different names on both of those platforms to see the results. You might encounter projects that use the exact same name or projects that you don’t want associated with yours.
- Indirect Searchability: As a way to complement the searchability (or lack thereof) of the product name, add a subtitle that can help lead more people to your project. For example, if you’re raising money to make a new type of sunglasses called YouVee, add a subtitle that captures a broader audience than those specifically searching for your project (YouVee: The Summer Sunglasses of the Future). I’ve even seen some projects try (mostly unsuccessfully) to build off the hype around other projects, such as those that used “potato salad” in their project name this past summer even if they had nothing to do with potato salad.
- Spellability: You know how to spell your project name because you thought of it and you look at it every day. But everyone else has only seen or heard the name once or twice, and if your name isn’t obvious to spell, those people may never find your project. This will happen even if people have seen your name in print numerous times–think about all the people who spell your name incorrectly in emails even after you signed the previous email with your name! Make your name as easy to spell as possible, and when in doubt, include supporting words in the subtitle.
- Letters/Numbers: Letters and numbers are tricky. For example, we have an upcoming tabletop game project called Between Two Cities. Will people try to spell it “Between 2 Cities” when they search for it? Absolutely. And the search will come up blank. So I might have to find a way to get the number 2 in that title somewhere.
- Brand Definition: Most likely you have a company name (even if it’s a sole proprietorship) and you’re hoping that the product you launch on Kickstarter will be the first of many products your company offers. Ideally people will know your brand for the company name, not the name of the first product. However, if your first Kickstarter is really successful, people can’t help but know you more by the name of the project than your company name. So please be abundantly aware of the impact that will have on your future branding.
Fellow creators, can you tell us about the process you went through to name your Kickstarter project? Are you pleased with the results, or do you wish you had named it something else?