What is the problem with generic product names?

by Hamlet Batista | June 25, 2007 | 0 Comments

If you have read my about page, you already know one of my businesses: NearshoreAgents. You can learn more about what we do by visiting the website.

I want to share a nice little debate I recently had with the company's marketing and sales director, Michael Payne. We were brainstorming the right name for a new product. He wanted a generic name but I strongly refused.

One of the best things about blogging and interacting with potential customers is that you get to understand their needs. This is of tremendous value at the time you are trying to come up with new product ideas.

I review our chat transcripts every day. They tell me a lot about the quality of service we are providing, problems, etc.

At the moment we are only targeting businesses, but we have noticed we are getting service inquires directly from consumers. A lot of people don't know how to solve their PC problems. We saw this as a great opportunity to introduce our first B2C product. Live tech support for end users. I won't get into all the details as that is not the purpose of this post.

Michael wanted to name the product ChatTechSupport. The product name says exactly what we plan to do. It includes the main keywords (search engine friendly) and is not too long.

What is my problem with that name?

Let's say you sell bottled water and you name your product BottledWater. Someone asks for your product at a grocery store: "I want BottledWater". They would probably get any bottled water, not necessarily your brand. Now, If they ask: "I want Perrier". Chances are they will get what they are asking for. You get the idea?

Even when keywords in the domain name help in the rankings, I always prefer to have brand names. The name should reflect what we do, but in a more creative way than just including the exact meaning verbatim.

We finally settled for TechChat247. Its closely related to our main product and conveys the message that we provide tech support 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

I am not saying that generic names are a bad idea 100% of the time. There are special cases where generic names are a good approach. One very successful case is Aaron's Wall SEObook, Business.com, and a few others.

Do you use a generic name or a brand name for your blog? Why?

Hamlet Batista

Chief Executive Officer

Hamlet Batista is CEO and founder of RankSense, an agile SEO platform for online retailers and manufacturers. He holds US patents on innovative SEO technologies, started doing SEO as a successful affiliate marketer back in 2002, and believes great SEO results should not take 6 months

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