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Just The Tip: Don’t Invent a Product Name. Engineer One.

In: Just The Tip,

It’s 4:30 in the morning and I’m boarding a plane to Nicaragua.

Today’s tip should really be: Don’t board a plane before you having at least one successful hour being awake. It’s bad enough trying to successfully stumble to the bathroom in the middle of the night; try stumbling through a gigantic metal maze of impressively long human conveyor belts, lunatics with luggage, signs designed to be advanced brain teasers (if your gate is between 35-135, turn right, do a series of cartwheels, lunge in front of the Hooligan's, turn 52 degrees to your left, look for an arrow that mysteriously points in the opposite direction, go toward the secret train that we'll actually call a tram just to add another layer of fun, with secret doors that only open for exactly 4.2 seconds so you'll have to take a running start to make it on, before holding on for dear life for 14 stomach-jolting stops in time to arrive at Terminal Asshole, where you promptly exit and drop down on your knees to pray because even if you don't believe in god it's really your only hope to arrive at gate 135B, not 135A, because—surprise!—you did it all wrong and your gate was actually way back where you started, in the next town over.) Then, of course, you've got the geniuses on a power trip with airport-issued golf carts, grimacing men asking hard questions like, “What is the purpose of your visit?” I mean, is this an existential question? Do you really want me to get into it? And let's not even talk about the fact my passport photo looks like it belongs in the terrorist hall of fame. Do you know how many times I've been “randomly selected” for a pat down? It's not like I run a blog called The Middle Finger Project or something.

Now that we're all cross-eyed and considering whether or not Terminal Asshole even made sense, it's probably high time I give you the real tip of the week, which actually is neither here nor there, which could almost be a travel pun if it didn't happen to be 4:30 in the morning and you could actually PROCESS SENTENCES.

The real tip of the week is this:

What you say isn't just more important than what you sell (a concept I preach every day)—but what you say IS what you sell.

In the virtual land of web pages, your clients and customers can't actually pick things up and physically inspect them. The only thing they have to go by to make a purchasing decision? Is what you say about it.

Therefore, what you say about what you're selling is more important than what you're actually selling—in terms of your sales conversions, anyway. Obviously if you sell junk there are other implications like zero repeat customers and even more refund requests, but that's an entirely different metric. We're talking about sales conversions—the number of people who see you, versus the number of people who actually take the next step to buy from you.

The problem isn't that you aren't getting found. The problem is that you aren't getting cared about.

Behind the scenes, I've been developing a really useful diagnostic anyone can use to take their words and turn them into ones people care about, which I'll tell you about soon, but in the meantime, here's what I want you to do:

Download this tool.

It's easy as hell to use. (Even for people like me who don't do website code and….stuff.)

It's free for an entire 30 days.

And within the next thirty days, I want you to do one thing:

Experiment with the name of your product or service. 

First, come up with two different versions of the name for your product or service. Then, use the tool to test drive your names. It'll automatically show one name to 50% of your website visitors, and the other name to the other 50% of your website visitors. At the end of the 30 days? It'll tell you which one resulted in more engagement, clicks, and ultimately, sales.

Why reinvent the wheel with a new product or service, when maybe all you had to do was find a better way to talk about the one you've got?

Don't work harder. Make your work work harder.

And then send an anonymous tip to every airport in the world. Because encouraging hives of sleepy, bumbling, drooling humans to use 100% of their mental capacity to find the giant flying metal box they're assigned to can never, ever be a good thing.

Enter your email address and I'll rummage around in my bag of tricks for JUST the thing.



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One thought on "Just The Tip: Don’t Invent a Product Name. Engineer One."

  1. Drew Meyers says:

    i’m in the process of trying to name a new app I’ve been working on…which is essentially a product. It’s no easy task, I tell ya…it’s a lot of A/B testing by asking random people what they think of when they hear “name X”.

    speaking of “names”, this is a good read for people really thinking strategically/long-term: