Questions

What name should I give to my product? (rebranding)

In a nutshell: My voice-controlled home automation system was named ModernSteward (I'm stupid). The confusing part is: when you are giving a command, there should be a keyword. The keyword is Melissa, so you can say "Melissa, turn the lights on". Melissa is very catchy and since we have a lot of publicity with it, we are seeking for another name of the product. Obviously, "Melissa" is not OK, because melissa.com is registered. We were thinking about something like MelissaHome.com See the current website: http://modernsteward.com

9answers

I like the name "Melissa" — but I wouldn't use a website URL like www.melissahome.com because it just doesn't feel "natural" — I would choose something that implies what Melissa means to us... For example: "Ask Melissa" or something like that.

Good luck!


Answered 6 years ago

What if I don't like Melissa - or the bad guys discover that is the magic keyword? Surely I can pick my own name? Ted, Frank, Melinda? So company name should be different - like modernsteward or MagicButler.com (better still.. it is for sale for a small fee from Brighter Naming)


Answered 6 years ago

A voice-automated home automation system probably has broad consumer appeal, since it applies to so many of us (potentially).

Given that fact, I think your domain should do more than just fit the command word you're using. It should be memorable, of course. And it ought to convey relevant information and make the right first impression. Ideally it would do more than those things too, by facilitating passive online discovery.

Thumbs down to MelissaHome.com. Sorry.


Answered 6 years ago

The reality is, no matter what alternative domain you land on, you're going to have to buy it. I like the domain iMelissa.com, but of course, someone owns it.
What's more important for you is building more an audience/following. A short form product video is critical. The only videos I can find, take a full minute before I see "Melissa" do anything. Longer, before I see what the hardware/form-factor looks like. You would really benefit from a video like this one: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/canary-the-first-smart-home-security-device-for-everyone
Something like that would be more shareable. You've had some nice press- but it's not very sharable- which might explain the small following you currently have on your social pages.
Hope that's helpful, would be happy to chat more.


Answered 6 years ago

If you decide to stay with Melissa .... I think the branding idea is that "someone is always home to do your bidding." So maybe the idea is that "Melissa is Home". Therefore, maybe "MelissaIsHome.com" could work AND it is available at this writing.


Answered 6 years ago

Melissa has 3 syllables. Fewer is better. Siri has 2 syllables and 4 letters -- and it's easier to say (phonology).

MelissaHome sounds like a command to a dog or a deprecating command to a child: "Melissa, go home." Wait, forget about the "go." "Melissa, home!"

Never start with publicity. Start with what is right for your audience, right for your brand, right for what you want to evoke. MelissaHome does none of these things. Go back to my previous post. If you do stick with "Melissa," for the sake of argument, put a verb in front of it. When I did a project for a high-end antioxidant drink company, they had a catchy brand name but a difficult to spell ingredient (can't say here for confidentiality reasons). The website I suggested and that they use today was Drink<BrandName>.com -- because that's what they wanted people to do: Drink It! The ingredient was a feature, but not a benefit in and of itself and moreover, it was insuperably difficult to spell or pronounce.

You should think along the same lines.

Steven


Answered 6 years ago

Give her a last name. MelissaFoden, MelissaGustavson, MelissaGunnion, MelissaNordyke, and MelissaChristopher are all available as dot-com URLs, while MelissaJoseph.com can be had for a mere $18,000. Wait, wait - are you choosing your product name by whether or not you can get an exact-match URL? That's a mistake. Choose the name of the thing first. The name has certain important jobs to do. It should not be compromised for the sake of a domain name. You can create the right URL later - get the name of your product right first. Though MelissaGunnion does have a certain lilt to it, don't you think?


Answered 6 years ago

Melissa has too many potential pronunciations

Here are two, in IPA (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:English_pronunciation):

/məˈlɪsə/
/meɪlisɑ/

Consider something that's a little more internationally pronounceable in order to avoid having multiple names for your product across the globe as you expand.

Definitely don't exceed three syllables, but two is probable a goal. "Siri" is two, "OK, Glass" is three, and "OK, Google" is four. You know what's easier to say quickly!


Answered 6 years ago

While I like Melissa, as others have mentioned there are international as well as phonetic issues with it. Many languages don't have 'L' sounds--which could lead to user issues. Also using a common proper name will have some issues as well... One of which you've already discovered domain names, the other may be the Melissa's of the world not being to pleased with their name being associated with a digital servant.. While their is a shortage of great available domains. For longevity, you may want to consider looking at your entire product experience and branding and align them into a more coherent system that can evolve as your business shifts and changes.


Answered 5 years ago

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