How to name a SaaS product: Tips for SaaS product naming
Figuring out how to name a SaaS product can be a challenging process when you’re first getting started with your new software business. After all, while the name of your business will help you to attract customers and earn their loyalty, it’s not enough on its own.
You still need an effective product name to outshine the competition and stay ahead in your industry. The title you choose for your software will help customers understand exactly what you’re selling.
It can also ensure you have the potential to become a staple of your customer’s technology stack.
Like any product name, the right names for SaaS products give you an edge in an increasingly cluttered market, strengthen your brand equity, and boost awareness.
Unfortunately, choosing the ideal name isn’t always easy. While there are plenty of cool SaaS names out there, like Canva and Photoshop, there have also been some major flops over the years.
Today, we’re going to be introducing some of the tips and tricks you can use when you’re finding a good name for a SaaS product, as well as looking at the mistakes you’ll need to avoid.
The importance of finding a good name for a SaaS product
Software as a Service, or “SaaS” companies are growing increasingly common in today’s digital world. According to the latest research, in 2021, the market for SaaS was already worth a whopping $143.77 billion.
However, the rapid pace of innovation, combined with an accelerated state of digital transformation means the space is growing faster than ever before.
With a CAGR of around 25.89%, the SaaS market is set to reach an amazing value of around $720.44 billion by 2028.
On the one hand, this means there’s a lot of opportunity out there for software as a service brands hoping to reach a valuable audience. On the other hand, it also suggests you’re going to have a lot of competition when you do make it into the market.
While a great SaaS naming strategy won’t guarantee you’ll outsell your competition, it does give you a better opportunity of thriving in a complex market.
Just like a memorable business name, a good SaaS product name expands your brand equity, and gives your customers another way to understand and connect with your organization.
SaaS product names build on the existing brand identity you’ve built with your business title, logo, and design choices, while focusing the attention of customers on the unique benefits and features your service has to offer.
The most significant benefits of a good name for a SaaS product include:
A SaaS product name is another valuable way to differentiate your brand and capture your audience’s attention in a cluttered market.
Like your business name, it helps to keep your organization top-of-mind with the right people and can improve your chances of reaching the right customers, particularly when you keep SEO in mind.
Your SaaS product name is a chance to further separate yourself from the other competitors in your industry, highlighting specific benefits and letting your customers know what to expect from the service.
Everything you do to distinguish and enhance your company’s image is important to your overall brand equity. Your SaaS product names make you more appealing not just to customers, but potential shareholders and investors too.
How to name a SaaS product: Getting started
Naming any product or business can be a complex process. While some company leaders assume they’ll simply have a burst of inspiration the moment they’re done producing or developing their software, this is rarely the case.
Naming your software means thinking carefully about what your customers are going to be looking for when searching for a solution like yours.
The good news is the process for figuring out how to name a SaaS product is very similar to naming anything else. It all starts with a little research, and some creative brainstorming.
Step 1: Define your SaaS solution
One of the first steps you’ll take when naming a company, is sitting down with your team and defining your brand mission, values, and goals. You’ll need a clear understanding of what your business is going to offer and how it’s going to benefit your target audience.
This should guide you towards a name capable of resonating with the right people.
Similarly, when you’re naming your SaaS product, you’ll need to think about what the solution is going to do. For instance, when “Buffer” was coming up with the name for its social media scheduling tool, the team concentrated heavily on the functionality of the service.
The solution allows you to “buffer” your posts to roll out at specific times, so you can connect with your audience when they’re most likely to resonate with posts.
A good way to start finding inspiration for your SaaS product name, is to write a list of the benefits your service can offer. What’s the USP you’re trying to convey with the technology? What kind of pain points are you trying to address?
Step 2: Conduct market research
Excellent naming depends on fantastic research. Once you know what makes your business special, and what kind of benefits you’re offering with your SaaS solution, it’s time to look at a few different things, your market, competitors, and customers.
Examining the software market you’re in will give you some much-needed inspiration around the words and terms you should be using.
For instance, if you’re creating a SaaS solution for the financial industry, it makes sense to use terms financial professionals are going to be familiar with, like “books”, for bookkeeping, or “accounting”.
Researching your competitors gives you an insight into the kind of words and phrases which attract potential audiences in your chosen area. It’s also a good way to make sure you don’t end up with a name too similar to anything else on the market.
You need your SaaS product name to stand out from the crowd.
Creating a set of user personas highlighting the kind of people you’re going to be targeting with your product is often extremely useful.
When you know what types of buyers you’re trying to reach, you can adapt your language choices to match the kind of phrases your customers are most likely to be searching for.
Step 3: Start brainstorming
With a clear view of the USPs of your Software as a Service product, and plenty of research to guide your decisions, it’s time to start brainstorming.
The most important thing to remember when naming a SaaS product, is during the early stages, your focus should be on coming up with as many ideas as possible. Don’t try to refine your choices yet.
Start with a list of all the phrases people might associate with your software solution, or the terms they might use to describe it. Think about the words people use when discussing the issues, they need to solve with your services.
For example, Freshbooks, the accounting SaaS software, uses the word “books” to remind us of bookkeeping, and the word “fresh” to help us see the value of the service.
The ability to manage all of your information for financial accounts in one place is “refreshing”, and the company’s approach to ease-of-use is a fresh take on otherwise complex tools.
Bring your whole team together for the brainstorming session, so you can get as many different perspectives as possible.
Testing names for SaaS products
While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for SaaS product naming, it’s easy to go wrong if you don’t have the right testing strategy in place.
At the very least, you’ll need to ensure any names you choose are:
Unique: Your SaaS product name can’t be like anything else on the market, and needs to be specific to your target audience.
Searchable: Although some software companies use abstract names, it’s much easier to attract customers when you give them a name easy to search for.
Relevant: A great SaaS product name should provide an insight into what your service can offer, so your customers know exactly what they’re buying into.
Once you’ve worked with your team to narrow down a list of potential names, use the following checklist to decide whether each moniker has potential.
Does it communicate value?
First and foremost, when you’re learning how to name a SaaS product, your focus should always be on communicating as much value as possible to your target audience. You need to provide hints to what your software can do, and why it’s so useful.
For instance, Microsoft Office Online instantly tells users they’re getting and “Office” experience on the web.
Is it easy to pronounce and spell?
Word of mouth is an important marketing tactic for SaaS brands, particularly among B2B companies discussing their latest tools. Having a name people can easily pronounce will be crucial to your brand awareness.
At the same time, an easy-to-spell name ensures people can find you quickly online when searching for apps and tools to assist their company.
Is it memorable?
A good name should always be memorable, whether you’re choosing a moniker for a business, or you’re selecting a new product name. Zoom is an easy-to-remember name because it’s fun to say, short, and emotive.
You instantly get a sense of “speed” with this name, as well as a reference to visuals through the “zooming” feature on cameras.
What emotion or tone does it convey?
Names can be highly emotive tools in your branding strategy. They’re a way to instantly connect with your audience on a deeper level, when used correctly.
When you say your SaaS product name out loud, or see it written down, how does it make you or your colleagues feel?
Is it flexible?
Software, just like the companies behind it, can evolve and transform over time. While it might be tempting to focus your name on a key feature of your product, be careful not to choose a restrictive name.
Your chosen title should scale easily with your organization, and continue to be relevant as your technology evolves.
Is it unique to your brand?
Doing your due diligence is essential whenever you’re choosing a name. When you’re searching for a new company name, you might check trademark registers online to see if something has already been claimed.
It’s worth taking a similar approach with your software name. Don’t just focus on making sure the exact name isn’t taken. Avoid anything too similar to an existing name too.
Is the domain name available?
The chances are you’ll host your software solution on the website you use for your larger brand. This means you might not need a separate domain name for the SaaS offer. However, if your SaaS product becomes extremely popular, people might start searching for its name instead.
Having ownership of the domain name for your SaaS product can help you to boost brand equity.
Finding a good name for a SaaS product: Top tips
The best SaaS names don’t usually happen by accident. They’re a product of careful evaluation, brainstorming, researching, and testing.
If you’re wondering how to name a SaaS product quickly, you may be disappointed. There’s a lot of work involved in coming up with a great moniker.
For companies and startups looking to start generating interest in their product as quickly as possible, it might be helpful to outsource the naming process entirely.
Attractive SaaS names can be very difficult to create on your own, which is why so many people end up using naming services to help them. A naming company can do the work and due diligence for you, so you can focus on developing your SaaS company.
Outside of getting professional help, here are some other top tips you can use when asking “how do I name my SaaS product?”
Don’t choose names in a vacuum
Your SaaS product name should be an extension of your brand and overall identity. With this in mind, make sure you have a clear set of brand guidelines when you’re in the midst of the brainstorming process.
The name you eventually choose should connect to your larger business and brand values.
Get customer input
If you already have clients or customers for your software business, it might be worth testing the clever SaaS names you create on them. Some of your top VIPs and big spenders can give you some useful insights into whether your name is as effective as it seems.
You can even run polls and surveys to collect more intelligence.
Do your due diligence
If you’re combining different terms to make a new word, or using a different language, it’s important to ensure your name doesn’t mean something else in other parts of the world.
Work with professionals to ensure your title is going to have the right impression on your audience, regardless of where they encounter it.
Keep it short and sweet
A good SaaS name often gets straight to the point. Look at apps like Slack and Trello. Their names are more memorable because they’re brief and concise.
Try to avoid falling into the trap of using multiple words to describe what your service can do. One or two words at most is often the sweet spot.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. You don’t have to stick exclusively to pre-existing words to come up with attractive SaaS names. Some of the most popular tools on the market today, like QuickBooks, come from combining different words into something new.
You can experiment with language to get the right results.
How do I name my SaaS product? Good SaaS name examples
If after all of our tips on how to name a SaaS product, you’re still struggling to come up with the ideal name, don’t panic. A successful naming process can often take a lot of time and work. Fortunately, you can sometimes accelerate the process with a little extra inspiration.
If you’re having a hard time with your SaaS product naming strategy, look at some of the major brands in your industry, and try to unravel how they came up with their names.
1. HubSpot’s “Hubs”
HubSpot is a company in the B2B world responsible for creating a huge range of different software solutions. The company’s names are simple and effective for its SaaS products.
Rather than coming up with creative and unique titles for every SaaS name, the brand links everything back to its larger company identity. “HubSpot’s” products all include the word “Hub” in their names.
For instance, if you want to access a suite of tools to help you with selling products to a wide selection of customers, you would choose the “Sales Hub”. If you were interested in marketing tools to promote your business, you’d look at the “Marketing Hub”.
One of the better-known companies among designers and creative professionals in the world, Adobe is a master at choosing powerful names for its software solutions.
The “Photoshop” software, for instance, immediately tells users what to expect from the photo editing system. The title conveys the idea of a “shop” of tools you can use to transform your images.
Adobe also has a host of other SaaS solutions worth mentioning, from Illustrator to “Acrobat”. Each name gives us a closer insight into what we can expect from the product, and the kind of features it tries to offer.
For instance, “Acrobat” helps to make files more flexible.
Another of the better-known software companies in the world today, Microsoft keeps things simple with its SaaS product naming strategies. Like Adobe, Microsoft gives its customers a clear view of what to expect from each product with the name it chooses.
Microsoft “Teams” brings employees together in a convenient environment for collaboration and ideation. Microsoft “Office” gives customers access to a range of tools they would usually access in an office environment, like word documents and spreadsheets.
The names are simple, easy to remember, and packed with meaning.
Choosing names for SaaS products
Figuring out how to name a SaaS product can feel extremely complicated. However, it’s much simpler than it might appear.
Most of the time, with a little bit of creativity and the right amount of research, you can come up with a powerful name, capable of connecting with your target audience.
If you’re struggling to choose a SaaS product name to resonate with your target audience, the best thing you can do is seek out assistance from a specialist company with expertise in the naming landscape.
A naming agency will be able to take some of the stress of naming off your shoulders, so you can focus on developing a stronger company.
We’ve made our name by naming other businesses. If you require a new name for your brand, product or service, let’s start a conversation…