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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Your advice on changing product name


  I've got a recommendation from a successful entrepreneur - (I don't want to say his name to make sure your opinion are not influenced or anything) - to change the name of my product. Osmosis - https://www.getosmosis.com.

Reasons for changing:

1) The name does not help understanding what the product is about.
2) The word Osmosis is a water process (chemical thing) and also an expression I think: learn that by osmosis, which mean learning in an un-structured way.

The #2 can be problematic since it's probably sending some un-targeted  traffic. Plus when potential customers search for the brand name, they would never see my site on search result, I cannot compete with all the water osmosis thing.

Now I understand an agree, in fact I had this thoughts 6-8 months ago. But still, I'm not sure if I should invest the time and energy to do this.

The problem is not really to finding a new name or to have a new logo designed. I will have to make sure the 301 redirect will work, since the site is https only and my PaaS (AppHarbor) appears to accept only one SSL certificate for my app. I also have a wildcard sub-domain + ssl where customers have their own login screen etc. It's not impossible, but it will be some works.

On the other side, I think it could help making the first 20 seconds more clear about what the product do.

Anyone did this, the product is more than 1.5 years old,

Dominic St-Pierre Send private email
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I didn't change my product name. It's not clear what your question is; my advice: change the name - for all the reasons you mentioned.

On your website, nearly every page:

"Your 30 second away from your free trial"

should be

"You are 30 seconds away from your free trial"
koan Send private email
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Dominic, could you make the grey text on grey text on your, for example, About page even lower contrast, please?  I enjoy a visual challenge.  ;D

Yes, I'd change your name.  Prokaryotic cells have a couple of billion years lead on the brand "osmosis".

Btw, I looked at your page for a couple of minutes and couldn't figure out what your service does.  I guess if I watched the video I would, but I'd rather just read 1-2 sentences first.  I'm not a fan of "mystery meat" web sites in this way.
Racky Send private email
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
@koan thanks for the heads-up regarding "seconds".

@Racky: grey color, depending on the targeted audience, the product is for designers / web developers.

And yes, I know the message is not clear, that's why I hired someone to help me pin point the problems.

Thanks for your time.
Dominic St-Pierre Send private email
Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What I meant about the grey color (in a joking way, but I *do mean this*) is that, at least for my eyes and my monitor, I find that your text is too difficult to see.  I mean, of course, I can read it, yes, but it is--for my tastes--unpleasant to read such a low contrast text. 

I do understand that really *high* contrast is also not good.  I would personally prefer you used a darker value for grey for the text, or a lighter value of grey for the background, or perhaps both.  This would make it much more appealing to read. 

For more on this point, put across far better than I can here, check out this très cool site:  http://contrastrebellion.com/
Racky Send private email
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I can see the argument for changing the name since it's hard to dominate on that term. And It's not like you're going to lose too much link traction after only a few months.

In my browser, the "why you'll love it" to "view product tour" is to the far right, making the whole page extremely unbalanced and ugly, with far too much white space.

Also, the minimum width to view the page is too large for my tastes. Huge letters and tiny letters. It seems a design mess.
Scott Send private email
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Racky, thanks, contrastrebellion looks great. At last, something readible.
Scott Send private email
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
"@koan thanks for the heads-up regarding "seconds"."

I think koan was also pointing out the your/you're mistake.
You could also use 'You are".
A common mistake by non-native speakers.
Gerry Smith Send private email
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Everyone said "Google" was a stupid name when it came out.  People learn quick and accept any name in the long run.
PSB136 Send private email
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
@Racky - yes, I got it :). Make sense, I will investigate to improve the contrast of course.

@scott - Interesting, since the product target mostly web designers / developers I would think that no one have a resolution less than 1200px wide. But thanks for the feedback, I took great note of it. From the test I did on Windows/Mac (did not tested it on Linux yet), the site render correctly. May I ask you what is your browser and screen resolution? Even on tablet it appears to be OK (iPad).

@Gerry - right, thank you for the "now obvious" mistake :)

Still, I understand and appreciate your points regarding the visual aspects and what you do not like about the website. But if someone have some opinion / advice / tips regarding changing the name of a product that's been out there for more than a couple of months with reviews etc. That would be helpful.

Anything I should be careful with? Do you think it could hurt more than it would be beneficial?

Thanks for your time,
Dominic St-Pierre Send private email
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I don't think you need to change your name. You're a brand, and you're not competing for the word Osmosis; you seem to be competing for "questionnaire, client questionnaire, proposal, proposal software, online proposal, questionnaire for designers, proposal for designers, web project."

You can use format markup (http://www.schema.org/)  to specifically tell the search engines that you're a brand, and they are sophisticated enough today not to rank you for water softeners. 

Change it if you want to, of course, but I don't think its an untenable situation.
Darren Send private email
Friday, August 16, 2013

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