Confusing Names!

I’ve written posts about naming products before and I gotta say, it’s a tough job. You search and search for just the right name, think you’ve found something really cool, and then…well then you usually realize it’s taken…so you search and search for ANOTHER name, think it’s really cool, go with it and find out later that it confuses the heck out of everyone!

A great example (and my current naming challenge) are our Professional Editions. Our Professional Editions are just a bundle that includes the product for a PDA AND Desktop for one price. Unfortunately people constantly get the impression that there is some sort of feature difference. Maybe the “Professional” version has more bells and whistles? Better encryption?

Unfortunately I can’t blame them. Often a “Professional” version of something IS a version with a number of different features not present in the “standard” edition. Well, it’s time to clear things up.

We’re getting ready to select a new name for our Professional editions bundles. So far we aren’t happy with the results. The biggest problem is the names just end up really long. Then it struck me…just ask the world! Someone is bound to have a great solution to this problem. So anyone have any ideas, insights, or comments?

22 thoughts on “Confusing Names!

  1. dgoldring

    What about if you just called it a desktop bundle. So you have e-wallet for example (because I know that has a desktop version). E-wallet standard would have the PPC version. E-Wallet Desktop Bundle would have both the PPC and desktop version.


  2. Kay

    Let’s see:

    Iliumsoft eWallet 5.0 Professional Edition for Students and Teachers with mobile Computing Platform Support. (UMPC, Tablet PC)

    Iliumsoft eWallet 5.0 Home Edition with mobile Handset Support (Smartphone)

    Iliumsoft eWallet 5.0 Freedom’s Toll Edition for Home and Business use on mobile and fixed computing Platforms that utilize the MSFT Windows Operating System

    FYI: the names in brackets are the targetted platforms 🙂

    and now for the real entries:

    eWallet 5.0 mobile Edition (that is, if you’re planning to make one license work on Palm, Smartphone, Pocket PC)

    eWallet 5.0 (targetted at UMPCs, Tablet PCs, Desktop PCs, Laptops)

    eWallet 5.0 Bundle, which includes versions for all devices.

    Sure, not the most creative words, but I’m quite certain everyone will be able to understand those. Keep it simple, stupid.

    In any case, don’t go with words like “Ultimate” or “Premium” (unless there’s an actual premium in the package) or “Extra”. “Extended Edition” might not work too great either, unless there’s a basic edition too. As such, any combination with “basic” should be avoided too.

    Gotta give you this one thing though, a name can make or break your product. Make sure the new names bear some resemblance to the old ones and make sure there’s a logical way to strip out unneeded parts (think “eWallet 5” instead of “Iliumsoft eWallet 5.0 Professional Edition”

  3. Kay

    On second thought, “mobile Edition” might not work too well, considering that:

    – UMPCs
    – Tablet PCs
    – Laptops
    – Pocket PCs
    – Palm powered Devices
    – Smartphones

    are all mobile computing platforms.

    Thinking about it, “micro edition”, while kinda suitable, might not work too good either, since people would get the impression that there’s a lot missing in that version.

    “eWallet for Windows Mobile Devices”
    “eWallet for Windows”

    those are pretty “dumb”, but there’s simplicity in them. No way you can mistake their names in any way if you ask me.

    If I can come up with more, I’ll share my thoughts 🙂

  4. Brandon

    I have to agree with the other posts… What’s wrong with the KISS method?

    eWallet for Pocket PC
    eWallet for Smartphone
    eWallet Desktop Bundle (Smartphone/Pocket PC)

    There’s no reason to over complicate the issue. I agree that having something labelled as “professional” with no added functionality is a bit confusing … but labeling it as a bundle puts no expectation on the product other than it includes more than one type of said application. By puttting “desktop” in the name of the bundle you’ve set the expectation for what’s included…

  5. doog

    Well, I hate to make a radical suggestion, but how about making every copy a bundle? In other words, sell the versions for Windows Mobile and Palm but just bundle it with the Windows Desktop version. Of course, I don’t know how many copies you sell of the desktop version without a PDA version, but I am guessing that you sell a lot more PDA versions alone than you do desktop versions alone. If I am wrong about that and you do sell a lot of desktop versions solo then you can obviously ignore this advice.

    But if you don’t want to do that, you could call the bundles “Plus” rather than “Professional Edition”. Professional does make it sound like you are adding more features, while Plus may suggest that less.

  6. Marty

    I like the bundled price savings, but I don’t think the products should be bundled. You should continue to sell them as one or just sell the desktop at full price and then give a discount on the mobile version if purchased at the same time. Either way, I think they should be separate downloads, but for convenience the desktop install could offer to download and the launch a mobile version. If I’ve installed 2 products, I expect to see two different entries under Add/Remove Programs.

  7. spmwinkel

    No new idea from me but I think I agree with Brandon. If you name the bundle that includes the desktop version “Desktop Bundel [platform name]” that would very neutral and to the point.

  8. Kay

    I still somehow think the “Desktop” suffix just doesn’t work and should be dropped. Especially if you think about how small the percentage (name wise actually is), out of:

    Desktop PC
    Tablet PC

    only 25% is actually called a “Desktop”.

    I don’t consider my Laptop a Desktop computer and while I’m tech savvy enough to know that the “Desktop” version will work on my Tablet PC, I still believe that there are others out there who might not know and therefore might be afraid to try your application.

    Naming something is tough, especially if you have to find one name that fits several platforms.

  9. Adam

    I agree with Kay and Brandon. It is simple and it follows a basic naming convention that other software makers use.

  10. Kevin White

    Here’s my contribution. I’m really sort of curious if this makes sense to anyone else 🙂

    eWallet for Pocket PC Only
    eWallet for Smartphone Only
    eWallet for Palm Only
    eWallet for Desktop and (whatever)

    My reasoning is, why come up with some silly name? Why not just say what you mean? We mean, ‘the desktop and PDA’ or ‘just the PDA’… why not say it?

    I’m sure it’s harder to say than something flashy, but I’m not sure flashy helps anyone on the end user side of thing. I’m not a marketing person thought.

  11. Kay

    So, Kevin, when you say:

    “eWallet for Palm Only”, are you refering to the Palm devices that utilize “Palm OS” or are you talking about the Palm devices that utilize “Windows Mobile”?

    From your website, I know that it’s Palm OS, but look at it from the POV of a new user who just bought a Palm device (loaded with WM). They come to the site, see that it’s “Palm compatible” and buy it. During the install they find out that they’ve wasted resources.

    Sure, your support would probably give them a license for Windows Mobile, but why waste both your and the client’s time?

  12. Galt



    Seriously though, the original post sounds like you are just looking for a title for the bundle, not for each platform, but many comments here seem focused on differentiating the versions for each target platform. Which is it?

    If you’re not really trying to describe the exact platform and only indicate that there’s extra value in a bundled option, just title it so it’s clear that there’s added value by using words that are already synonymous with value: “Gold” “Premium” “Deluxe” “Supreme”.

    Sure, it’s hard designate right off the bat that the extra value is savings via a multi-OS bundle, not in extra features, so you’re still going to need to reference it (somehow) as a bundle and what’s being bundled. So, on your product page, even if you have the “ListPro 4 Premium Bundle”, you’d still have to make reference in the copy to the operating system variants that are included.

    Some other options:
    Multi Pack (multi-OS bundle of same app)
    Blended Bundle (multi-app/OS bundle of apps)
    Bargin Bundle (makes it sound cheap though…)

  13. Crowdcontrol

    I think this is a great idea. Giving us (bloggers) the chance to shoot some ideas your way to help decide on a product name is awesome.

    Kind of like haveing the resources of a giant think tank pumping out names!

    PocketPak? or PocketPack
    for Handhelds
    DeskPak? or DeskPack

    Thats…..pretty much all the creative brainpower I can muster up at this point in time….. o.O

    Good Luck!

  14. Taccy

    I tend to agree with those above that state that each should be priced individually, with any ‘bundle’ clearly stated, together with the savings that this gives.

    Ewallet for Palm ..$
    Ewallet for Windows PC ..$
    Multibuy saver 1 ..$ (any two Palms)
    Multibuy saver 2 ..$ (palm and windows PC)

    This is clear and unambigous, yet fo customer relations also allows for easily identified purchases ” I bought the Ewallet Multibuy Saver 2 ”

    On a more creative note (and against my suggestion above) for catchy names how about ‘Roam’ and ‘Home’
    Ewallet Roam (Palm) …$
    Ewallet Home (PC) ..$
    Ewallet ‘Roam ‘n Home’ (palm and PC) ..$

  15. Kevin White


    I was typing quickly 🙂 PalmOS, or GarnetOS, or WhateverPalmDecidesToKeepCallingItOS.

    Basically, just say, ‘eWallet For PDA Only’ and ‘eWallet for Desktop and PDA’.

  16. Marc Post author

    Great stuff everyone! I really appreciate all your comments. I think the biggest thing I’m taking away from this is that clever is great but for a bundle KISS makes the most sense. And you’re on the money about the term Palm Kay. In fact we’ve made sure to call a Palm a Palm OS Handheld in as many places as possible. We do quite a lot of exchanging for Treo customers.

  17. Kay


    you were typing quickly, but still, I think the name has to be exact and I believe Mark agrees. With Palm’s switch to Windows Mobile, customers are certainly confused. My example wasn’t for my clarification, but rather for the situation a future customer would be in.


    Glad to be of service. I kinda agree with Crowdcontrol, the “Pack / Pak” suffix sounds good and makes sense.


    I think the “roam” suffix just doesn’t work. I’ve been known to take my laptop just about everywhere, so it’s a roaming device too. Not saying that my names are better, just saying that “roaming” doesn’t work.

  18. Ian

    While I kind of feel, as one person suggested, that e-wallet should always be a package, I would consider the following naming conventions:

    – eWallet On the Go – covering PDAs
    – eWallet at Home – covering Desktops, Laptops, etc.
    – eWallet Combo or – Both packages
    – eWallet Bundle – Both packages

    Once again, Keep It Simple.

  19. Taccy

    Kay, I agree with you.

    Anyway as you state “I’ve been known to take my laptop just about everywhere” I won’t argue as your muscles will be huge!

  20. Kay


    thanks for that, I guess intimidation still works 😉

    I think we should get more people to comment here (in this post), not for the possible prize but rather because the power of the community could really be harnessed for this…

  21. Sam

    How about eWallet Dual version. Other ideas: eWallet Combo, eWallet dual platform and MAD eWallet (mobile and desktop).

  22. Aaron

    I am still waiting for a portable version of eWallet that doesn’t require the crap known as U3.

    The title for that would be obvious. 🙂

    “eWallet Portable” or “eWallet USB”

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