What’s in a name?

by | About Bubble

One of the hardest decision we’ve had to make so far has been what to call our app.

I think decisions like these are tough for a few reasons.

Firstly, it’s something that everyone will have an opinion on – irrespective of age, experience profession or perspective. We’re all qualified to say whether we like a name or not and opinions differ wildly. It’s a bit like a TV advert – any viewer naturally and instinctively forms an opinion on whether it’s “any good” or not, making everyone an expert in their own right.

Another difficulty is that you’re having to name something that doesn’t actually exist yet. We had to come up with a name before we had a brand, a product or any customers. Sure you go through a feedback process with potential users and asses how a name lends itself to building a brand off it – but a name can be hard to ‘create’ before the materials are in place. When it came to naming our recent newborn daughter Thea for example, we had a list or names in our head but when she popped out we needed a bit of time to make sure the name was a fit (some that we’d previously liked just weren’t).

The other reason a bit more specific to us which I think contributed to it being so hard to settle on a name is that what we want bubble to be, what we want it to evoke in users and customers are elements which perhaps aren’t immediately an obvious fit for one another.

Safety and trust are critical for us as parents and the app itself but we’re also focused on delivering an experience that is fun and exciting for our users. These two attributes, “secure” and “fun”, while definitely not mutually exclusive, aren’t easily meshed together in a one or two word name. There was also the dilemma about whether you go for a name that makes what you do immediately obvious but is similar to what else might be out there or whether you choose something a bit more abstract but memorable and catchy at the same time.

Funnily enough our eureka moment came when Adrian’s (my co-founder’s) boy Barney flushed the toilet.

“Bubbles!” he said proudly.

For us, bubble is both catchy and playful while at the same time has connotations of trust, security and connection. It encapsulates how we want to engage with our users and how we’d like them to view the app.

We’ve met people who love it, and those that don’t – ultimately though I reckon that the feelings the name “bubble” evokes in the future, will be synonymous with the service and experience it delivers for the people using it.