What’s In A Name:
The Amateur‘S View Of Good Practices In Naming An Online Educational Program


Michael J. ROSZKOWSKI


ABSTRACT
Branding is considered to be particularly important in the marketing of online educational programs. A critical step to establishing the brand is naming the product appropriately. To this end, one can secure the services of professionals or rely on a do-it-yourself approach. The research reported here aimed to identify the features that non-professionals (graduate students) consider to be important in the name for an online educational product, and to compare these to the recommendations made by naming professionals (as reported in the literature). A survey directed at current and prospective graduate students at a traditional university asked about the desirability of 16 characteristics in the name of a new line of online courses. The six characteristics that were deemed most critical are (in order of importance): self-explanatory, memorable, easy to pronounce, has appealing associations, suggests/hints at the key features, and short. These are the same features that professionals in the business of creating new product names generally consider as best practices in creating a name. The results show that contrary to the concerns expressed by some practitioners in the naming industry, college-educated individuals who do not create names for a living nonetheless demonstrate an awareness and appreciation for the features of a good name in an Internet-based course delivery system.


KEYWORDS: Naming, Online, Features, Non-Professionals, Self-Explanatory, Memorable

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