What I learned from my $719 Squadhelp Naming Contest

TL;DR

  • Make a good briefing and continously update it
  • Have time: You need to provide lots of feedback to the contestants, have at least 1-2 hours per day
  • Add to some entries higher ratings, even if you don’t like them. With this contestants get higher engaged
  • Accept premium entries, even if you don’t want to pay additional fees, but with these you get new ideas
  • The Name should be easy to remember, spell and pronounce correctly as well as available with your local country TLD (like .de for Germany) and optionally if you want to go internaionally with .com

I have lots of business or product ideas that come up throughout the year. But I am really not creative when it comes to names. So I was looking for an option to hire somebody whos more familiar with such a creative thing.
Since I already used a lot contest and outsourcing platforms like 99designs, Upwork and Fiverr to name just a few for Outsourcing work, I specifically searched for such a platform.

So I was searching for “startup name contest” and found squadhelp and a few other platforms which didn’t have the best ratings and reviews out there.

I settled a naming contest and ordered the platinum package:

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I ordered this certain package since I wanted to have the Audience Testing, Linguistics Analysis (I thought this would be something different – we will come to this later) + Trademarks check.

What you need to know about the Platinum Package:

Audience Testing

  • you can test up to 6 ideas
  • is limited to Age, Gender, Location (by country). 
  • You get only 100 responses – what will be not statistically significant – it can only give you a feeling of what could be better
  • you get a nice report which at least show you the distribution of answers per gender + age, so can at least see if the main audiences (if you have a wider range) are uniformly distributed or overweighted -> cannot mention it enough. Take care! It’s not statistically significant.

Linguistic Analysis & Trademark Check

So this is a outsourced service provided by TrademarkNow. And actually the results are very poor and actually safe you 1-2 hours of research, while your manual research will give you better results (at least for non-us located customers).

Linguistic Analysis

Actually I did the linguistic analysis for Germany, since I am located here. Furthermore you can only select one country for the Linguistic Analysis and Trademark check. Since I am in Germany and EdgeEscape is quite difficult for germans to spell, I expected to receive detailed information about the “easiness” to spell, pronounce and remember the tested names based on the country. But What I received was more like a breakdown of the words in the name with meanings in different languages (what wasn’t bad, but maybe my expectations just were wrong).

Trademark Check

Before the trademark check begins, you need to describe the business / product that you will be developing. Please make sure that you also consider what you want to do in the 5+ year future.

The Trademark Check which comes with the linguistics analysis is pretty massive. In total we received a pdf with 164 pages. But It’s a copy and paste job, that looks like it’s easily done by a computer script.

It starts with a Management Summary of the safety level and research results summary.

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After this you will receive:

  • Similar Trademarks (actually don’t check only the similarity score: Our EdgeEscape had 92% Similarity to a Company called Edge, don’t know how they calculate, but that seems a bit strange).
  • “Similar” Names of registered Companies in Germany ( “Roman Donald Schneider” has a similarity of 86% to Edge Escpae -> well no?)
  •  A list of Apps, Music Videos and Alcohols (why Alcohols?) with a similar name 
  • The word meanings (from the “linguistic analysis)
  • A List of Google Search Results -> From the US! Don’t know why they don’t switch location to Germany for this report
  • Social Media Results (actually only Twitter & Youtube, no Facebook or other social networks were included)

Instant Trademark Check

Well I didn’t see this functionality anywhere in the tool and also the way you are led through the contest milestones didn’t provide any steps for the instant trademark check. 

Tips for a successful contest:

Sounding, Pronunciation and spelling according to your target audience

Future-Proof name

Consider not only what you actually want to do, but where your business or product could be in 3-5 years. Add this to the briefing, too. Otherwise the entries are going too far into one niche.

Take your time

During the 1-week I took 1-2 hours every evening to check new entries, provide feedback and note down what I liked and didn’t like. This is definetly not a fire & forget task, the whole process was very evolving every day. Please keep in mind that you should be having the time.

Provide Feedback to Entries and message all participants

Yeah the headline already speaks words: It’s really necessary to provide lots of feedback and messages to the participants to keep them engaged.

From the entries I learned a lot what I liked and didn’t like. After that I sent a message to all participants in the evening and after a couple of minutes I already received new entries with the applied feedback.

Rate Entries (and rate some entries very good that you even don’t like)

While it’s good for you to rate the entries to narrow down your likings, I also realized that rating 4 or 5 stars on entries that I didn’t like led the participants to engage even more and with the new entries I often found new ideas the way it could work.

Pros of the Squadhelp Contest

  • Loads of input: 1925 Entries from 150 participants.
  • Very good for sole entrepreneurs or teams with a lack of creativity
  • Quick way to find a name (that can be registered as domain with your desired Top-Level-Domain)

Cons of the Squadhelp Contest

  • Linguistics Analysis and Trademark check are very poor
  • Audience Testing is not statistically significant and the options to select the audience are very limited and with it results are very “broad”.

Would I do it again?

Well yes. I would do another contest. But I would do a bronze contest and increase the award to 300$ to attract more participants. You can additionally promote your Contest on the main page and in the contest listing what could be beneficial.

You now want to start you own Naming Contest on Squadhelp?
I would appreciate using this link https://www.squadhelp.com (I receive a commission from the sales)

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