Ask Steve: Naming and Branding

Under10 Playbook

A reader asks: When are branded names preferred over descriptive names? For your naming strategy, you should attempt to brand only one thing. Related post: Should you change a product name? Which will it be? The company, the portfolio, or the product?

Positioning (and naming) in tiers

Under10 Playbook

In this case, it’s merely a naming convention; you would be unlikely to buy multiple products in the Kindle category. I was running a positioning exercise with a team of product managers and VPs.

Trending Sources

Do your personas have names?

Under10 Playbook

"Names are the hooks we hang ideas on." But… should your personas have names? ” Some teams use character names from TVs and movies, like “Data” and “Scotty” and “Rachel.” ” Some even attempt to make the names generic enough to be gender-neutral—remember “Androgynous Pat” character from SNL back in the 90s? Names are important. I prefer personas (and products) have real names.

Should you change the product name?

Under10 Playbook

Names are the hooks we hang ideas on.—Al The old product name is out; we have a new, super-duper product name. Changing a project code name to a marketing brand name is nontrivial. That's why I always recommend that project names be offensive or embarrassing in some way so that developers don't fall in love with the project name. It's perhaps even harder to change names after an acquisition. Names matter.

The Product Roadmap and the Release Plan

Roman Pichler

As their name suggests, these roadmaps focus on the goals the upcoming releases should provide. The second row states the name of the release like iOS 9.3 As its name suggests, it states the goal of a release, the benefit it should provide, and the reason for creating it.

The T-Shaped Product Manager

Roman Pichler

As the name suggests, product-specific capabilities are limited to a single product or product portfolio. Leadership skills enable you to effectively guide the development team and lead the stakeholders, create an inspiring vision , and reach sustainable agreements , to name just a few.

2017 Product Conferences

Product Talk

I often get and see on social media questions about upcoming product conferences. So we compiled a list. I say we because my assistant, Karen did most of the heavy-lifting. This list is by no means exhaustive. If you know of a product conference that is not on the list and you think it should be, please feel free to recommend it in the comments or send an email to This year, I’ll be attending: Front Conference in Salt Lake City in May.

How to Use Personality Science to Drive Online Conversions

Nir Eyal

This exclusive book excerpt is from Vanessa’s new book, Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People, which was recently named as one of Apple’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017.

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The PM’s Toolbox: Product Management Tools and the Problems they Solve


Both platforms are designer-friendly solutions that power iterative interface wireframes, and both have some big names on their customer lists. In Invision’s corner, we have Salesforce, Uber, and Netflix to name a few, while companies like Disney, BBC, and rally behind

The Secret Product Management Framework

PM Hardcore

It’s in our name, right?) One of the most challenging questions about product management has been – in my experience – “What is Product Management?”. In this post, I share a simple model or framework to answer this question.

19 Product Managers You Must Follow

Under10 Playbook

I'm pleased to be named as one of the 19 Product Managers You Must Follow by Mark Silver at Spectechular. He writes: In order for you to be up to date with the product management community I’ve compiled a list of product managers I think you must follow. Who are they? Read more at 19 Product Managers You Must Follow

Merry Christmas – Take The Week Off!

The Accidental Product Manager

Here's Hoping That You Name Shows Up On The "Nice" List This Year! Loyal readers & subscribers, here’s hoping that this upcoming Christmas season week is a great week for you – I’m taking it off!

The Evolution of Modern Product Discovery

Product Talk

A number of people have asked me why I have a Portuguese name [Contextual Note: This event was in Lisbon, Portugal and Teresa Torres is a common Portuguese name.] Product management is evolving quickly.

Mental Models for Product Managers – Part 2

PM Hardcore

Name Image Description. Each quadrant has a name, such as the "Cash Cow" - products with large market share in markets with slow growth. Cash cows throw off cash (hence the name) that can be used to grow Stars - products with a small share in a high growth markets.

Agile at Scale – Outcome Driven (or Broken)

Tyner Blain

Since this is a heavy name-dropping post, I will once again thank Andy Polaine ( @apolaine ) for the visual which is permanently grafted onto the concept of nested contexts for me now. Assigning the name of a good thing (like roadmaps) to the bad thing.

Agile 51

Why You Are Asking the Wrong Customer Interview Questions

Product Talk

Gazzaniga named this tendency to rationalize our behavior even when we can’t possibly know the reason as the “left brain interpreter” and later studies have shown that we all have an active “left brain interpreter.”.

User Story Reflections

Roman Pichler

As its name suggests, a user story describes how a user or customer uses the product–a digital product is captured from the perspective of the users. Users.

Mentorship and expectations

bpma ProductHub

And let me tell you a story: Mentor was actually a person’s name. The mentorship program at the Boston Product Management Association and how to make the best out of it. Why you might need a mentor in your life. Directing your own life can be equally exciting and daunting thing to do.

7 Ways to Know That You Need a Head of Product

Mironov Consulting

Product names are unrelated, each has a unique pricing unit (per seat subscription, transaction fee, one-time fee) or licensing terms, and overlapping features slow down sales.

When I built products the stupid way

Street Smart Product Manager

In 2007, ProductRepair (name changed), a market leader in its industry, was facing some serious threats: A rapidly maturing business. New “digitally native” entrants with greatly enhanced data collection abilities. A 100% call center based customer service model, with an escalating cost per interaction. Service partners with increasingly divergent strategies. Legacy IT infrastructure that made […].

Agile 16

Climbing the Product Management Career Ladder

bpma ProductHub

Product strategy managers, market segment managers, solution marketing managers, and portfolio managers, to name a few. Before you answer the question, consider the following: If you’re targeting investor-owned utilities, the name of the game is ultimately financial return to shareholders.

Decision Time: How Decision Rules Help You Make Better Product Decisions

Roman Pichler

As its name suggests, majority vote means that most of the people required to decide agree with the proposed solution or idea. Decisions, Decisions. “Is Is everybody OK with changing the release goal for Q3?”, asks Julie, the product manager.

March 24: One-Day Product Leaders Workshop

Mironov Consulting

Sharing leader-level experiences helps us recognize patterns across companies team and give names to apparently-unique issues. What: One-Day Product Leaders Workshop. When: Friday, March 24, 2017. Roundtable dinner on Thursday evening, March 23.

How Software Usage Analytics Supports Agile Development


As part of a list of summer reading recommendations for marketers recently published by Forbes, Juniper Networks CMO Mike Marcellin named “Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster and More Innovative” as his pick.

Outside-In User Story Example

Tyner Blain

Instead of seeing 3 names, I saw two names and one phone number – not a good way to identify the participants. The app then checks the list of contacts on my phone – and for each matching phone number, replaces the phone number with the person’s name.

Product Requirements: Using a Written or Visual Framework

Mind the Product

Occasionally, however, a visual-centric approach opens the door to scope creep and the inclusion of low-value features, or it may lead the product to pivot away from the key pain point in the name of good design. There’s a lot of variation in how companies document product requirements.

The Six Essential Books that Every Product Manager Should Read

Mind the Product

Relevant, applicable, and funny, I regularly name Inmates as the first book any product team member should read to understand what we’re trying to accomplish and why.

AI, Autonomy, and the Build Trap – Announcing our first three speakers for #mtpcon SF

Mind the Product

In January 2015 Nate was named the Chief Product Officer for Pluralsight, the largest providers of online technology learning, where he built a user centered product team, and in February 2016 Nate’s role expanded to Chief Experience Office to also oversee Development, Content, and Product Marketing.

Dual-Track Agile: Why Messy Leads to Innovation

Mind the Product

But it turned out that there were two concerns, namely a risk with our enterprise customers who might be reluctant to share data. But the strength of Dual-Track, namely research and avoiding expensive failures, can also be the weakness of the method. What is Dual-Track Agile?

Agile 107

The Rise of Modern Product Discovery

Product Talk

They include A/B testing , usability testing, customer development interviews , participatory design, and field observations, to name a few. I love that Marty Cagan and Jeff Patton have long been advocates of dual-track development.

Why Product Managers Should Learn to Code

Mind the Product

Self-side note: must stop buying domain names! Building products is amazing. You take an idea – sometimes big, sometimes small – and with your team you make it real. Or at least you make a version of it come to life and then send it out into the world.

The Future Was Already Here – Bringing the Donuts 05/24/2016

Ken Norton

An Indianapolis entrepreneur named Stanley Brown is enthusiastic about virtual reality. How fast does technology move? -. With the financial backing of some friends, he has opened the first retail store dedicated to VR, where visitors can test-drive the newest headsets and apps. As The New York Times writes: “We’re too early and we know it

How to Write Epic User Stories

We can see that they are all part of the checkout process, so we can group them under an Epic named “Checkout”. For example, In a Theme named “Buying process” we will have Epics such as “Checkout” and “Shopping cart”.

It’s time to get your Ph.D. in Sales Comp

Product Beautiful

1 Name changed to protect the innocent. A few years ago, I was working for a large company here in Austin. This company had recently acquired a series of software startups and was attempting to integrate them into their larger hardware portfolio.

Demo 35

What it Takes to Speak at Mind the Product

Mind the Product

We’ve walked away from some very famous names where this has been a requirement, because our audience comes first. It’s not just about getting big names on stage, it’s about ensuring a breadth of insight from different companies, industries, company sizes, geographies, and contexts.

This New Template Helps You Write Better Product Requirements

PM Hardcore

My VALUABLE template – yes, “VALUABLE” is the name of the template! – “Communication” by Joan M. See below for image credit. Effective Communication is Challenging.

Devolving From Good To Bad


But then you get some serious funding, or some board member strongly suggests that you need to bring on some “adult supervision,” or some experienced people from brand-name companies. Here’s the thing, the new people you hire are often from those large, brand-name companies that have stopped growing, are often companies that have long since lost their ability to innovate, and have been living off their brand for many years.

Lewis Lin’s Favorite Books for PMs

Product Bookshelf

Lewis was named by CNN as one of the “top 10 job tweeters you should be following.” The product management interview process is intimidating because it tests your expertise and domain knowledge in many different areas. I asked Lewis C.

Books 30

Let’s Fire a Few of Our Customers

Mironov Consulting

If so, everyone knows these specific deals by name , and there’s already hand-wringing or frustration being voiced quietly in the hallways.

Perfecting the Stealth Launch

Under10 Playbook

Come up with a meaningless name for the product. Congratulations. You’ve perfected the stealth launch! Your product is in the market but no one knows it.