A few friends and I have come up with an idea that we want to do some research on. I was planning on moving forward, whilst following the advice many people have given on here and elsewhere, by creating a simple landing page and see what kind of traffic we can get to it. My question is should we take the time to come up with a name before constructing this landing page and starting our market research? And will that name be an influence on our research?
You can obviously structure varying types of tests of a business concept. It depends on your goal and what you are trying to test specifically.
If your focus is on testing the functionality, then I think you can go without a name. Just make clear that is what is going on and be sure to focus people on the functionality elements.
But it sounds like your test is more one of marketing feasibility than functionality - "see what kind of traffic we can get to it". This suggests that you are going to be focusing on the marketing and messaging elements of the business concept more than the functionality.
Since the name is a key part of messaging, I would think you'd want to have a solid name. Maybe not the final, final name - but a good candidate name. Then the name, to some degree, becomes part of the test as does all the messaging and promotional techniques that you wrap around it.