- choosing name is the most important part of a business as it is the first impression with your customers.
- The names we choose for our business should brilliantly capture the ideas on which the business stands on
- pick the name that brings an imagination or illustration in your customers mind once they hear the name of it
When it comes to starting a new business, the first thing that comes to our head is what to name it. People are usually so hesitant when making a decision about what ultra-common or unique name to choose for their business, because it defines the image of the business.
Once you start to get your feet wet in an industry, you have competitors, you need to find your own position among them, so finding the best name for your business is no easy.
Why do we need a good name for our online business? Does it really matter?
As a matter of fact, it is the most important part of a business as it is the first impression with your customers. The name is supposed to define who we are and tell our customers what we sell, and if it is impressive enough, it can convince the investors to think about our business as a financial investment.
Business names matter for many reasons, including:
- Names have power:
Some business names are emotional such as Trusting Social, Genuine Impact, Positive Food, Thrive Market, Releaf, and many more.
Names such as Boo or Redskin can offend or attract.
Some are metaphorical names, such as Tinder; when customers hear Tinder, they instantly think of a spark, fire, passion. Tinder’s metaphorical name gives customers the idea that Tinder creates a spark, an instant connection, and with that, Tinder spread like wildfire.
Some have the power to influence, and some others inform people, like WhatsApp messaging app, Facebook, and so on.
- Your first impression with customers:
When your customers see your business name and sign, they will remember it (or they don’t!). Also, the business owners know who you are and what your business is about, the investors looking for businesses that best suits their business potentials and needs with the emphasis on how you do the marketing and of course what your business name is. Make a poor first impression, and it’s tough to recover.
- Target audience:
When your business has a name, communicating your business strategy seems way easier. Your audience can gain knowledge about your values, and decide whether you match with their purposes or not, for example, dance clubs look for a communication with an air of pleasure and fun.
- Media coverage:
One of the benefits of having a business name is that if the name is unique and worthy, the newspapers and magazine may want to write about it so that they can attract more attention. When your business name is distinctive, the readers find it easier and are encouraged to recommend to others, and it may go viral in social media that can attract more people to follow your business.
The names we choose for our business should brilliantly capture the ideas on which the business stands on. Choosing a good name is not a guarantee of success for a business, but a weak brand and/or business name is the start of a failure for your business.
The more credibility a business has, the harder it will be to change its name, so that we recommend you to spend more time and pay more attention when choosing a name for your online business. Depending on your competitors, the cost of renaming, the psychological impact, and the reaction of customers who first hear the name of a product or brand vary widely.
How to choose a name for your online business
Considering the popular business naming strategies, the approach you take should not be traditional as it is not going to work anymore, for example, the name of Apple Company is not what it exactly presents (this is not the name of the products they provide or sell). They call it Apple.com NOT software.com, or people do not call the biggest online library, Library.com but they call it Amazon.com. There are big reasons and strategies behind picking successful business names that we know them as strong brands today.
How can we make one that grows so fast and may go viral?
Here are the tips to a good naming for your online business:
What is the identity of your business?
Write down everything that comes to your head, find 4 or 5 names and then run them by friends, family members, and trusted colleagues to get feedback on them.
There are a number of sites that can help you brainstorm names, including:
- VisualThesaurus.com (gives you a visual around a keyword)
- Shopify Business Name Generator (generates business name ideas and checks domain availability simultaneously)
- NameMesh.com (provides a startup company name generator)
- Naminum.com (allows you to generate names based on a theme)
- Namesnack.com – Namesnack.com is the ‘#1 free business name generator’. You type in your keywords and get more than 100 possible company names in seconds. What’s more, the generator displays the domain names available for each option.
- Wordoid – If you’re looking for a distinctive name, you might want to check out Wordoid. The tool helps develop made-up, yet catchy and meaningful terms to use as a business name.
For example, NameMesh.com gives you the chance to make a name considering different aspects of it. The suggestions it provide you with, includes
- SEO (more suitable words when they search for it online)
- Fun (Adding a little fun to the name you pick will make it more popular aside from the positive impression it leaves customers)
- Short (Names that are too long are not so common and easy to access except when they have been out there for decades)
- MIX (the result is the combination of one word with the others to make a novel and unique name)
GoDaddy’s domain search tool can be very useful when brainstorming.
2. Do not pick hard-to-spell names
By choosing a hard-to-spell name, you will get your potential customers confused when they search for your business online.
The longest we found was “LOCUS INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP DEVELOPMENT AND INCUBATION SERVICES LIMITED” who come in at a whopping 82 characters (not including spaces). Fortunately they have shortened this down for their domain name and come comfortably inside the 15 character limit with licedis.com. Bear it in mind “The simpler the better!”
The name needs to sound good and comfortable when it's said aloud. If you are a fan of alliteration - the words that start with the same consonant, for example Coca-Cola or Jimmy John's, make sure to say it aloud before you approve it because people need to say the name on the radio, video or in conversations. Keep it short and simple so people can remember it.
3. Use literal and descriptive words
The name you choose for your business must describe your business, for example, if you provide services for people make sure to use words like “instant” or “rapid” so that you can convey the meaning of your business or if you want to be more creative, choose a name for your company or online business that is so unique so that you do not make your potential customers work too hard to know what you're all about. They should recognize what you exactly do simply from reading your name, in this way you do not make them confused. Find the name that best highlights the benefits of your products or services.
4. Don’t pick narrow names
You may want your business to grow, the name you pick should not limit your business. If you are selling a specific kind of product now, you may want to sell others products or provide your customers with different services in the future, so that the name you choose for your online business should not cause problems for you down the road. It is worth saying that 55% of the audience leave the websites within the first 15 seconds of visiting. This means that you only have 15 seconds to keep your brand name in the audience's mind. Always remember that the name should be capable of growing along with your business.
5. Pick a meaningful name
Make sure your business name conveys a positive message and means something when it’s said. You should ask yourself if people know what your business is about when they hear its name.
You can use meaningless names like “Google” too, but they have to be unique. Also, you should be ready to pay for the cost they may cause in case you want to brand your online business name. Make sure the name isn't too generic, take advantage of details such as numbers and days, and don’t try to be everything to everybody with your name.
If you really want to get advanced, try to come up with a name that could be eventually used as a verb, or lends itself to the creation of your own “language”.
6. Tell a story with one visual word
It is a big chance for you to pick a name that brings an imagination or illustration in your customers mind once they hear the name of it, for example, the company of Apple simply puts the picture of an apple on its products and take the advantages of choosing a one-word company name for itself.
But why it did not choose a banana as a name, or grapes? In Walter Isaacson's biography, Jobs reveals that he'd come up with the name while “on one of my fruitarian diets.” Having just visited an apple farm, he thought the name sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating.” According to Steve Wozniak: “I remember I was driving Steve Jobs back from the airport along Highway 85.”
7. Conduct several searches before you name it
Go online and search for the name you think is good for your online business, and check if the name is not taken. Do NOT copy if you want to be an independent business, so you do not let your customers feel like you are one branch of other businesses or service providers so that they choose the one that is more popular.
Conduct a search on your government policies to get familiar with the Do’s and Don’ts of starting an online business and branding. Check if your business name will be accepted, and there will be no problems in the future to slow you down.
8. Do not copy
This adaptive naming may put you in the spotlight for a while, but in the long run, the customer will feel like you are either a subset of another brand or your goal is to take advantage of the success of others. Choose an independent name with almost no similarity to the big brands. Don't forget that big brands do not copy their advantages and values from others.
If a business name is already trademarked, you are prohibited from using it even if the company operates in a different state to yours. Essentially, if your name is likely to cause consumer confusion because it's the same or like another business name, then you cannot use that name.
9. Pay attention to other languages and cultures
Sometimes your brand name may not have a good meaning in another language or culture, especially when your business is going to be an export market. There are some factors you should consider when choosing your online business name:
- Not offensive toward the religions and cultures
- Considering ethics and values
- Pay attention to the social organizations
10. Get the .com domain name
We highly recommend you to secure the “.com” domain for your online business rather than alternatives like .net, .org and so on. The reason why we recommend you this is that your customers will tend to associate a .com name with a more established business. By acquiring the .com name you want, you are actually doing a business investment. If you want to provide services internationally, do not use domains showing your country, for example, .ir, .ca, .fr and so so.
The name of the business in e-commerce and online businesses is usually the same as the domain name, with the registration of known domains, choosing a new name becomes a little difficult, however there are many ways to do it.
At the end, you need to ask these questions from yourself
1. Does the name I picked make sense for the business?
2. Is the name easy enough to remember?
3. Are people going to feel easy to spell the name?
4. Does it look appealing for people to say it?
5. Are all the business structures considered?
6. Does it match with your goals?
7. Are you happy with the name?