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How To Choose An Online Business Name

Discussion in 'General Business' started by Celestina Angel Serome, Aug 12, 2019 at 6:46 PM.

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  1. Celestina Angel Serome

    Celestina Angel Serome Administrator Staff Member

    Having a strong brand name gives you an immediate advantage when you're first starting your business. It's important to find the right name when setting up your online store to help it stand out from the crowd.


    Your business name is the first image that your business projects. It is what customers will remember (good or bad) about your business,it will either draw them to it or send them to a competitor’s’ business. Assuming your business lasts for many years, you will have invested a lot of time and money building it. Part of the value of your business is the name. If you have branded the name, your brand alone might be worth more than the assets of the business itself. How much are the names: Amazon, EBay, Instacart, Grubhub, etc. worth today? What if tomorrow Amazon decides to change its name to Shop Knowhow? Would the company’s worth be same as of today?

    The answer is a simple No.

    This is because Amazon has put a lot of time and money building a brand and their business name has etched in the minds of consumers. Also just the word Amazon builds trust and guarantees a service level. The fact remains that Junglee.com was bought by Amazon for its entry into India. But the company was not able to fare well. It was only when Amazon entered under its original name that the company started to do well.


    But the process of choosing the perfect business name that is both catchy and communicates what your business is about is by no means easy. Businesses have failed in the past largely due to a name that just didn’t work, so it’s important to get this right.

    Choosing a good business name is very important for its success and it’s the key to differentiate you from your competitors. Customers associate a business name with the value it provides to them. It’s the first step towards creating a good first impression among your audience. It all begins with the name; it’s time to know how to do it the right way!


    Things To Consider Before You Pick A Name For Your Online Business


    1. Be Descriptive (but not too general or vague)

    One of the crucial things to keep in mind when choosing a name for your business is to ensure it is neither too vague nor generic.Having such a business name does not make your business stand out and people tend to forget it easily. For example, if you are opening an ecommerce store selling paints and name your business as Online Paints, it will hardly make a mark among consumers right away. Now consider the name “Colorify”- it is descriptive enough and not at all boring. It is something that people will remember if and when they come across your business.

    2. Use related words in a creative way

    Often there are times when a name you like for your online business has already been taken. One way around it is to use related way that sound like the original word. Some common examples are Digg (dig), Flickr (flicker) etc. This not only makes your business name catchy but also gives you a unique identity. Also, you need to keep the fact in mind that your business name is also going to be the brand you’ll be known for. So, while choosing a name, also think about how you are going to execute the branding.



    3. Keep it simple

    When it comes to online businesses, it is advised to keep everything short and simple. Having a long or complicated business name will not appeal to the targeted user base. It does not sound pleasant and also does not conjure up positive emotions. Consider the name Zippilotivity. The name is not only long and confusing but is also downright obscure. Wanting a unique name is okay, but one should not go over the top.

    4. Don’t copy your competitors

    The biggest mistake that most of the new online business make is that they try to imitate their competitors. It is one thing to imitate a business model, but imitating the business name can not only have legal consequences, but make your business live in the shadow of the competitor. For example if you have a competitor by the name shopykart, then choosing the name shopokart is not a good practice. It will only confuse your customers and your competitor can also slap a lawsuit on you, which would only hurt your online business.

    5. Avoid using your own name

    There was a time when local shop owners used to use their own name to define the business they were running example Mike’s spare parts, Lucy fresh groceries. However, in the internet sphere, unless you are an established brand, it is always advised against using your own name. Firstly your own name does not add any value to your business and secondly it can create problems if there are any merger/acquisitions.

    However you can go creative by incorporating your name to your online business, but try to make it subtle like Automattic (named after founder Matt) and PageRank (named after Larry Page).

    6. Choose a name that’s scalable

    As already discussed earlier, it is advised to choose a name that offers some insight to your business. But by doing so, you must also keep the scalability aspect in mind. For example if you are currently into selling books online and name your business as “Bookart”, things might get tricky when you expand and start selling electronics items also. Therefore, you must select a brand name for your online business taking into account your future growth plan.

    7. Make sure you have a related domain

    An online business is not complete without a domain name. A lot of entrepreneurs nowadays first look at the availability of the domain name then finalize on a business name. Although there are several TLDs available nowadays, it is crucial that you do not choose a business name that is already in use.

    Nowadays it has become important for businesses to have a social media presence. Therefore, before finalizing a business name, many startups also check whether their business name is also available as a username on popular social media platforms.


    How to choose a catchy business name


    1. It must be short and simple


    Having a short, snappy name is great for many reasons: It's memorable, easy to pronounce, and effortlessly fits in the header of your online store's homepage.

    Finding a business namecan be challenging, though. Brands are launched every day, and names that are appealing to you will undoubtedly appeal to someone else, too. Fortunately, it’s a big world and there’s plenty of room for creative, compelling brand names.

    Here are a few strategies you can try to get your gears turning:

    Try different combinations of short words. Two short words that rhyme or that are alliterative (e.g. “Snack Shack”) can be more memorable.

    Make up a word or tweak an existing one. Tech brands like Google, eBay and Skype have instantly recognizable names, even though they aren't real words.

    Use a word with personal meaning. It might be a nickname you have for your significant other, your pet's name (a smart idea if your store relates to furry friends), or even your own name. Using a personal name makes your store easier to identify with on a personal level—though note that stores built on personal brands can be more difficult to sell.

    2. Be different


    Make sure to conduct a market research to discover which names are taken by your direct competitors and try to come up with something completely different.

    The challenge here is to come up with a name that reflects your niche and the type of products you're selling, without your business name mirroring your competitors. By definition, if you want to be different you have to ‘zig’ when others ‘zag’.

    For instance, if you're selling electronics and technology products, you might have competitors who use words like "electronics," "technology" and "future" in their names. Avoid using similar words. Instead, think differently and stand out.

    3. Consider your online presence

    Once you have a list of options for your store name, find out if your chosen domain—preferably a .com—is available to be registered. This might be a bit difficult, given that .com is the most popular top-level domain (TLD) and has been for a long time.

    Having a custom domain name for your store is mission-critical, though you shouldn’t let your search for the mythical “perfect” domain name cause you to procrastinate—everything is open to change, including your domain name. However, there is value in picking a solid domain name that properly represents your brand from the start, so it’s a decision that warrants some thought.

    You might also consider selling on Amazon, eBay, Etsy or another third-party marketplace in addition to your own online store. Even if that’s not in the plan, it’s a good idea to check your business name idea on popular ecommerce sites to make sure the names are available to you, and so that customers don’t confuse you with another existing business.


    4. Get creative with your domain name

    If the .com for your chosen name isn't available, don’t fret: You still have the option of using a different TLD. The reason .com is the gold standard is because everyone recognizes it, but that doesn’t rule out other TLDs, which are becoming more commonplace as great .com options continue to dwindle. And you can always grab the .com after your business has generated some traction.


    Some search engine experts believe Google isn't as friendly to lesser-known domains, you should still be able to rank just as high as a .com if you have a high-quality site with a good user experience. Plus, going with a snazzy domain is far more unique.

    Modifiers to consider:

    [YourBrand][Main Product] (e.g. helmboots.com)

    Shop[YourBrand].com (e.g. sandytoesshop.com)

    Get[YourProduct].com (e.g. getflow.com)

    [YourBrand]co.com (e.g. shopmeekco.com)

    [YourBrand][industry].com (e.g. lifeinspirithome.com)

    [Verb][YourBrand].com (e.g. wearpepper.com)

    [My/Your][YourBrand].com (e.g. mybillie.com)

    TLDs to consider:

    .store

    .shop

    Based on the product you sell (.shoes, .art)

    Continuation of your brand name (e.g. muvo.health for “Muvo Health Supplements”, or feugo.clothing for “Fuego Clothing Co.”)


    5. Be original


    Make sure you're legally allowed to use the business name you've come up with.

    Once you’ve determined your name is available, go to Google or Bing and see if the names on your list show up. Could you potentially make it to the top of the first page? If you choose a generic name, you’ll have a tough time ranking very well.

    It’s also important to check Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites you'll want to use for availability.

    6. Find new inspiration


    If you’re short on business name ideas, you might want to give yourself themes to think about. Maybe you look for a business name that has nostalgia or speaks to a trend. Other languages can provide plenty of ideas, too.

    Inspiration can strike anywhere. Listen to conversations around you, survey your surroundings, and even consider your usual expressions and mannerisms.


    To conclude this; No matter what the case may be, your online business name shouldn't be too long or difficult to pronounce, because the name will help customers to know and recognize you in the market zone. So, keep it simple and short.
     

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