How To Name Your Online Store - 5 Tips To Choose The Perfect Name
How To Name Your Online Store
Choosing a name for your online store may seem like a trivial task when compared to other aspects of owning a business. However, this decision is not one to take lightly.
Marty Neumeier, expert brand-designer and author, explains that the right name can serve to be the most valuable asset to a new entrepreneur. In his book, The Brand Gap, he details how a brand name drives differentiation and speeds acceptance. He continues, "the wrong name can cost millions... in workarounds and lost income over the lifetime of the brand.”
However, choosing a name for your online store doesn't have to be difficult. Here are five tips to help you find the best name to rocket your company to success.
1. Simplicity Is Key
A concise brand name is valuable for many reasons. To start, a shorter name is easier for customers to remember and repeat back to others they know. (Say "hello" to free advertising!) Additionally, simple names fit more easily on websites and merchandise.
To help brainstorm a snappy brand name, consider combining together smaller words that rhyme or alliterate, like Shake Shack. Write down as many one-syllable words as you can that describe your business, products, motto, beliefs, or location. Then, play around with different combinations until you find one that fits!
Another method to create a short, memorable company name is to tweak an existing word or phrase. The maternity-wear company Storq utilized this perfectly in their brand design. A stork has a well-known association with childbirth, so changing one letter of the spelling creates a unique and recognizable image from the outset.
2. Stand Out From The Competition
When choosing a brand name, you want to reflect your product niche while setting yourself apart from your competitors. A unique name, unlike any others on the market, will elevate your brand and arouse interest in your products.
So before you brainstorm brand name ideas, conduct some research in your field. Take notice of what your competitors are doing in terms of branding and strive to go in the opposite direction. Don't choose the same words used in competing stores' names. Instead, be unique!
A great example of creating a one-of-a-kind name is Death Wish Coffee. This attention-grabbing title stands out from among other mundane, cafe-sounding coffee companies. However, the name properly conveys the company's mission: coffee so strong, drinking it is like a death wish.
Another noteworthy aspect to consider is if you are legally allowed to own the brand name in your county. If you are a business owner in the United States, check the Patent and Trademark Office to be sure you are not stepping on your competitor's toes. In Canada, look through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office. You wouldn't want to unknowingly get into legal trouble before launching your business, so be sure to consult a lawyer with any questions.
3. Consider Online Availability
Before narrowing down your idea list to the final name, double-check each one for online availability. To start, find out if your domain name is available to be registered. This may pose some difficulty, as .com domains are the most popular, but there is no need to fret.
While undergoing their own rebranding, the owner of Star Cadet searched for about a year for the proper brand name. His first choice had been taken already. Thankfully, there is plenty of room left in this world for creative thinking; sometimes, it just takes a bit of determination.
Next, review for social media username and third-party online marketplace availabilities. Even if you don't think you'll be super active on Instagram or sell your own products on Amazon, it's important to check. After all, things in life always change. Plus, this is a good way to make sure customers won't confuse your shop for another similarly named competitor.
Finally, run a quick Google search to see how your potential brand name ranks online. If the search results are flooded with pages of similarly named sites, you may want to head back to the drawing board. Consider how your brand name will show up online, choosing a name that could allow you, with the proper SEO practices, to show up on the first page of search results.
4. Get Creative With The Domain Name
If you really love your brand name idea, but it isn't available as a .com, consider utilizing another top-level-domain. TLDs, as they are commonly called, are gaining popularity while the .com options begin to drastically decrease. TLD alternatives include:
For example, when Tattly first launched online, their domain was tatt.ly. This creative use of the .ly domain made their brand recognizable, while still keeping the name short and simple. Since then, the temporary tattoo company has been able to purchase the .com domain.
Additionally, consider placing a modifying word before or after your potential brand name to create a unique (and available) .com domain. Here are some options:
- Your main product (e.g. helmboots.com)
- Verbs like get, buy, wear, shop, eat (e.g. getflow.com)
- Pronouns like my, your, our (e.g. mybillie.com)
5. Inspiration Is Everywhere
If you are at a loss for name ideas, take a break to refresh your mind and find some inspiration. Go on a short walk, talk on the phone with a friend, or go to a cafe and observe the surroundings for a while. Ideas sometimes come as soon as you stop trying to force them.
Different languages can provide plenty of inspiration, too. The hot sauce subscription company Fuego Box utilized the Spanish word for "fire" to create a catchy, yet descriptive brand name.
Thinking about your customer base can help you name your online store. Discern the values, mantras, or interests that you and your shoppers share, and create your name from one of those. For example, Cotopaxi is an online retailer of outdoor gear. Its namesake comes from the sacred volcano in the Andes mountains, a famous landmark interesting and relevant to hikers and explorers.
Get Ahead Of The Game With A Great Name!
A strong brand name gives your company a major advantage when you are in the new stages of starting your business. As Marty Neumeier, quoted in the outset, says, "The need for good brand names originates with customers, and customers will always want convenient ways of identifying, remembering, discussing, and comparing brands."
Making a great first impression doesn't have to be tricky. Follow the five tips outlined in this article to create the perfect name for your online store.