When you're at the helm of a new business, there are myriad details to consider. From packaging and shipping to distribution and marketing, a lot of factors demand your attention. However, all of these are rendered insignificant in the absence of an official brand name that represents your business. In 1994, Jeff Bezos almost finalized “Cadabra” (inspired by Abracadabra) as the name of his company. But when his lawyer misheard the word as “cadaver,” which means “a corpse,” Bezos quickly renamed it as “Amazon.” Today, in 2020, Amazon is the most valuable brand with an estimated brand value of around $221 billion.
Naming a business isn't always easy. The way you put into words the vision and the purpose of your enterprise is a matter of significance? Have a look at a few of our top tips for choosing the best name for your brand.
Today, there are more omnichannel marketing and distribution platforms than ever before, encompassing written, audio, and digital media. You need to make sure your company name sounds great on all of them.
It isn't enough to have a name that looks good on a screen. It should also sound great when spoken aloud. Before nailing one down, repeat it as many times as possible. Does it roll off your tongue easily, or is it coming across as a tongue-twister? Take a page from the rulebook of Zara, Coca-Cola, and Jimmy John's and look for words that employ repetition of sounds, making them easier to pronounce.
This isn't the time to ask customers to play the guessing game. Especially if your business is service-oriented, your company name should clearly explain what service you provide. Take Time Warner Cable, for instance. The provided service is right there in their brand name, so there's no question about what kind of company they are. More examples include UberEATS, Paychex, and Servpro, among others.
Another way you can make your business name more relevant is by choosing the right domain name. For example, if your company name is Home Gadgets then a domain name such as www.homegadgets.tech will not only be relevant but extremely brandable too. New domain extensions such as .TECH, .STORE, .SPACE, .ONLINE, SITE, etc allow you to get relevant domain names that further amplify your brand’s name.
The name of your business can have a major impact on your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. If it's unique, easy to spell, and ties in seamlessly with your target keywords, it will be easier to attain higher rankings on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Research shows that voice searches are on going to outpace text searches on mobile with nearly 50% of web users speaking their search queries rather than typing them. To help your name inch higher on SERPs, keep it short and easy to remember.
Unless you plan to do business only in a specific location, avoid names that highlight a particular geographic region. Doing so can limit your audience reach and make it more difficult to grow outside your perimeter. Consider the case of Minnesota Manufacturing and Mining. Based in Minnesota, the name made sense for the fledgling mining group when it formed in 1902. However, as the company grew, a more universal name was required, and thus, 3M was born.
Even if you're an established business, it pays to trademark your brand name. This way, you hold the exclusive rights to use it nationwide, and you can make sure no imposters try to piggyback on your success. Before you settle on a name, check to make sure a trademark is available. You can visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) website to search the trademark database. Once your website is set up, you can also trademark your domain name.
Are you starting a fitness brand focused on core-based workouts? You could call it "Quick Abs," but "10-Minute Abs" is much more effective. Where feasible and relevant, incorporate numbers, days, or times into your brand name. From 5-Hour Energy to 7-11, there are plenty of brands that rely on such figures to convey their purpose. This helps add specificity to your name to avoid overgeneralization.
At the same time, avoid pigeonholing yourself into a corner by being too specific. For instance, say you open a computer repair shop. You could call it Apple Repair, but what if you decide to branch outside of the Mac space and work on Windows or Linux instead? A more appropriate name would be Next-Day Computer Repair or a name that speaks about your expertise.
Sure, IBM, CVS, and IKEA have all made it to the top with just initials or acronyms. However, these are billion-dollar companies with instantly recognizable logos and branding themes. Until you're a household name, it's best to avoid this approach. The reason is simple: No one will know what the letters stand for, or what your brand does. They're also far less likely to search for it online.
In your quest to keep it interesting, however, avoid the use of obscure words that no one knows. It might have worked for Google, but rearranging the letters in your name just to be unique can work against you.
If you're second-guessing a name, it helps to test your shortlist of prospective names on Google Ads. Use the Keyword Planner tool to search for each name on your list. When you do, you'll see a list of similar search phrases, along with their respective search traffic. If there's a domain name similar to yours that's getting a significant amount of traffic, choose a different one to stand out.
For example, if you are searching for “Dream Designs,” and the search results comprise a name called “Dream Designers” that’s receiving a lot of traffic, it’s wise to go for another name.
Names and identity go hand-in-hand. The one you choose for your new business can help shape the way your audience perceives it. It can also determine how easily they can search for and find you among a sea of competitors.
Naming a business doesn't have to be a struggle. With the right approach, it can be the launching pad that sets your company up for years of success.