If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, you probably already understand something about the power of having the RIGHT business name. So, what’s in a name? Quite a bit! The right business name can help to create engagement with your target audience all on its own, long before you ever have your first conversation with a potential customer. The right name can help make your business the talk of the town, while the wrong name can really hurt your business. Getting your brand name right matters!
Some wrongly assume that naming a business can be done without much forethought, but it’s really not that simple – not if you want to have the right name, anyway. Your business name should give a nod to who you are, and what you have to offer that sets you apart. It’s also better to get your business name right to begin with, rather than have to go back and try to rename/rebrand later. While rebranding is certainly a possibility, it can also end up being a somewhat risky and expensive venture. The last thing you want is to end up having wasted all the time, effort, and money you put into marketing your original brand in the first place!
Here are 5 smart strategies you can use to help guide you in choosing the right name for your business or brand, the first time:
Some well-intentioned creative types try so hard to make their business name stand out – through creative spelling, or even the incorporation of some special characters – that they end up doing more harm than good. If your potential customers have trouble spelling the name of your business correctly, then they could also have a tougher time finding you online. Google is pretty smart, but sometimes even Google can’t account for gross misspellings. And if you’d rather avoid having to constantly correct customers, clients, business partners, and everyone else who may be prone to misspell your brand name, it’s better to keep it simple.
This is even more true if you happen to conduct business in the international market. Non-native speakers face enough challenges communicating in your language as it is, so there’s no need to make things any harder for them by giving your business a name that doesn’t follow typical spelling or grammar guidelines. If you choose to do so, you’ll only be hurting your international business potential.
In today’s world of voice-activated assistants like Alexa, Siri, and “Ok, Google,” if users can’t pronounce – much less spell – your business name, then the chances of them finding you online can go down drastically. A word to the wise: make it easy for them. Keep your name simple!
Picking a business name that’s too laser-focused can actually limit you down the road, too. If you have the potential to grow your business by offering more than just one product or service, then you probably shouldn’t restrict yourself through the choice you make for your name now. Choosing something particularly specific could be fine initially, but it could leave you feeling boxed-in or “stuck” with your brand potential later. Don’t paint yourself into a corner!
One great example of a strategic name approach is none other than retail mega-giant Amazon. Jeff Bezos initially founded his business just as an online bookseller, but he wisely chose the business name “Amazon.” Why? The Amazon is the widest, highest-volume river in the world, so that left him wide-open for growth potential as far as the brand went. If he had simply chosen a bookstore-specific name, his business might not have grown into the global enterprise that it has become today. “Amazon” doesn’t just describe a single product or service. Rather, that name has now become synonymous with a brand that literally sells anything and everything to its customers.
Coming up with a meaningful business name isn’t always easy. In fact, it can be downright challenging! Many companies have been willing to settle for a business name that, in the end, really doesn’t communicate who they are. This can end up being a limiting factor in a business’ ability to gain user traffic, and can ultimately have a negative impact on the brand itself. Better to go with a meaningful name that actually connects with potential buyers who are interested in the products or services that you have to offer.
Many industry experts believe that a business name should be an informative word or phrase that helps customers to mentally envision your actual business products or services. Others suggest that the name you choose doesn’t necessarily need to convey any type of deeper meaning at all. But we’d encourage you to err on the side of familiarity for your target audience, especially if your business is a new entry to your particular industry.
Your business name will probably gain more traction if it’s short & sweet, vs. long & complicated. The shorter, simpler, and more unique names are always easier for folks to remember, and can help cement your business in their minds right from the first impression.
Imagine if Google had picked a brand name like “Comprehensive Internet Directory” instead of “Google.” Certainly, “Comprehensive Internet Directory” is plenty descriptive, but that name is simply too long and tedious to really catch the eye of a prospective user.
It’s tricky trying to land on a name that is simultaneously short, sweet, unique, and memorable. This is one area in which it would pay for you to conduct some research. Think of some iconic brands which are similar to your business. Are they using a brand name that’s synonymous with their products or services? Have they perhaps chosen a name that conveys a similar meaning in another base language? What else do these major players to do set their brand names apart? Doing your homework to help you land on the right competitive name now can pay great dividends for you as you seek to grow your business.
And here’s one final tip. Taking your business online – even if you don’t operate an e-commerce platform, per se – is one of the fastest, easiest, and most effective approaches for attracting the attention of today’s consumer. It’s imperative that you do your diligence in selecting a good dot-com address for your business and your brand.
Question: does it have to be a dot-com name? Won’t other types of addresses work just as well? In a word, no. Dot-coms are the most popular domains in the eyes of today’s shoppers, and customers trust .com sites for their business needs well above .net, .info, or other types of sites.
It’s really a credibility issue; EVERYONE is familiar with the .com extension. It also has the highest recall value of any business domain in use today. You’ll gain better traction with a dot-com site in comparison to any other domain extension, period.
Dot-com sites are helpful for SEO purposes, too. Google tends to show preference to the .com extension when it provides website search results, because .com remains as the oldest and largest domain category there is. Plus, business names are just easier to remember if they end in dot-com!
Once you’ve got your .com site established, it’s time to start promoting your website with the help of some focused, effective digital marketing. Making sure your business has a healthy social media presence is certainly one great way to help build your brand, but it’s also essential that you optimize your content for best results. Organic posts can take you part of the way, but you really need to add the right paid advertising strategy if you ever hope to have your website rank consistently on Google and other search engines. Looking for the right digital marketing agency that’s built to help startups and small businesses like yours start experiencing real growth? Then reach out to the pros at Cibirix today!
Anoop Namdev serves as one of the lead SEO Analysts for Cibirix. He is passionate about his pursuit of SEO, local SEO, eBay advertising, and Craigslist marketing excellence for business clients. Digital media is one of Anoop’s native tongues, and he specializes in helping local businesses to expand their business online through strategic local SEO efforts. When he’s not busy strategizing, Anoop can be found in attendance at some of his favorite public events. He also likes to paint in his free time.