“What’s in a name?” As a matter of fact, everything! Imagine a business without a name, and you have your answer.
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.
Another fun trivia! Do you know the Facebook was initially known as TheFacebook? But it lost “THE” and renamed itself to just Facebook.
Do you think “TheFacebook” is catchier than “Facebook”?
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…
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.
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 give a about how you are going to execute the branding.
Also Read: How To Get Your Startup Featured In Media
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 not choose a business name that is already in use.
Nowadays it has become imperative for business 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.
Choosing a brand name for your online business can be a challenging task, but not something to agonize over. The tips mentioned in this post will surely make the overall process easy and ensure the brand name is able to make a mark on your targeted consumers. The fact of the matter is that a business name is the first step that you take towards building a brand. Although there are several other factors that result in success of your online business, getting the business name right is surely the first.
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