What’s in a name? If you asked Shakespeare, he’d probably say very little — but he wasn’t running a business in the Internet age.
The name you choose for your company can have a huge impact on how customers see you and how well your company performs in the long run. If you’re looking for something creative and memorable, consider these tips:
Keep it simple, but with a bit of zing. There’s a lot to be said about a business name that is simple, easy to spell and easy to remember. However, if you choose something too plain, you can quickly get lost in the sea of noise. Whatever you do, avoid unusual spellings, made up words and words thrown together in a rushed effort to come up with any name at all in time for your opening. Take your time, naming is important.
Say something about your business. Businesses have a long tradition of naming themselves after what they do, either by including the sector in the name somehow or by using a word that tips customers off about what a company might offer. By choosing a name related to your sector, or one that at least brings your sector to mind, your customers will know immediately that they’re at the right place, online or off.
Don’t fence yourself in. When you’re choosing a name, especially for an eCommerce business, it’s important that you don’t tie yourself down. This means no names that are place-oriented unless there’s some way that can be expanded to include other regions. Names that limit the scope of your business can also be painful down the road if you intend to expand into additional specialties.
Make sure you can register the domain. When you choose a name, you should immediately check to see if the domain name is available. Don’t settle for .net or .org unless you’re prepared to put extra money into marketing. People expect to see yourdomainname.com and will tend to assume that’s a given. If you have a really killer name in mind, but the domain isn’t available with a .com ending, try a clever, but memorable substitution before you grab a lesser option.
When all else fails, you can hire a company that specializes in business naming and branding to help you come up with a winner, but the process can be quite costly. The company that named Powerbooks, Blackberries and the Intel Pentium charges about $80,000 for its services and it can take up to six months to find just the right name.
Once you finally choose a name for your company, either suggested by a pro or developed by you and your staff, you can settle in to the day to day of running your business. After all, your efforts at managing your orders, warehousing and distribution will help your young business grow its reputation and make its new name something to be proud of.