Business Naming 101: Picking a Killer Name for your eCommerce Company
Every year, eager mums and dads-to-be spend hours, days, even months picking out the perfect name to bestow upon their bundles of joy as they come into the world. The names given to us by our parents are how we’re presented to the world, and how we’ll introduce ourselves to others for the rest of our lives (in most cases). Likewise, the name you give your ecommerce business (your own bundle of digital joy) is how people will recognize and remember it. Business naming, however, can sometimes be more complicated than baby naming, often requiring rigorous testing and modification before you settle on the name that’s just right. To help make that process easier, take a look at these tips:
- Start with research
- Brainstorm ideas
- Test your names
- Naming tips
Start with Research
Research is the first step every entrepreneur should take when naming their business-to-be. No one wants to come up with the perfect company name only to realize the place down the street is already registered with that name. Things you should research in the process of business naming include:
- The availability of your name ideas. Make sure the names you’re considering haven’t already been taken by other businesses.
- The meaning of your ideas. Check that the name you’ve come up with isn’t rude, lewd, derogatory, or otherwise offensive. This is especially important if you’re using a unique spelling of an existing word, or are using a language you’re not familiar with.
- The names of your competitors. See what other businesses in your industry are named. You can choose to use a similar name (to immediately show customers that you’re part of that industry) or something totally unique (to stand out from the crowd).
Brainstorm Your Ideas
The process of business naming is often most successful when entrepreneurs come up with a list of possible naming options. This allows you to test out different names and see what fits. However, many entrepreneurs have trouble getting the brainstorming process going. You can take inspiration from names of other businesses in your industry, things that are personal to you (your favourite song, for example), things that are personal to your customers (such as the name of the city you operate in), and more. However, if inspiration still isn’t presenting itself, you can also make use of a business naming generator, many of which can be found with a quick Google search. Check out this business name generator, which comes up with names based on keywords used in your industry (like “technology,” “jewelry,” and more).
Test Your Names
When you have a list of potential names for your business, always test them out on other people. Something you think is absolutely amazing might not strike the same chord in others. The testing process can be as simple as asking your family, friends, and coworkers for their opinions. You can also make full use of the internet by finding business-related forums and other social media sites (Reddit and Twitter may be good options for this), and polling users for their ideas. Finally, you can even go a more formal route and organize a focus group, which brings a group of strangers together to get more in-depth feedback on your business name ideas. However, this option may require you to spend some money to compensate the members of your focus group.
Business Naming Tips
Naming your business is no small task. While some business owners may immediately have a name in mind, others can take days, months, or even years to come up with just the right name. Whatever the case may be for you, these tips can help you pick and polish your final choice:
- Make it short and easy to spell. The longer your business’ name, the less likely your customers are to remember it. In addition, long names can be difficult to put on logos or use on social media. In addition, make sure your name is easy to spell. This will help customers find it consistently.
- Consider your website. If you’re building an ecommerce store, your website name is one of the most important elements of that store. Before registering your business officially, make sure no one else owns the web domain you want to use. In addition, consider the domain suffix you want to use. The .com suffix is the most popular option, but you may want to choose a regional suffix (for example, many Canadian websites use .ca), or one that denotes your business type (for example, many non-profits use .org, while schools use .edu).
- Say the name out loud. A name that rolls off the tongue can be hugely successful, but one that’s clunky and ties tongues may not be. In addition, saying a name out loud may make you realize it sounds too much like another word or phrase with an embarrassing or profane meaning.
- Be happy with it. If you’re not happy with your business’ name, don’t settle for it. Wait until you find an option you like and will be happy to hear and say for years to come.
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