What’s in a name?
Shakespeare once questioned its importance — but when it comes to a business, a lot of thought needs to be put into the name. After all, the name of your company can directly affect its success.
Before you start your ecommerce business, it is important to come up with a proper name for your company.
Ideally, it should sound catchy, represent what kind of business you want to run, and help customers differentiate you from your competitors.
Keep reading to learn how to name your business, and best practices for selecting a name.
What Makes a Good Name?
A good business name is distinctive and fits the products it serves. Tesla and Coursera are excellent examples of how a name can be associated with a company’s products. These names are unique and simple, which helps the brands be easily recognizable and memorable.
Still, one needs to be careful when naming a company, as it may produce an adverse effect on its image and reputation. There are many articles on the Internet that make fun of such names. At best, such a name becomes viral on the web, which results in a temporary sales boost. But the hard reality is that no one is likely to take your company seriously and do business with you.
Considerations for Naming Your Business
Imagine you have come up with a creative company name. Now’s a good time to conduct some research before registering it legally. Here are a few points that need to be checked to prevent possible far-reaching issues in the future.
Preferred Name Is Similar/Identical to Existing Businesses
It is not advisable to use names similar to ones already being used by other businesses in your industry, especially if your competitors are based in the same country or region. This will have an unfavorable impact on the image of your business. Additionally, it will confuse customers who want to contact you but accidentally end up speaking with your competitor.
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The only situation where it can be acceptable is if another company using this name serves a completely different product. It’s even safer if it is in a different state or country. For example, you sell baby clothes in the USA while the other company sells digital products like downloadable posters in India.
In the worst-case scenario, you can find yourself fighting a trademark infringement lawsuit. Not only will you lose money and time, but it also may force you to rebrand your business completely.
Preferred Name Is Already in Use
Finding out that your ideal business name is already taken might be discouraging. However, it is still possible to find a way out.
- Shortened Variant — If you failed to register a company named “Delta Design-Build Constructions,” try to abbreviate it to “Delta DBC.”
- Contacting the Owner Of the Company Holding the Desired Name — Possibly, the name was registered but not used. In that case, the owner can transfer the name to you. Chances are it is not going to be free. Another possible scenario is that your preferred company name was registered, only to be sold later — which is akin to domain name squatting. If that is the case, the only way out is to pay the squatter to get the desired company name.
- Brainstorm a New Name — Take a step back and see if you can come up with a few new options. Who knows, maybe you will be able to generate a better name for your business.
Online presence is vital for any business. Before you make a final decision on your company name, make sure the domain name is available. According to statistics, US residents trust the .com domain names the most. However, if you primarily serve products to non-US customers, then you can go with a country code top-level domain (also known as ccTLD) name such as .de or .fr.
You may also want to explore the possibility of using a domain hack — a domain where the company name and top-level domain comprise a single word together. For example, “youtu.be” or “taekwon.do”. On the plus side, it looks creative, shortens the URL, and helps customers memorize it. A drawback is that it may be difficult to come up with a name that can take advantage of this trick.
Given the fact that domain registrations are made for at least 1 year, it might be a good idea to register beforehand to make sure you can still use it when you are ready to launch your business.
Related reading: How to Purchase and Register Your Domain Name >>
Best Practices on How to Name Your Business
The name of your business will determine how it will be perceived by your potential customers and partners. A perfect name is easy to remember, makes it clear what your business is about, and makes your company stand out from the crowd.
Below are a few suggestions that will help guide you on how to name your business,
Be Careful With Spelling and Acronyms
When you speak to a customer over the phone and ask them to visit your site, it is great to have a business name that is spelled the same as it sounds to avoid confusion. You will know you got it right if your company name can be easily recognized by virtual assistants such as Alexa or Siri.
Additionally, pronounce the company name you came up with to make sure it sounds appropriate. Acronyms can sound awkward as well, especially if they are longer than three or four letters. And if you happen to match the acronym of another business entity, that can create issues with search engine results and rankings.
Envisage Expanding in the Future
If you launch, say, an optics business, and sell only telescopes at the start, it does not mean you will not be able to expand the range of products to binoculars, riflescopes, microscopes, or even photography gear. That being said, it is better to pick a company name that is related to your industry, not some particular product you sell.
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The same principle applies to the geographical aspect. Starting in Miami, Florida, but looking to work your way up across the entire country to Seattle, Washington? Do not limit your business name to the place where it originated.
Think Twice Before Using Your Own Name
Using your name to create a new brand can be challenging. While you are not widely known, such company names will not mean anything to your potential customers. Also, if you decide to sell your business at a point, you might find it difficult to do so because of the name.
In certain situations, it is possible to make a catchy business name out of your personal name. For example, Adidas was named after the founder Adolf Dassler who had the nickname “Adi.” Adi Dassler eventually turned into Adidas. Or, consider Automattic, which was named after its founder Matt Mullenweg.
Now That You’ve Got A Name…
Now that you know how to name your business, what’s next? Learning the best practices for naming a business is a crucial step in setting up your business. Creating your online brand can sound like a tough job, but there are solutions and experts ready to cover your back.
Here at Nexcess, we offer a truly unique ecommerce solution — StoreBuilder. WooCommerce optimized hosting teamed up with premium plugins will help you create your own, one-of-a-kind ecommerce website. This solution does the heavy lifting of developing your store from scratch without you having to write a single line of code.
Nexcess manages every aspect of your store, allowing you to focus on growing your business and generating revenue.