Finding the best name for your business or website is a crucial first step. A successful name can not only define the character and values of your organization but will also play a vital role in attracting visitors’ attention.
Selecting the perfect name can be confusing, with some businesses splashing out as much as $80,000 to get their brand title professionally designed by a naming firm. Fortunately for those on a more modest budget, the following methods can help your business or site develop a memorable and effective name for free.
1st Option: Brain Storm
Brain storming is a great way to kick-start the ideas process. Begin by creating a list of 4 or 5 key words that relate to or describe your business. You can then start playing around with combinations of these words and add prefixes, suffixes, and modifiers to set the name apart. For instance, if you are setting up a mortgage company, you could experiment with words like ‘mortgage’, ‘house’, ‘property’, ‘finance’, or ‘home equity’ until you find a good match.
You could also come up with a few slightly more abstract words relating to your business, and use them to develop some fun and interesting titles. This works especially well for businesses seeking a young and playful image. Here a couple of good examples:
“Spoon Me” – The name of a frozen yogurt brand that now makes almost as much money selling branded t-shirts as it does from its food sales.
“Eat My Words” – A naming firm
“Pugs and Kisses” – A dog grooming spa and salon
2nd Option: Think Sensibly
If you are struggling to narrow down your choice of possible names, there are some generally held rules that apply to most successful company names:
– Let Visitors Know What To Expect
Have a name that allows visitors to understand the function of your business before knowing anything about you. Sites like Autotrade.com and CareerBuilder.com let visitors know what the site does without even needing to access it. Companies like Monster.com (a job search website) on the other hand, are equally successful but need to funnel much more money into advertising so that customers recognize what they do.
– Make Your Name Easy To Say and Spell
Whether a person is searching your company name on Google or typing out your domain name in full, a long and confusing title is likely to be typed out incorrectly by visitors and can put potential customers off. Avoiding any use of the letters z and x can also make typing easier.
– Don’t Limit Your Future Growth
A name that is too specific about what your business or site does can limit your growth into other areas of the market. For example, a website called Buyantiquebooks.com may start selling new books or vintage records as well. Consider the future direction of your company when you are deciding on a name.
3rd Option: Be Inventive
If you’re struggling to find a unique name or domain address in your area of the market, then developing a new word is an interesting option. These creative website names are guaranteed to be original, but you also run the risk of confusing your target audience. Instead of grouping random meaningless letters, consider twisting a word which has significance to your company. Here are some great examples:
Acura – A luxury car brand name derived from the word ‘accuracy’.
Compaq – A computer company name based on the ‘compact’ technology they produce.
4th Option: Put Your Name To The Test
Once you have narrowed down your choices to a list of 4 or 5 favorites, it is time to put the options to the test. Hiring a trademark search firm to see if your name is already in use is a good way to avoid any potential lawsuits in the future. For those establishing a new website, you will need to check whether that domain name is already taken. There are a number of online sites which offer a .com, .net, and .org checking feature for free. You can also checkout Bust A Name which automatically generates domain names for you, some are already taken, some are new and fresh, personally I would recommend trying to come up with your own domain name first, this way you will appreciate that YOU actually came up with the domain name/business name yourself.
If all else fails and finding the perfect business name becomes an impossible task, then it is worthwhile considering the services of a professional naming company. Trained designers and market researchers can be hired to quickly come up with creative, memorable, and expressive names, and many also offer additional services like logo design.
Article By: Amy Montgomery | Addicted2Success.com