The name of your business will influence its potential for success in many ways, but the name selection process has been complicated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The business world is rapidly changing, with more competition online and new consumer habits and interests. If you want to outdo the competition and win more market share, you’ll need the right name.
Your business name is often the first thing people will notice about your business. It will therefore be responsible for forming first impressions. Long after that, your business’s name will play a role in its memorability; if you have a catchy, easy to remember name, your customers will keep coming back for more.
But if your name is forgettable, or if it sounds too much like some of your competitors, you’ll see lower rates of customer retention. Your business name will also influence your marketing, and the power of your digital presence. For example, your business name will probably dictate your domain name. Accordingly, this is a major decision that could affect your traffic, search engine visibility, and marketability for years to come.
Follow these pieces of advice if you want to get closer to choosing the right business name:
Research your competition.
One of your first steps should be researching your competition. What names have been adopted by businesses similar to yours? While valuable for helping you brainstorm, it can also help you determine the hallmarks of business names in your industry. More importantly, it will help you figure out what things to avoid if you want to stand out.
Try to evoke the nature, industry, or vibe of the business.
Your name should immediately give your customers a sense of what you do, at least in some way. It might play into an industry trope, or it might evoke a feeling. The point is to give customers a feeling that they know what you’re all about when they see the name for the first time.
Keep it simple.
The shorter and simpler your name is, the better. One or two words should be plenty in most cases, with as few letters as possible. This will increase memorability and make it much easier to market your business in the future.
Make it easy to spell and pronounce.
Similarly, you’ll want to make your business name easy to spell and pronounce. A customer who encounters your brand name for the first time should pronounce it correctly on the first try otherwise you may run into marketing problems later. Similarly, its spelling should be straightforward.
Make it original.
Your business name needs to stand out from the competition and offer something original–especially now that Covid-19 has flooded the market with online entrepreneurs. Not only will this make it more memorable and more likeable, but it will also make it much easier to find a unique domain name in the future. Some businesses strive for originality by making up a new word entirely; this is effective, but it can be risky. If you do this, make sure your novel word is easy to say, spell, and remember.
Come up with a list.
Nobody comes up with the perfect business name on the first try. As you’re brainstorming, come up with a full list of possibilities. Keep track of all the business names you generate, even ones you don’t particularly like; it will help you understand what you do and don’t like.
Get outside opinions.
Next, get some outside opinions. Share your list with partners, mentors, and other professionals to see what they think. As you get closer to a final choice, consider holding a focus group to see what people within your target demographics think of your name options. Since people are now used to video chatting and engaging remotely, you should have no trouble putting together a virtual focus group.
Narrow down and polish.
Start narrowing down the list. Weed out the names that don’t seem to land with anyone and focus on the names that are leftover. Can you modify them in ways that make them better fits? Can you polish them to perfection?
Look for a domain.
After making sure no one else has your name, you can start looking for a domain. Try to make your domain as close to your business name as possible. With the increased competition after Covid-19, you may have difficulty with this step–and there’s a small chance you’ll have to go back to the drawing board.
It’s possible to change your business name eventually, but it’s very hard to execute that change efficiently–especially if you have a big audience. Accordingly, you need to treat this decision as if it’s final and do all the research and prep work necessary to ensure that your business name will remain relevant indefinitely. Ideally, the name will continue to be relevant and support your business even when Covid-19 is a distant memory.
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