Your guide to creating the right brand name.
“Determine who you are and what your brand is, and what you’re not. The rest of it is just a lot of noise.” – Geoffrey Zakarian
Niche or sector aside, as an eCommerce business, branding is integral to your long-term success.
When it comes to branding, your business name counts. It’s the very thing that will become synonymous with your entire brand, what you stand for, and what you have to offer. The necessity for solid brand names starts with the customer.
You may be surprised to know that Seventy-seven percent of people make purchases based on a brand’s name. Moreover, 82% of the world’s leading business investors feel that brand name recognition is becoming an increasingly important factor when looking to invest.
It’s clear that your eCommerce brand name matters. But where do epic (or at the very least, striking, relevant, and functional) business names come from? Can you just conjure them from nowhere? Or is there a thought process behind picking the perfect eCommerce business name?
Here, we’ll explore how to approach choosing the right business name for your business, offering practical tips and guidance along the way.
Let’s get started.
The key elements of a solid business name
Before we explore the practical side of choosing the right name for your brand, it’s important to understand what makes a great business name—the key elements, if you will.
An excellent eCommerce business name will be:
Universal: To resonate with your audience, your brand name should be short, simple, and easy to spell or pronounce. If your brand name isn’t universal, it’s unlikely that it will stick in the minds of consumers. Even if your business name is a little offbeat, you should make sure that it’s easy to say or spell. Take Google or Budweiser, for instance— they’re unusual but roll right off the tongue.
Scalable: When considering an eCommerce business name, making sure it can grow with you is important. While your brand name should be relevant to what you do or sell, choosing something that’s too on the nose could hinder your chances of commercial growth. Ponder this: if Jeff Bezos decided to call his eCommerce empire ‘Books Online’ (his initial business model), when he moved into other areas, he would have had to rebrand, which would have cost unnecessary time and money.
Visual: It’s vital that the business name you choose conjures striking visual imagery. In other words, by picking a business name that provides ample potential for an inspiring, recognizable logo and brand design, you’ll be onto a winner from the get-go. If you land on a name and can visualize a logo instantly, put it on the shortlist.
Secure: Your business name should be protectable, which means that you can trademark it without any hassle and secure yourself a relevant domain name. In the digital age, a brand name that works across all platforms and touchpoints is the most powerful. Studies show that 71% of consumers are likely to purchase from a business they follow on social media. If you have a name that works across the Web, you’re likely to stand out, appealing to a broader customer base.
Original: While you don’t have to choose a business name that is completely zany or out there, when you’re in the process of creating a shortlist, it’s important that you throw away any names that could be seen as plagiarized or that are too similar to brands that are established in your niche. Use existing names, by all means—but make sure you don’t copy.
How to choose the right eCommerce business name
Now that you understand the key elements of a successful business name, it’s time to look at the practical tips, methods, dos, and don’ts to help you make the perfect choice for your online store.
Consider words that match your mission and personality
When choosing an eCommerce business name, selecting words that match your brand values and personality is essential.
Sit down with your team and start brainstorming words and phrases, using the business name success elements above as a working guide.
Once you have a longlist, get rid of any words or phrases that you feel are restrictive or hard to remember.
Armed with your shortlist, you should take the time to further consider what you do, why you do it, and how you want consumers to perceive you. Are you a brand that is forward-thinking and daring? Are you warm, welcoming, built for comfort? Are you founded on creativity, or are your products made for logistical types?
Every word you use will evoke a natural association. By drilling down into your brand values, you’re likely to land on words that will resonate with your audience. Here are some resources to help you with your word association mission:
- This word visualizer will empower you to pick words or phrases based on very specific associations.
- A supplement to the word visualizer, this word association tool will help you further refine your efforts by allowing you to dig a little deeper into each phrase or term.
- Action words are powerful as they will engage and inspire your audience, attracting them to your eCommerce business. This definitive list of action words is worth considering when choosing a business name as they are snappy, punchy, and authoritative.
Consider these phonetic factors
Expanding on the concept of word association: not many business owners know this, but phonetics plays a pivotal role in the impact of an eCommerce business name.
There is a direct link between phonetics and brand marketing as the sounds that make up certain words have an unconscious impact on consumer behavior. Studies from Stanford University show that the ‘o’ sound, as in ‘splosh’, conveys a message of grandness, whereas the ‘i’ sound, as in ‘fish’, gives off an airy, bright, or vibrant tone.
This study of phonetics in marketing will help you understand this idea on a practical level. Combine your newfound phonetic knowledge with your word association efforts, and you’ll be one step closer to picking the perfect name for your eCommerce business.
Look at your domain name options
If you’ve whittled down your efforts to two potential business names and are looking to make a definitive decision, you should take the time to explore domain names in greater detail.
While we touched on this earlier, it’s worth covering in a little more detail as when it comes to eCommerce, domain names count.
If you find that your desired domain name is already taken, rather than discarding your potential choice, you should get creative.
Unique, eye-catching domains can attract people to your brand. Here are three modifiers to consider:
- Shop (brand name).com Example: shopcommerce.com
- Get (brand name).com Example: getcommerce.com
- Verb (brand name).com Example: trycommerce.com
Also, if the .com version of your potential choice isn’t available, here are some alternative TLD (top-level domains) that work well for eCommerce brands:
- A TLD relevant to your niche or products. For example, clothes, tech, shoes, etc.
Seek inspiration from successful brands
If you still need help making that final decision or are looking for additional creative inspiration, there’s no harm in examining established brand names.
Think about the brands that you admire most or those that are most established in your niche. Consider how their business names look, sound, feel, and relate to who they are or what they do.
Here are two iconic brand names to get you started:
Boasting two snappy syllables, Netflix rolls off the tongue with ease, while the words ‘Net’ and ‘Flix’ are sharp, edgy, and encompass exactly what the service does without restriction—a testament to the brand’s colossal success in the last five years.
An original eCommerce model deserves an original eCommerce business name—and Groupon is proof of that very notion. This brand name is punchy, concise, and evokes imagery of ‘making memories.’ The amalgamation of ‘group’ and ‘coupon’ communicates the brand’s values perfectly. It also looks and sounds great—a formidable example of eCommerce branding success.
In a competitive digital space, the ability to stand out and communicate your value to consumers will set you apart from the pack. Choosing the right name for your business will help you cement your success both in the short term and for years to come.
“A brand is a voice and a product is a souvenir.” – Lisa Gansky
Take your time, follow our tips, seek inspiration anywhere you can find it, and you will connect with your very own ‘Netflix’ or ‘Groupon’ in no time.
For more invaluable eCommerce advice, explore our guide on creating a branded video that people will actually want to watch.