Shakespeare asked, “What’s in a name?” to which we say, everything and more when it comes to small business’ success.
“A name is a moniker that a company is going to wear probably the longest of anything we develop,” says Sasha Stack, a partner at the Boston offices of brand-strategy and design firm Lippincott. The domain name that you pick should resonate with your organization’s personality. One of the ways to do this is to pay attention to the words involved, their sound symbolism and the visual associations they carry.
One school of thought suggests that the best names are abstract, a blank slate upon which to create an image. While the other school believes that names should be informative so customers know immediately what your business is. In reality, any name can be successful if its spine is made up of solid thought and strategy. Here’s what you’ll need to consider to give your small business the most appropriate and effective name.
1. Get the foundation right
A successful name has a clearly defined brand strategy and a strong value proposition. Without this, there is no framework for the name and no foundation to build upon. Your first step is to answer questions such as what do you want your name to stand for? Or which emotion should the name elicit? Having a strategy ensures that the name will be appropriate and successful.
2. Think about smoothness (alliteration)
Domain names that are smooth, easy to say and memorable are the ones that roll off the tongue. These names have good alliteration even if they are more than two or three syllables. These names are short, smooth and easy on the memory. Your name should be too. Look at domain names, such as:
3. KISS it a little differently
Keep it short and sharp. For your name to be remembered it must evoke an emotion. A domain name should not ideally be made up of generic keywords. In fact, it should have words that the reader can associate some meaning to.
Domain names such as www.stronger.tech or www.louder.online are short, sharp and meaningful. From the name itself you can guess what the website might have to offer. The best and most efficient way to do this is to pick a relevant domain extension — one that fits your industry and field of work. Domain extensions such as .tech, .store, .press, .online, .fun, .space, etc give you the liberty to have a short, simple and sharp domain name that does not need hyphens, numbers, additional words or letters; all of which are the enemy of a successful domain name.
4. Protect your investment
Strong brands add value to the balance sheet. Make sure you take proper steps before choosing a name that does not incur any copyright or trademark clashes. It’s not worth all the legal trouble. Additionally, ensure that your brand name can be protected under national and international trademark laws, in your product category. It is a crucial first step and will guard your investment in your brand.
5. Pay attention to linguistics and universal meaning
The best way to approach this is to hire a professional to perform checks to avoid any translation blunders, especially if you plan to expand internationally. Consider all the ways your domain name could be mispronounced or misinterpreted wherever it may appear. Take thorough steps to ensure your name won’t offend anyone.
Moreover, if there are chances of your name being misspelled, then buy domain names of those misspellings and redirect them to the right website. It’s a small investment for a much larger reward that will prevent you from losing traffic with active-intent.
The more distinctive, memorable and emotionally engaging your domain name is, the better it’ll serve its purpose. However, don’t forget that a name alone means nothing to your visitor. It’s the experience — created and delivered consistently over time — that adds value and builds equity.