Back to All posts
brand-name
Beginner's handbook

How to Come Up With a Brand Name

By on November 19th, 2020 Reading Time: 7 minutes

The recent economic events of 2020 have revealed the harsh reality of modern business. And that reality is a simple fact that physical stores can no longer fully satisfy our needs. A brick & mortar store lacks 24/7 availability and unlimited selection of products. Management takes a lot of time, and during the Covid-19 pandemic, many of these stores unfortunately are shutting down altogether.

If you’re looking to start a business, online is the way to go. You’ll be in good company—2020 data shows that it’s been a record year for ecommerce, with 16.2% growth in the first quarter alone.

The success of your business will rely on many elements, but at this early stage, your business name will be one of your most important commodities. Will the name you’re considering for your business keep it afloat in the ocean of online stores?

In this post, we’ll show you how to come up with a brand name and help you generate a name that will help you stand out and remain relevant as your business grows.

Let’s start with an example

Coming up with a business name is one of the most exciting but also difficult tasks when starting your business venture.

Google is a great example for naming a business. The tech giant’s name hasn’t just become synonymous with the internet—it even sounds great with anything attached to it, whether it’s Mail, Maps, Analytics, Trends, searches, and the host of services the brand now offers.

But if Google had kept its former name, BackRub, we’d have BackRub Mail, BackRub Trends, and BackRub Searches. Not great, right?

Thankfully, BackRub became Google, and today it’s clear evidence that there’s power in a brand’s name. Google is placed at a value of $581 billion, a solid route to a trillion-dollars. For context, Yahoo, a company that once wanted to acquire a young Google, is now worth $68 billion.

Why is choosing an ecommerce business name important

Your business name is the very first thing your customers get to see and interact with, even before they see you or your products.

Behavioral scientists agree that we make first impressions of a person or a brand in less than a half of a second. First impressions are powerful and inform our decision to trust brands and personalities long before the impulse to buy and interact with a product even begins.

So, if you choose the right ecommerce business name, one that’s in line with your products, values, and target audience, you’re starting to build the trust that will attract potential and referred clients, while also reducing the likelihood of being outpaced by a competitor.

How to create a business name

The process of finding the perfect business name requires a great level of research, brainstorming, testing, feedback, and if necessary, a re-do of the entire process. Here’s a list of ways you can generate a catchy name that’d be perfect for your ecommerce business.

1. Keep it short, simple, and friendly

Remember the KISS principle? It comes in handy here. The human brain can store thousands of words, and an English native speaker knows an average of 35,000 words. In this enormous pile of words, shorter and simpler ones are recalled first before complex ones.

Thanks to Harvard’s implicit association test, we now understand that our brains quickly draw threads between words and emotions. According to a test by Customer Thermometer, 65% of US consumers have emotional attachments to their favorite brands. 

So take the time to choose a name that not only rolls off the tongue, but can be easily combined with other branding elements customers react to emotionally: shapes, colors, and sounds.

Also remember, short and simple names are more likely to be perceived as friendly (for an example from the human world, think “Theodore” vs. “Ted”). The faster your consumers see and understand your brand name, the quicker they’ll remember it, and the better you’ll be at attracting new customers.  

2. Get inspiration from business name generators

Coming up with an ecommerce business name isn’t easy. It can take weeks, sometimes months, and that’s why we recommend experimenting with business name generators or, if the budget allows it, hiring a team to help you brainstorm ideas for your ecommerce business. This way you can step above boring and generic names, and get a strong business name.

A compelling ecommerce name must meet the standards of search engines, your target audience, and your company’s products and messages. Although it appears easy, most great names are already taken. 

There are millions of businesses out there with superb names. So, your business needs all the help it can get so it can stand out in an already flooded market. And a simple way to get help is by using a business name generator. Why? Because it provides potential name suggestions, all based on keywords and data relevant to your business, thereby simplifying the process of picking a strong business name. 

This brand name generator is a great place to start!

It’s crucial that you court your customer’s attention as much as possible. Data from Chartbeat states that 55% of site visitors leave in just 15 seconds and only a smaller fraction bothers to check the About Us page.

And one way such successful businesses as Facebook, Instagram, Shopify, and Printful all got around that is by having their names hint at their niches, making it easier for potential customers to identify them easily.

Printful brand name

4. Get feedback

Feedback provides a clear representation of how the customers perceive your brand. However, to maintain its integrity, feedback shouldn’t come from your family and friends but from brand professionals, customers, and your team.

Feedback will also give you key information about your brand name’s tone, perceived meaning, and how scalable the name is. We recommend getting feedback from naming professionals because they provide functionality testing, customer testing, and other helpful kits that’ll make your naming-journey smooth.

5. Secure your name

As we said, the best names are taken, but many great ones are still available. So, don’t fail to secure your name once you’ve found it. 

Remember that your brand name will exist online as a domain name and you can also play around with domain suffixes to better reflect your business. While domain suffixes like .com remain popular, alternative suffix like .shop, .store, and .mart, can be a helpful way to secure the name of your choice.

How can you find out if a business name is taken? 

Do a thorough search online to see if your business name’s been claimed. Google is a good start—and don’t forget to look beyond page 2 of search results.

If the name hasn’t been used yet, make sure to register your business name. If you’re based in the US, run your brand name by The US Patent and Trademark Office to be sure another company hasn’t taken the name already. And if they’ve not, go ahead and secure your business name. 

To get your business registered with the USPTO, all you’ve got to do is:

  • Visit the United States Patent Office
  • Click Trademark
  • Click Apply for a trademark
  • Then click on Initial Application Form
  • Fill out the application
  • Submit the form

That’s it. You’ve just completed the first part of registering your business. Now, all you have to do is wait for six to nine months before receiving your official documents.

If you’re based outside the US, follow the registration guidelines provided by state authorities.

How to identify a great ecommerce name

These five qualities that we’ll list below will show you what to look for in an ecommerce brand name and make the entire process a whole lot easier for you. Your chosen name needs to be:

Memorable

The average customer can only recall so much, and that’s why it’s important you build your online presence with a business name that catches the eyes of your potential customers and also secures their interest. The best way to achieve this is by choosing names your clients can easily associate with their needs. Like SnapChat or Volkswagen, the people’s car.

Consistent

Your business needs to be professional and display stability, both in products and ethics. Customers should know that if they find you tomorrow you’d be maintaining the same amazing standard. This simple truth has led to the success of huge businesses like Amazon

Your brand’s marketing, inventory, sales, and size may change, but your business name and core values should be able to stand the test of  time. So ensure you choose names and values that are ageless. Consistency requires your business to be lasting and not a candle in the wind.

Easy to find

The virtual business world relies heavily on consumers locating your ecommerce site by simply searching your business name, and this is the part where things can go wrong if you’ve chosen a brand name that’s similar to an established brand that operates in the same niche. 

As a startup e-prenuer, your initial sales will be search engine optimization-driven, so make sure your business name contains some keyword elements.

You have to ensure that whatever business name you choose ranks at the top of any search engine results page (SERP) because if by any chance your customers forget, or your business name is too similar to a competitor’s name, your clients could land in a competitor’s store. 

So, when it comes to naming your ecommerce business, your most rewarding achievement would be generating a name that’s easy to spell, like Webull.

Outside the box

Short and simple domain names aren’t easy to come by anymore. Almost every dictionary word has been claimed online. So where does this leave you? It leaves you with a Shakespearean advantage of coming up with a word of your own!

For example, Kodak, as a word, has nothing to do with photography, but works well as an abstract name because it’s unique, easy to memorize, and easy to find.

Unique names are the best way to get easy-to-find domain names without triggering an order to cease-and-desist. Still, they also come with their own challenge. For one, you have to build your brand image around the name from scratch. See this list of successful businesses with abstract names to get some inspiration.

Attracts the right audience

Different names appeal to different customers, but not every customer is the right customer for your business. Customers buy from people that identify with their beliefs and values. A great ecommerce name differentiates you from all other businesses and makes you stand out.

Even if you sell products in a broad niche, like skincare, elements like brand name and logo will attract a specific type of customer who can resonate with your brand. Compare the names of these two skincare brands, Drunk Elephant and Bioderma. The names already give the taste of brand image, even before we visit the websites, and that’s what you want to achieve with your brand name too.

Which tip did you find the most useful? If you already have an online business, how did you come up with the name? Share your story in the comments!

Grant Polachek is the Head of Branding at Inc 500 company Squadhelp.com, the worlds #1 naming platform, with 25,000+ customers from early-stage startups across the globe to the largest corporations including Nestle, Philips, Hilton, Pepsi, and AutoNation.

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to updates

Get actionable drop shipping advice in your inbox

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published



Back to All posts

Ready to try Printful?

Connect to an ecommerce platform or make an order

Get started