About the author
Mou Mukherjee is the Head of Registry Services at .Cloud
Google, Facebook, Wholefoods, Virgin. Global fame might not be the end goal for all of us, but when it comes to naming your company or product, and choosing your domain name, there’s pressure to get it right.
Not only will the right name resonate well with potential customers, it’s also an opportunity to show what your company represents. Furthermore, name recognition and a consistent brand experience will build trust with customers and draw in prospective customers.
As a result, choosing your company name isn’t something that should be taken lightly. With new businesses entering the market every day, and the UK claiming a new business “birth rate” of over 10% per year, how can you ensure you select the correct name?
This question is no stranger for .Cloud, the smart domain for modern business. Based on extensive experience with our customers, which are often new businesses, let us offer you a couple of tips so you can start your business off on the right foot.
Before diving into the more complex aspects of choosing a name, it’s important to get the basics right.
Domain name basics
Most potential customers will hear your business name before they know anything about your products and services. You want to avoid difficult names to spell, pronounce, explain or remember. In most cases, keeping your name short and memorable and avoiding complexity is best.
Of course, there are always exceptions and reasons to break the rules, and if you do, weigh in the benefits and disadvantages. Keep in mind that dropping letters or using odd spellings can be tricky sometimes for your audience to remember and find you online, especially at the beginning when you are building up your online presence.
You also want to avoid being too local, you need a name that grows with you. Often times, customers go with regional or country specific domain names and as they expand into new territories, they realize they need a more global sounding domain name. If you know from the beginning that your audience could potentially be global, choose a domain to match like .com or .cloud.
For many modern businesses, the domain name is the front door. People see your business name and domain name in the search results, online ads, and social media. You have seconds to capture their attention, so think about your name in this context. What does it say about you? Is it interesting and creative? Names that are too generic and boring might drive your audience away.
Above all, choose a name that you absolutely love. This is your chance to be creative and pick a lasting name. Take the time to explore the options.
Perhaps you already have a name or idea in mind or maybe you don’t know where to start. Start by writing down all the ideas you have for your business. Next, turn to Google to research keyword suggestions, trends and popularity.
There are also plenty of online tools to help you research, if you feel stuck. You will find a great resource in dictionaries, thesauruses and translators. Taking it a step further, you could use OneLook for example, which will let you match keywords with short phrases. Moby Thesaurus on the other hand will allow you to find synonyms and word associations. These tools will help you make your idea come to life.
Also, don’t underestimate baby name generators! Using interesting first names for companies and startups is becoming more and more popular – it might be the best match for you.
Once an initial name is determined, it’s important to vet and secure it. Think about evaluating cultural sensitivity, trademarks and competition. Additionally, do an online check to see if corresponding domain names are available for your business name, as well as on social channels. It’s important to do this research so you can create a strong and consistent online presence.
Be creative with new domain choices
These days there are many more choices with domain names. In the past several years many new domain extensions became available such as .cloud, .shop and .design. These new domains offer you a chance to be more creative, bold and modern with your domain name. Also, you can create a short and impactful domain name with two keywords, for example united.cloud.
Finally, after narrowing down your choices, we recommend getting feedback from your trusted advisors. We recommend asking your business partners, perhaps staff and maybe even a few of your customers what they think. Their feedback will show whether your name conveys the intended message, if it’s memorable and if it evokes a sense of trust.
If all these steps are confirmed, you have found your name! Don’t forget to register your preferred domain name so your business can have its place on the internet.
A name that fosters trust
There are some very important steps involved with choosing the right name, and taking your time upfront will pay off in the long run. Your name is your identity, and your domain name is your digital identity.
They are both crucial for successful branding. Furthermore, as a new company, building trust with partners and customers is the key to becoming successful – especially as you will have to compete with already established brands. As a challenger, snapping the attention of the audience and creating a compelling story for your product is the foundation for building trust.
Your company is unique and your name should be too. Naming your company, and choosing a modern domain name is one way to be unique and memorable. Take your time to review the options and test whether your name evokes the right ideas.
Mou Mukherjee is the Head of Registry Services at .Cloud