In the early stages of starting up any entrepreneurial enterprise, the branding of your new business is one of the biggest tasks that you have. You will pour so much time and money into your new company that you cannot afford not to take it very seriously. The good news is that brainstorming ideas with friends can be a lot of fun, and settling on a business name will focus your sense of purpose and even firmly define the direction in which you’re heading.
But there is one thing to keep in mind, something that won’t be covered in business textbooks more than five or 10 years old, the filter through which you must run any prospective catchy brand name that you are contemplating. I’ll share this with you in this short article.
I will also reveal a new idea for making a final choice once you’ve narrowed your list of brand names down to two or three very good prospects. This is a marketing test that you can perform for $100 or so, that will expose you to a worldwide potential market that will give you input as to how responsive people are to your name, and maybe a very brief tagline.
Brainstorming Your List Of Catchy Business Names
Here’s the fun part. Bounce ideas for names off some of your sharpest friends, focusing on concepts and abstractions that describe what this new business of yours will do. The Net has many excellent tools to help you get started. Also use random name generators, available for free on the Internet, as a starting point and don’t be afraid to write down dozens of names that have something special about them. Don’t be too critical at this stage. Also remember that short business names are preferable, all else being equal. Use strong verbs and vivid nouns. When you have several that you like, run them by people, even strangers, to gauge their first impression. The function of your business name is to open the door to your market, to put you in position to close the sale. Grab first, educate second. The product of this brainstorming stage should be a list of dozens of prospective catchy business names.
The Secret To Free Marketing Through Search Engines
I promised you a “secret filter” through which you should pass all the names on your initial list. First, here’s a quick review of how search engines determine placement of webpages in the search engine results pages for a given keyword. Along with the age of the domain upon which the webpage is located, as well as the number and quality of so called “backlinks” from other sites to that page and domain, there are literally a couple hundred things at which a search engine looks to determine SERPs placement. The higher the placement, the more visitors you’ll have to the website you will be building for your business, even if it is brick-and-mortar.
Another enormously important criterion for webpage strength for a given keyword is whether the keyword is contained in the URL for that page, or better yet as the domain name itself. It stands to reason that (again, all else being equal) a domain called redleatherbookbinding.com will concern itself largely with binding books in red leather. For this reason, not surprisingly, most search engines would give an authority boost to this hypothetical domain for that keyword. Assuming this described your business, you would want to give very serious consideration to it as a business name for your brand.
If you buy that domain can you expect your business to automatically be number one in the search engine results pages for that term? Absolutely not! You can assume nothing, even if you build a nice looking, informative site on it. However, if you will do the work of creating a quality site on the domain, it will most likely be better off by some amount for that keyword than if it did not contain it at all. The takeaway for you, as you sift through your long list of business name ideas, is to make sure that any name that you pick is available as a domain name, preferably a “dot-com”.
Ideally it will also contain a keyword that describes very well what your business will do, that you expect people to type in to search engines when they search for the product or service that you are selling. An additional tip, if at standalone keyword is not available as a URL, is to include the city in which your business is based, especially if you have a brick-and-mortar location. Very often people do include the name of the city in which they live in the search that they perform, not surprisingly. Can you see how much science there is (or should be) in determining the best name for your new brand from a long list of catchy business names?
Business Name Marketing Test: The Final Decision
So you have narrowed your list down to two or three names, all of which are available as domain names, or at least with your city name inserted after each name that you have chosen. What you need now is some hard data to support your final name selection. Consider running a Google ad words campaign, with three different text ads, each of which features one of the names you have selected as well as just a few words to elaborate on your product. Keep the elaboration portion short, and identical through the ads. In one week or less and probably with no more than $100 spent towards this cheap marketing campaign, you will most likely find that ads containing one of your choices was quite a bit better than the others. You should think very carefully about choosing the name that got the most clicks from the enormous unbiased sample size that this basic campaign can involve. (If you would like to test responses only for the country in which you live or even the city in which your business will be located, it’s simple to construct through Adwords)
There is so much at stake in choosing a suitable name for your new brand that you shouldn’t rely on intuition alone. I have isolated three stages for choosing business names using the internet, names that are catchy and worthy of the enterprise in which you will sink a lot of money and maybe years of your life. Once you have chosen wisely, you can proceed with confidence that the business into which you will pour everything will also have a name that works for it, rather than against it.