Category Archives: choosing a catchy business name

Finding A Catchy Business Name With Basic Marketing

If you’re trying to dream up catchy brand names for your new business idea, the Internet is probably the best tool that you have. Simple brainstorming and making use of random name generators and tools you can find all over the Internet, makes it easy to quickly build a suitable list of names that you can consider as branding possibilities.

Compiling a catchy business names list may be less of a challenge than finally settling on a name for your business. I’d like to share with you today a relatively cheap, though very scientific, method of determining just how responsive people will be to your new business name, or whether it tends to fall flat. Before you commit your time and resources to the enterprise you will build, you have only one chance to move forward with an business identity that memorably describes what you do.

Ideally you would conduct a marketing study to get real-life opinions from as many people as possible as to just how memorable different names from your initial list are. The larger and more varied this group is in terms of the individuals whose opinions you solicit, the more reliable your test will be as an indicator of stimulating interest in your new brand name. So how would a new, small-scale business engage in a marketing study like this whose cost is appropriate or in-line with the amount of revenue its owner can expect to generate? Excellent question.

There are many ways to conduct a brand marketing study, but Google Adwords offers easy-to-set-up campaigns for which your spending is easily controlled. Through the straightforward interface, you can feature each of your short-list of names in the small text ads that Google serves up its search results, the Gmail sidebar and other places, then quickly get an indication of just how ‘catchy’ each one is, as measured by the number of clicks that each receives. There are endless options for targeting potential customers in any geographical area that you specify. The learning curve is manageable, if your purpose is to simply determine the viability of catchy business names.

Use of this method is by no means limited to discovering excellent names for your business. Product names, titles or any sort of brand can be assessed with a scientific marketing campaign that is a necessary complement to brainstorming, inspiration and “feel”, that you’ll use to compile your original list of names.

In the book The Four Hour Workweek, Tim Ferriss memorably describes how he actually came up with the name for his bestselling book using this method. He and his publisher had settled on a small pool of working titles when Ferriss, knowing full well the enormity of this choice, took the bull by the horns and ran a small Adwords campaign himself to get some hard data regarding a catchy name. It turned out that the name that they eventually chose was far and away the name that got the best response, and has no doubt contributed to the huge success of the book: talk about return on investment!

Don’t leave the final selection of an easy to remember name for your business to gut feeling, or nothing but your own opinion. Apply some good data on what actually works to your initial list of catchy business names by analyzing what names people actually respond to, and one smart way to do this is by running a small Adwords campaign.

Catchy Business Names In The Internet Age

You can find plenty of suggestions on the Internet for ways to come up with a list of catchy business names. Random name generators work well, and they’re free and easy to find online. Brainstorming is fun, though gathering your ideas for catchy names and brands can become a time-sink, and if you’re not careful it can be a distraction to actually developing your business!

To save time I’d strongly suggest looking at a few of the plethora of business name generators easily found in search engines like Google as a one-stop branding solution that’s remarkable effective.

Obviously you need a name that is unique and memorable, and you’ll get only one chance to choose it. But there is another consideration as to business names, one that has arisen in the last 10 years or so, and I would contend that it outweighs almost any other definition of what a “good” business name is.

Ask yourself how, as we move forward, your business will be found. It will not be through the Yellow Pages. As people consume a variety of media today, traditional television, newspaper and radio advertising becomes less relevant. We actively search for information we need nowadays. What did you do when you were looking for ways to find a business name, just now?

You went to a search engine. From there, sooner or later, you clicked through to this site. This is the way that we will find most of our information in the future. For speed and efficiency, nothing else approaches this simple act of typing in a short description of what we are looking for. Business owners will naturally have to have advertising budgets to overtly target potential customers in places in which these customers might look as well. However, when you are choosing your business name and deciding on a brand into which you will pour countless hours, you cannot ignore the potential it has — I’m talking about the domain name itself — for helping you acquire customers within this new dynamic of internet search.

When dreaming up catchy business name ideas you can help customers and potential customers find you via the search engines by choosing a name that is available as a domain name, as a URL. The fact is that for a given subject or keyword, search engines give more credit/place more weight on sites whose domain name contains the keyword that was searched for to begin with. Put differently: a site, or even a page on a site, is considered to have more authority for a term, all else being equal, if it’s title contains the term. There are dozens of other factors as to page or site importance, but the title is probably the biggest single factor. Search engine robots don’t understand “catchy” or notably creative business names (at least not yet!), but they can certainly match a search term with a domain name.


When you are choosing your business name, include words that describe your business right in the domain name of the website that will represent your business online. This will help search engines, and in turn your customers, find you. It is absolutely not some sneaky workaround devised to game the search engines. On the contrary, it is the best way to help the search engines connect your customers with you. Once connected, you do what you do best: making your brand memorable.

So does this mean that a creative, catchy name is not important for your business, or that you cannot use something memorable in your business name and your URL? Chances are that a short URL containing a couple of words to describe your business is already taken anyway, so you’ll need an additional term or two to arrive at a domain name that is actually available. While a domain that contains the exact search that people will perform to find you is very desirable, the fact is that there will be an endless variety of terms that people type into search engines that lead them to you anyway. This enables you to combine descriptive terms that are very relevant to your business with a little something extra that distinguishes you from your competitors.

For instance, the domain is certainly taken, but maybe you could name your organic vegetable farm, a domain name which has a better chance of being available for you to buy, contains terms very relevant to your business, and is also memorable and descriptive, catchy even. With it, you establish yourself in the search engines as a website that is strongly related to organic vegetables by virtue of the first two words in your title, then use the third word, a positive, descriptive and friendly term to personalize your name. A functional and aesthetically pleasing brand is born.

The proper way to look at high placement in search engine results pages is as advertising, because for your commercial endeavors that’s exactly what it is. If the most important single thing you can do to place well in the non-paid portion of search results is also free, you can see the critical importance of choosing your domain name wisely. There is no reason why catchy business names cannot be combined with terms relevant to your business, right in the title. More than ever before, it is imperative that a business owner looks at his business name and brand in this way.