Tag Archives: branding

Catchy Business Names Ideas: Two Secrets You Must Know

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.

Creative Business Names-What To Avoid

Most creative business names function to redirect our attention, from whatever we’re doing to a company name that we suddenly cannot ignore, for whatever reason. Whether it is a minor pun on words or a hilarious business name concept that has us doubled over with laughter, the element of distraction (over and above a name that is simply descriptive or catchy) can serve to garner attention and possibly create customers from people who otherwise might never have been aware of our business.

It is true that generating a business name that is truly memorable and creative will imbue it with an additional stickiness in the minds of people who hear it. It is also true that for any new business fighting so hard to get established in the first six months to one year of its existence, catchy business names that really “work” can make all the difference vis-à-vis the general visibility of the company, compared to names that fall flat. However, there is a limit to just how far you should go in getting creative with a business name, and at least two constraints that you would do well to observe as you try so hard to come up with a business name worthy of your efforts. By the way, are you familiar with the convenient business name generation tools you’ll find all over the Net? These are often semi-automated tools and they are handy for coming up with cool business names that work for you.

The first caveat that you as a business owner should keep in mind is that creating business names should not be an exercise in delving into obscurity. There is a limit to how creative you want to get with your business name because if there are complex allusions to abstract concepts, ancient Greek or Latin roots, or literary or historical figures, etc. then your name risks going completely over the heads of people who might otherwise take an interest in the product or service you are offering. If you look at creative business names that have successfully gain a foothold in the general public consciousness, such as Apple, Nike, Volkswagen or Visa you will find names that work on different levels both superficially as well as on some deeper-or even profound-manner.

The second constraint that will affect the way you come up with an initial selection or list of creative business names boils down to simple economics. As critical as a business name will be to every advertising campaign you ever undertake in whatever medium, spending too much money on a creative company name can be a mistake if it leaves your new business strapped for cash. Even a cursory search on the Internet will reveal dozens of companies touting their services as branding geniuses who can easily supply you with a name that perfectly fits your business. The problem is that the cost of purchasing creative branding services like this can run into the thousands of dollars quite easily, possibly leaving your new business hobbled in terms of cash flow and being unable to meet unforeseen expenses.

With regard to the second point, you must keep in mind that you cannot simply rely on a marketing firm to come up with examples of creative business names from which you can simply select. You’ll have to be involved in this process, and in fact you should be involved, because naming any business is a subjective exercise and no one has a clearer idea of the brand you are in the process of creating-and putting so much time and money into-than you do.

The best business names will always strike a balance between being overtly catchy on one hand while still “working” if one reflects on the deeper meaning of the name. In fact, the more successful your business gets the more likely it is that you’re customers as well as the general public will “get” the slightly hidden meaning that usually exists with creative business names, and this can work for you, almost as though your name is an inside joke of which people are privileged to be a part.