Choosing a brand name for a new online business can be one of the hardest things in the world.
For one, the best brand names and URLs are already taken – and they were taken 10-15 years ago.
So if you are going to get a brand name that is instantly recognizable and something people are familiar with, that would be very difficult indeed. And buying the rights to a popular brand name or URL would make spending $10,000, $20,000 or more.
It is very rare for an online business to get the brand name and URL absolutely spot on.
One example of an online business that has got this right is Casino.com. The URL, in this case, reflects exactly what is offered by the company – online casinos – so there is no confusion of any sort here. What you see, is what you get.
Since your online business is going to be a new one, don’t expect to get such a great brand name and URL so easily. Even if you get a great URL, are you sure you have the right to the trademark? Using a trademark that is already owned by someone else can land your business in legal trouble, and could prove to be an expensive mistake indeed.
So how to find a great brand name, one that people will instantly associate with your business?
Is that even possible? Yes, but we will need to take lessons from human psychology for this. Let’s see how that is done….
Idea #1: Pick brand names that reinforce positive and highly memorable experiences through the power of sound and symbolism.
Phew! That sounds like a complicated concept, but it’s not. The idea is quite simple – there are certain sounds that people identify with very easily, which inspire positive emotions in them. They create lovely experiences that you are likely to remember and share with friends. So when choosing a brand name, consider the words that you use in your daily life, which you probably don’t use much. Remember the concepts of alliteration, interjections and assonance that you learned in school.
Can you use them to combine the words that are familiar to you into a beautiful brand name? Consider, for example the hugely popular online bulletin board system, Reddit.com. Reddit is an elegant combination of the simplest words possible in the English dictionary – “Read” and “It”.
Can you think of a brand name like that for your business?
Idea #2: Use the power of positive emotions.
The most popular brand names are driven by emotions. They reinforce positive emotions that the company wants their customers to feel when they see their products or consider their services. So consider the deeply felt emotions that you have in mind that you want your clients or customers to feel as well. How do you want them to relate to your business? Choose a brand name that builds a positive visual image of your company, one with descriptive words, full of emotions, and shared experiences, something that your target customer would easily recall.
One brand name we really like is Zappos.com. Zappos.com is an online seller of shoes and clothing that was acquired by Amazon recently. It’s a brand name full of positive energy and creates the image of a fun and exciting company full of friendly people.
Idea #3: Invent your own words.
So if you can’t find a word that reflects the true essence of what your brand does, create one of your own. There are so many new words and slangs that enter the English language every month. Use some of the popular slang from other languages such as French, Spanish, Arabic and Esperanto. One of the most interesting brand names we have ever come across belong to two of the world’s most successful internet companies – Google.com and Yahoo.com. You won’t find these words in the dictionary, but people identify with them instantly. They are fun, casual, memorable and authentic. Can you pick a brand name like that?
Feel free to invent your own word, if you can’t find one in the dictionary.
The trick to finding a great brand name is to choose something that creates happy emotions. You want people to associate your business with happiness. The name should make sense as well, and reflect what you do. Hope you enjoyed reading this article. As usual, we look forward to your comments and suggestions.