How to Choose the Best Name for Your Retail Business
Planning to start an online e-commerce business in 2021? Given the current rise in e-commerce sales across the board in 2020 that may turn out to be a great idea.
There are lots of things for you think about as you set up your business, and its name is one of the first you should figure out. The name of your online retail business will influence many of those early decisions – the URL, the website content and theme, your overall branding and more – so it’s very important to get it right.
Having a strong retail store brand name gives you an instant advantage when launching. The right name can be the most valuable asset of a brand, driving differentiation and acceptance of the brand. And the wrong name can cost you a lot…
When setting up your online store, it’s crucial to find the right name to help it stand out from the crowd. Here are a few tips on how to find that killer name you are looking for.
Keep it Simple
For many reasons, having a simple, snappy retail store name is great: it’s catchy, easy to pronounce, and fits easily into the home page header of your online store.
It can be difficult to find one, however. Every day, new retail brands are launched, and names that attract you will certainly appeal to someone else, too. Fortunately, it’s a big world and there’s plenty of room for brand names that are innovative and persuasive.
Here are a few name brainstorming strategies:
Try numerous short word combinations.
It may be more memorable to have two short words that rhyme or that are alliterative (e.g. ‘Snack Shack’).
Make Up a Word
Tech brands such as Google, eBay and Skype, even though they are not real words, have immediately recognizable names.
Use a Term That Has Personal Significance
It may be a nickname you have for your significant other, the name of your pet (a good idea if furry friends are involved in your store), or even your own name. Using a real name makes it easier to recognize the store at a personal level, although it can be more difficult to sell store concepts based on personal brands.
To discover which names are taken by your direct rivals and try to come up with something completely different, undertake market research.
The challenge here is to come up with a name that represents your niche and the kind of goods you offer, without mirroring your rivals with your business name. By definition, you have to ‘zig’ if you want to be different, while others’ zag ‘.
Be Mindful of Your Online Issues
When you have a list of choices for your store name, find out if registration is available for your chosen domain, preferably a .com. Given that .com is the most popular top-level domain (TLD) and has been for a long time, this may be a bit hard.
It is mission-critical to have a custom domain name for your shop, but you should not let your quest for the elusive “perfect” domain name cause you to procrastinate-everything, including your domain name, is open to change. There is value, however, in choosing a solid domain name that reflects the brand properly from the outset, so it’s a decision that warrants some consideration.
In addition to your own online store, you can also consider selling on Amazon, eBay, Etsy or another third-party marketplace. It’s a good idea to search the business name you are considering on popular selling sites to ensure that the names are available to you, even if it’s not in the plan just yet, and so that consumers don’t confuse you with another established organization when you are ready to branch out.
Check the Legal Stuff
Make sure you’re legally allowed to use the business name you’ve come up with. For store owners in the U.S., start by checking The United States Patent and Trademark Office. They have a free database that’s admittedly not that easy to search, but it’s well worth the effort.
Also note, the U.S. doesn’t have a centralized national register, so trademarks can be made in another country, or even another state. In Canada, you can search through the Canadian Intellectual Property Office website, which is also pretty confusing. The only safe way to be 100% sure is by consulting a lawyer.
Once you’ve determined your name is available, go to Google or Bing and see if the names on your list show up. Could you potentially make it to the top of the first page? If you choose a generic name, you’ll have a tough time ranking very well.
It’s also important to check Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites you’ll want to use for availability. As social media becomes more and more important to retail branding being able to make use of proper branding on pages is a must too.