When starting a new project, you inevitably face one fundamental challenge: How to name it.
Finding a brand name used to be more straightforward: All you needed is to find a cool domain name, preferably containing your keyword.
It is no longer that easy:
- Most .com domains are taken: You’ll have trouble finding a domain name
- Most social media usernames are taken as well. Even if you manage to find a cool domain name, how about claiming it on social media?
- As businesses and projects go global, how to avoid negative associations around the world?
- Finally, how about SEO? Should you care about keywords in your domain name to make it easier for your site to achieve higher rankings?
So how to choose a brand name and why care?
Why is Brand Name Important?
Your brand name is fundamental to your brand identity which is a set element that makes your product and value proposition memorable and hence trustworthy.
We all know the power of a brand in marketing but just as a reminder, here are a few numbers:
- According to a research by Edelman, more than 80% of US consumers need to know a brand to buy products comfortably
- Consistent branding is important for at least a third of surveyed consumers, according to research by LucidPress
- A survey done by Accenture Strategy found that almost 66 percent of consumers think transparency is the most important quality in a brand
Finally, there are many more benefits of having a unique brand name:
- It makes reputation monitoring easy (or even possible)
- It helps Google recognize you as an entity and generate a knowledge panel for your branded searches
- A recognized brand name helps your on-page engagement and conversion rates because consumers feel more comfortable clicking your links and browsing your site
Brand Name and SEO
Domain names used to have a huge impact on your organic visibility. In fact, choosing a well SEOed (i.e. keyword-driven) domain name was a sure-fire way to quickly rank in top 5 for those keywords.
These days it is no longer that easy or stratford.
Domain-level signals (i.e. name and age) are minimal, if those exist at all.
Your domain name choice may have an indirect impact on your future SEO efforts though:
- If it is easy to remember and reflects a meaning, it may generate more clicks from organic search snippets
- If it triggers niche associations, it will help improve conversions
- If it has a keyword, it may attract some backlinks with a semantically meaningful anchor text
With that in mind, it makes sense to spend some time researching your options and trying to find a domain name that would have some meaning while being short and easy to remember.
Here’s how you can do that:
How to Select a Brand Name
Run Brand Name Generators
There are quite a few domain name generators out there that use different methods to come up with original names.
This business name generator, for example, specializes on premium domain names that often include core keywords. I always have luck finding a gem here:
For bloggers, there are a few cool generators that may suggest great names on a budget.
Search Text Optimizer
If you are running out of ideas, use Text Optimizer to find more keywords to run your searches. The tool will suggest underlying and related concepts to help you expand your domain search:
If you have a few options in mind, always search Google for those (both as one word and separate words) to see if:
- There are currently any big brands using that name
- Google thinks that is a misspelling (this could take some time to shake off but it is still doable)
Search Urban Dictionary
Will your brand name or part of it trigger some tricky associations? Is there any slang associated with it? Urban Dictionary is a good place to check:
Survey your friends and followers
Creating a brand name is often about creating a new word. This means that your customers will have to learn and remember a new word which is much more than mapping a meaning to a sequence of sounds.
Learning a new word involves a whole network of associations, which affect how we think and feel about that word.
Which associations will your new brand name create? How easy will it be to remember it and associate it with whatever it is you are doing? Try running a few social media polls to see what people think about your chosen names.
Do You Need Another Brand Name?
Finally, prior to making your final decision, give it one more thought: Do you really need a new brand or can you develop a new product under an existing one.
Developing a new brand is hard work, and when it comes to building a business, focus and consistency are key. If there’s a possibility to keep everything under a single name without causing confusion, it may be the best way to go.
Remember your brand name will be everywhere: In Google search results, inside your knowledge panel (if you are lucky), on your lead magnets, on your logo and on your social media profiles. Take your choice very seriously!
Finding a great brand name is challenging but the good news that you will have to do it once! Spend some time exploring your options and ask your friends and followers for feedback before making your final decision!
Ann Smarty is the brand NINJA at Internet Marketing Ninjas as well as the founder of numerous startups including MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU, ViralContentBee, TwChat and many more.
Ann Smarty has been an online marketing consultant for 10 years providing high-quality digital marketing consulting through her services and courses (both free and paid).
Ann Smarty’s content marketing ideas have been featured in NYtimes, Mashable, Entrepreneur, Search Engine Land and many more. She is known for her indepth tool reviews, innovative content marketing advice and actionable digital marketing ideas.