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How to come up with a good company name

Webshop Allerlievelings.jpg

The first thing anyone will hear about your company is your company name. A good name is one that is not easily forgotten, matches people’s expectations, tickles their curiosity and sounds nice. Needless to say, coming up with the right name is no easy feat. You really need to do your research.

This blog is written by Mariko Naber, branding and social marketing specialist and above all owner of Sell your stuff online. In this blog, Mariko will give you 6 tips for coming up with a good company name.

1. Target group

Choose a name that not only appeals to you, but is especially attractive to your target audience. Are you a go-getter who’s known to be impulsive? Then you might be tempted to go for a name you happen to like at that specific time, but it’s better to take your time and think things through.

Make sure you know what you are going to sell, to who, how and why, and decide on your core values. Once you’ve clearly defined what your company stands for, you can start brainstorming for a name. Then submit the option(s) to your target group and ask them for feedback.

2. Be positive

Think of a name that evokes positive thoughts or nice memories. Here you’ll find a few inspiring words that you could incorporate into your company name.

The webshop 'Allerlievelings' (Dutch for: favorite one) creates a positive impression when you hear the company name

3. Simple

Go for a name that is short and powerful, and avoid confusing or lengthy names. A name that consists of two, up to three syllables is most ideal. Kodak is the perfect example. In fact, it’s so well-known it’s become a generic name. Kodak doesn’t mean anything, but it sticks thanks to its  ‘popping’ sound.

The webshop 'Watoto' has a catchy but fairly simple company name. It even is a translation of children, what fits perfectly with the online store!

4. No craziness

Make sure you don’t use any funny word play that only you understand. Also avoid abbreviations that could be unclear, such as ‘4’ instead of ‘for’ or ‘U’ instead of ‘you’. This is also very timebound (see tip no. 5). Moreover, they could result in spelling errors, making it less easy for potential visitors to find your online store.

5. Timeless

Try to avoid ‘trendy’ words and constructions, such as ‘hot’, ‘hip’, ‘& co.’, ‘cutie’ and ‘sparkly’. They may sound fun now, but they should still sound good in ten years’ time and continue to be a perfect match for your online store. Obviously you can’t predict what you’ll like in five to ten years’ time, but do try to go for a ‘timeless’ option. Looking for inspiration? Think of some company names that have been around for ages…

6. Test your name

Have you followed the tips above and come up with a great company name? Then check whether it is not being used by another company (possibly in your same sector). Also check whether the domain name is still available. If not, check who is using the domain name and what for. You might even be able to take over this domain name for a reasonable fee.

Does your name include words in foreign languages, e.g. Dutch words? Then google your name and use the AdWords ‘Find keywords’ tool to get a better insight into the search results. Also google incorrectly spelled variants and register them. Thanks to Google’s automatic redirect, users will always be redirected to your online store, despite spelling your name wrong.

Social media
Also check whether your name is available on various social-media platforms and register your domain name on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc., even if you are not using it yet. That guarantees no one can steal it in the meantime! For Twitter accounts, names should be max. 140 characters long.

The webshop 'Allerlievelings' has accounts on various social media with their company name