Clever Business Names: What Are The Golden Rules?

Coming up with clever business names aren’t easy. Make sure you invest in a great domain name and give your business the best possible start. Your domain name is often the first thing potential clients see, so you will want to showcase your brand and demonstrate credibility.

The name to choose depends on several factors including what your business offers, as well as your own style and personal preferences. You can be straightforward with your business name or a bit quirky. The name of your business not only creates the best impression, but it also shows you own the name and therefore are an authority on the subject.

Important Things to Consider

If you’re selling tents, for example, you won’t have much luck looking for tents.com or besttents.com because the more obvious ones were taken years ago. There are more domain names taken today than ever before, so not only does it pay to grab your domain name quick, but also to know some of the pitfalls to avoid as well as the tips to ensure your domain name works for you and business your way. Let’s take a look at some of the most important things you should think about before choosing your new domain name:

Always Go For a .Com Domain

Even if your desired domainname.com is taken, you shouldn’t settle for a .net or .info suffix and don’t get tricked into a new generic top-level domain when .com is still the best bet. If you don’t own the .com extension of your domain, your competitors will get the juice of the traffic.

It Must Make Sense

SummerJackets.com is a great domain name example, as opposed to JacketsSummer.com which is not. The first example is powerful and logical while the second includes the same words but is probably owned by someone who was too late to buy the first and settled for second best instead. It is vital to select the best domain name for your company because once it’s registered, it’s yours.

Domain Quality

The chief metrics you need to consider are exact match domains, aged domains, short and memorable ones and high search volumes. Don’t underestimate aged domain names because a lot of high-end ones were registered a long time ago so you probably won’t find anything of similar quality now they’re taken. Avoid anything with numbers (unless relevant to your brand) or hyphens. Not only can people forget about those when trying to locate your URL but they also don’t look professional. Compare BestBostonLaptops.com to Best-Boston-Laptops.com and you will agree the first is catchier and looks more professional. Someone looking for the second will likely forget the hyphens and immediately end up in the competitor’s web shop, and who wants to send their traffic to a competitor?

Creative and Clever Domain Names

A domain name doesn’t have to be basic. You can get inventive with clever quotes or spellings, pick something industry-specific that would appeal to an industry insider, or choose something funny or cute. Pair such a name with real-world intelligence to come up with a great unique domain name, and take your time doing this. Why not brainstorm with a friend?

Something Distinctive

An exact match or partial match isn’t necessarily going to be the best domain to choose. Something distinctive with just 5 or 6 letters might be perfect for your needs. Consider Liquid Plumr or HUVr. These words are spelt differently than you’d expect but they are unique identifiers. That means people can look for you using the distinctive spelling and it also means you can get a trademark more easily. And it’s easier to find quirky, unusual domain names like these. Now this isn’t the case for every business. A more corporate name might be a better match for you.

Keep It User-Friendly

If your business name is easy to remember, that means you don’t need to spend so much money on marketing it. Use strong keywords or made-up words to come up with something that is going to stick in customers’ minds after hearing or reading it once.

Alliteration is always a good idea, and that means words beginning with the same letter, such as Pay Pal or Dunkin Donuts. Not only does this sound cool and classic, but it also means you don’t have to spend as much on advertising or marketing because the name will stick in people’s minds.

You might think the easiest to remember domain name is the shortest one but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes a clever domain name is easier to remember and might describe your brand better (and get more traffic) than short but hard to remember ones.

Use something that is smooth and easy to pronounce. MinuteMade.com is smooth and easy to remember, but switch it to MinutesMade.com or MadeInJustAMinute.com and you are only going to confuse people by over-complicating your domain name for no reason.

See How It Works

Buying a domain name and then finding down the line it doesn’t work just means you’ve wasted time and money. It would be better to ask your friends if they can spell and pronounce it. Tell different people what you want your business name to be and if half of them aren’t sure how to say or spell it, or what it means, that means you need to rethink.

A Word about Trademarks

Trademarks are used to let consumers know who is behind a service or product, and also to prevent and marketplace confusion. Let’s look at an example. Beanies are a type of headwear and it’s also the name of a UK coffee company. There is very little chance of the two of these getting confused with one another because they are so different.

A distinctive, unique domain name might not indicate exactly what your business offers. Before choosing a domain name, find out whether a similar name or a variation of it is already trademarked, using the US Patent and Trademark Office’s search tool.

If you want to do something different with the business name than what the previous owner did, you should be able to trademark it if these conditions are met:

1. It is not similar enough to any other brands to cause confusion.
2. There are no unregistered, common law trademark holders using that trademark and still trading today.
3. It is not generic or descriptive (for example, it’s hard to trademark Computers.com because you are probably selling computers and someone else had likely already trademarked this for computer selling.
4. No famous brand is diluted (for example, CocaColaDrink.com would quickly get you sued by the Coca Cola company).
5. The classification of use or your name and description are not the same as other non-abandoned registered trademarked companies which have the same name.

If all of those conditions are met, you can apply to register the trademark, although there are no guarantees.

So…You’re Almost Ready to Get Your Clever Domain Name

Now you know not only how to pick a clever business name and domain name, but how to make sure it’s not already trademarked and how to ensure it’s the very best choice for your business.

To recap, think about a domain name you like. Consider what your business offers. Does the domain name you are thinking about make sense or do you want something a bit quirky to make people thing?

Does it reflect a real word, place, thing or phrase? Is it confusingly similar to an existing brand you know about? Is it simple to pronounce and spell? Is it hyphen-free? Play with different keyword combinations to find out which is the catchiest and easiest to remember.

You don’t have to stick to all these rules, but ensure the domain name you choose not only sounds good and works for your company, but also feels right to you. Once you have a killer domain name in mind, make sure you grab it before someone else does!

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