How to create a recognisable brand name that suits your target market

Posted on

Inventing a brand name is one of the first things many entrepreneurs start to craft when creating an online business. However, it can be challenging to assemble in just a few characters a message that expresses and embodies your business.

Nothing in your company gets used more often than your brand name. It’s often touted as being an extension of your brand. However, it really is more than that and should instead be thought as a representation of the essence of your brand. The fact that it’s also got to draw in your audience and be easy to remember makes it a much more complicated task than what it might initially seem.

Don’t worry though, because we’ve got all the information you need to create a powerful brand name.

The science behind brand names

77% of consumers make purchases based on a brand name. In the same way that iPad is an interchangeable term for tablet, you want to be synonymous with your product. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be abstract. Since 99.9% of the entire dictionary is already registered as a domain name, it’s a good idea to combine words to create brand new terms. It’s often useful to springboard from buzzwords in your market.

Conducting competitor analysis

Have an in-depth look into your target market, and observe trends in their choice of brand name. After your research, you’ll likely be able to see a gap where you can stand out from the crowd. When you put in the effort, rather than just picking a name that sounds nice, you’re a whole lot less likely to get lost in a sea of similarity.

Likewise, sometimes you may see a free domain name that you impulse buy in case someone else grabs it. However, because rebranding can be a very risky operation later on, you’re better off putting in the hard graft now and spend time curating and testing out different names. Create a spreadsheet of competitors and see which ones are thriving and try to see how their brand impacts on this success.

You don’t want to make this mistake:

If the only thing differentiating a competitor’s with your domain is a hyphen, you may find yourself losing valuables leads in the future. We avoid hyphenated domains for this very reason. These sites are harder to find and often lead customers right into your competitor's store!

It’s okay to change your mind!

And that’s another thing to consider, be prepared to move onto another brand name. If “the one” isn’t aligning with all of the criteria you want it to achieve for you, it’s better late than never to reverse and study other options.

Although it may feel frustrating not to be able to pin your name down immediately, this extra time will pay off when your Shopify store has a killer name!

Don’t box yourself in

Another area that where we advise weariness is in trend-driven naming techniques. Rather than riding the next big hype, try thinking longterm. And though you may exclusively sell a particular item, leave space in your name to branch out and encompass new lines.

Amazon started off by exclusively selling books. Now, if they’d called themselves The Book Depository, which is a name of an offshoot store that Bezos owns, it would never have become the empire that it is today. You’ll want to futureproof your business, and unsurprisingly, your brand name has a considerable impact on your business’ ability to weather the sands of time.

Easy to spell

What better way to destroy any word-of-mouth traffic influx to your online store than with a name no one can spell? Seriously though, think about your target audience, and especially their mother tongue, and generally, we suggest not to play around with the spelling of words.

Easy to pronounce

Although using foreign words to create your brand can create a very exotic, atmospheric or even adorable brand name, make sure it’s easy to pronounce. Foreign brand naming is often associated with luxury brands, but a lot of these, even if difficult to pronounce such as Givenchy or Balenciaga, aren’t too out there. But then you have names such as Koenigsegg, a top-end Swedish car manufacturer that just makes it difficult for your customers to find!

Your URL

Unless you're selling exclusively to a single country, then we recommend the .com as a top-level domain (TLD). It’s slightly more expensive when buying your domain but customers are a lot more trustworthy of the dot-com, so it’s a must-have mini investment.

You’ll thank yourself later for not going with an obscure top-level domain. Why?

Because Google is biased towards .com sites, meaning you’ll have an easier time climbing up the SERPs in the future. And the reason this happens is because people tend to assume that sites have a .com top-level domain. So it’s logical to play to people’s assumptions and help them find our online store.

Name Generator

This is another option, and even if it doesn’t get you the name you want, it certainly gets the ball rolling. There’s nothing worse than trying to draw inspiration out of thin air, a white sheet of paper or a blank screen.

And although we might invent a business name that we think is great and that customers will really enjoy. The SEO bots mightn’t be so sure, these name generators take both the human and the bot perception of a brand name into account, so it’s handy to get a feel for what a brand name needs to build traction on the internet.

There are plenty of business name generators out there that remove the blank slate. A couple of these include:

Shopify’s Business Name Generator - simply type in a word that you want your business to include. It’s an easy-to-use, straightforward software that starts the ball rolling.

Namelix - is another step up and uses move high-tech, AI-powered solutions to source the perfect name. If nothing else it’s a fun, free piece of kit to use. You basically type in keywords about your store as well as negative keywords which inform the AI software what your brand is and isn’t. Wait a few seconds for Namelix to generate a couple of names and voilá! Your store name is born. They also provide a logo as well, and who knows? Maybe you’ll find the perfect match.

As you can see you’re getting great exposure here to buzzwords such as “aqua”, “luxe” and “fab”. I’d take these with a pinch of salt because it’s a fine line to thread between choosing a name that would be recognisable in the industry and having a unique, individual flair.

None of these examples really stand out. So if I were to open a Shopify store selling eco, luxury bikinis I’d keep throwing ideas around to find a gap in the market for an engaging brand name.

The challenge of creating a standout brand is not one that any successful eCommerce merchant takes lightly. We work with Shopify brands to develop their brand, marketing, reach and conversion rates to ensure that they have the best shot of connecting with their market. Check out our contact page if you’d like to chat and see what we can do for your brand.

It’s a jungle out there Shopify merchants, we’ve got your back!

(Psst. We’ve also got loads of helpful blog posts tailored toward Shopify stores.)