Coming up with a great business name can be extremely difficult. You have to take into account the products you sell, your audience, and your plans for the future — and that’s if you manage to find an even available name. Plus, it can be a nightmare to change your name later down the line. So, it would be best if you got it the right first time. Today, I’m sharing 8 ways to choose the perfect name for your dropshipping store, and 3 mistakes to avoid.
1- Use Your Own Name For Business
Many iconic brands have been built using the founder’s name. Some people choose to use their full name, like Calvin Klein and Daniel Wellington. However, most founders use only their last name, like Burberry and Disney. Some founders adapt their name slightly, like Adi Dassler -the founder of Adidas If you’re co-founding a business with others, you might want to group your names. Warner Brothers did this, founded by brother Harry, Jack, Sam, and Albert Warner.
Before you use your name for your business, however, think about the implications. As the founder, do you plan on being the public face of the company, like Vaynermedia’s Gary Vaynerchuk? Alternatively, would you prefer to be more personally anonymous? Also, bear in mind that a business named after you may be more difficult to sell, should you wish to do so down the line.
2- Name Your Business After The Problem You Solve
This is a great way to draw attention to the benefits of your products. For example, the company ‘Fat Blaster’ is named after the problem they solve. Immediately, you know that this business helps people to lose weight.
On the other hand, you could name your business after the desire your product fulfils, like, the dating site, Chemistry.com — whose customers are likely searching for chemistry with a special someone.
Bottom line? Every business either solves a problem or fulfils a desire. Which does yours do? Also, how you can you incorporate the benefit, you provide into your business name?
3- Use Alliteration
This is a simple and effective way to come up with a catchy business name. Many businesses have used this technique, like Fitness First, Paramount Pictures, American Airways, and Weight Watchers. To use alliteration, first, take the industry you’re in, or the core thing that you provide — like, ‘fitness.’ Then, add another word beginning with the same sound, and which adds meaning. In this case, putting fitness ‘first.’ Is there a way you can incorporate alliteration into your business name?
4- Use a Normal Word For Business
This is hard to do well. Not only do you have to find a word that’s free to use… You also have to work hard to ‘own’ that word in the mind of your target customers. Another thing to bear in mind is that a single word can be incredibly difficult to trademark. That said, using a single-word business name can be a powerful way to establish your brand.
Take business names like Target, Alphabet, Gap, Apple, Pandora, and Yelp. When I say the word ‘Amazon’, chances are, you don’t think about the world’s largest river, but the online store. Although some of these are just random words, others have thought behind them.
Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, cleverly relates the world’s largest river, with what he hoped would become the world’s largest store, selling the most products in the world. However, if you can’t find a common word that works, you can always try…
5- Put a Twist On A Normal Word
Now it’s time to get really creative. If you struggle to find a single word that represents your business and is not already in use, try changing the word slightly. Businesses that did this well include Fiverr, spelt with two ‘R’s… Toggl with the ‘E’ dropped from the end of the word… Xero spelt with an ‘X’ instead of a ‘Z’… … and ‘Digg’ spelt with two ‘G’s.
On the plus side, you’re more likely to find an available domain name using this tactic. However, on the down-side, there is a chance people might spell your name wrong, or have trouble finding you online.
6- Mash Two Words Together
This is a popular way of naming a business. Simply take two words that represent your business, and combine them to create a new word. A good example is ‘Netflix.’ ‘Flick’ is slang for ‘movie,’ and ‘Net’ is short for ‘Internet’. Flicks on the net. Netflix. What’s more, Netflix also put a twist on the spelling of ‘flicks’, changing it from ‘F-L-I-C-K-S,’ to ‘F-L-I-X.’
Another example is Microsoft, whose name is made from the words ‘microcomputer’ and ‘software.’ Or Groupon, which is made from the words ‘group’ and ‘coupon.’ Or, take the business name Walmart. Founder Sam Walton took the first part of his last name ‘Wal’ and combined it with mart. List out a few words that represent your business, and see if you can uniquely combine any of them!
7- Use an Acronym Business Name
Many business’ choose to shorten a lengthy name into just the beginning letter of each word. For example, IKEA created a new word from an acronym derived from the founder’s initials and hometown. When the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation wanted to expand internationally, they shortened their name to HSBC. Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC, and the fashion brand ASOS originally stood for ‘As Seen on Screen.’
But, acronyms are often difficult to remember, and they can be difficult for SEO So, if you decide to use an acronym, try to make it short and sweet like KFC, or sound like it’s its own word, like IKEA.
8- Use a Business Name Generator
If you’re still struggling to come up with a great business name, check out Shopify Business Name Generator.
In this example, I typed in the word ‘yoga’ to generate business name ideas for a yoga dropshipping store! This is a great way to find inspiration and spark ideas — you might just find the perfect business name in minutes!
Okay, that brings us to the end of our 8 ways you can choose your business name! But before we end, let’s touch on 3 common mistakes to avoid when choosing your name.
Mistake 1- Not Doing Your Research
Entrepreneur and author of ‘#GirlBoss’ Sophia Amoruso, didn’t do her due diligence before starting her clothing line called ‘Nasty Gal.’ And, here’s the kicker… After launching her e-commerce store, she found out that NastyGal.com was a porn site… Eventually, she managed to buy the domain for thousands of dollars.
The moral of the story? Always do your research.
- Is there anyone else out there using the name you’re considering?
- Are the domains and social network handles available?
- Will you run into any legal issues?
Also, check if your name means something different in another language. There was a brand of toilet paper from Sweden called Krapp – spelt K, R, A, P, P…
Mistake 2- Not Being Culturally Sensitive
Ask yourself: Would my business name offend anyone? Avoid names that could be interpreted as mocking someone’s race, ethnicity, sexuality, physical abilities, and so on. It’s a good business practice, and it’s just plain respectful.
Mistake 3- Using More Than Two Words
Long names are hard to remember, and they aren’t as catchy as short ones. Also, many social media sites restrict the character count of usernames — for example, Twitter only allows usernames of up to 15 characters. Keep your name to one or two words.
If you scroll through the list of Fortune 500 Companies, you’ll see that most companies stick to this rule. Also, if you’re struggling to get your message across in just one or two words, that’s what taglines are for!
Okay, that brings us to the end of this article! Remember, as Gary Vaynerchuk said,
“Business names are made.”
So, whatever name you choose, it’s what your name comes to represent that really matters. You may not come up with the perfect business name on the first try, but that’s ok. Get creative and brainstorm as many options as possible!
If you chose your business name already, now, it is time to create your logo!