Creating your business or blog name can be a challenging task. With all the competition in business today, you want a name that stands out and is easily remembered. There are one word names like Google and Apple that have instant brand recognition, yet they weren’t instant stand outs. It took time and money for the consumer to understand what the business provided. But there are business names that instantly tell us what their business is like Auto Zone, Coffee Bean & Tea, Super Cuts, Banner Mattress, Burger King, and Whole Foods etc.
Below are common mistakes made when businesses/blogs choose a name. Try to avoid these as you choose the best name for your amazing biz.
1. Name includes a location. Having the location in your name is great if it’s a tourist destination business, but not if you intend to grow the business beyond the current location. Kentucky Fried Chicken eventually changed their brand name to KFC.
2. Name you have to explain. You never want a name you have to explain to a consumer. The only exception is with restaurants, as the more diverse the better. Starbucks is a good example. With the internet, you want a part of your name to be something a consumer would google. For example, if your business is a hair beauty salon, you should have the word “hair”, “beauty” or “salon” in your name.
3. Name is hard to spell the way it sounds. When people want to search your name, they should be able to spell it literally. For example, BabeeBodee.com would not be a good name, although cute in print. A consumer searching for your company will type, BabyBody.com and never find you.
4. Name is not URL Available. If your idea for a .com name is already taken, you should not use that name, even if available as an .info, .org, .us, .biz, .net etc. Yet, if the name is available, you may want to buy the extra extensions so no one else takes them. Check at GoDaddy.com to see if the name you like is taken.
5. Name has Special Characters. Adding symbols or special characters are hard for people to remember. Try to avoid using !, -, $, #, when creating your name. Using numbers is also tricky, although 24 Hour Fitness has not had an issue.
6. Name has dates. Putting dates limits your future. The only reason you would put a date is if your blog is based on a specific date happening, like a wedding, celebration, or the business was focusing on a time in history. There is a restaurant in my town called “1909” and focuses on the settlers coming into California.
7. Name is competing. Do not try to be cute with naming your blog with a well-known brand or tagline. You actually might get into some legal trouble. For example, a name JustDoingIt.com is too close to the Nike brand tagline. It’s best to be your own emerging brand and a name that is all your own.
8. Name is just about you. You want the name of your blog to be about your reader and what they are looking for. Unless you are a celebrity, brand, service, or just want a blog to focus on you or your family, I would stay away from your name. For example, MomFitnessWithNancy. This is great if it will just be Nancy offering fitness advice. Yet, it would not be a good name if Nancy intends to bring in other writers, sponsored posts, add a partner or someday want to sell her blog or business.
9. Name is hard to spell. Some names are more difficult than others to spell. For example, mompreneur, entrepreneur, introspective, international, etc. These words are too long and easy to misspell. There is a business I know that has the word “differentiated” in it’s name, and every time I type it, I misspell the first time.
10. Siri or Alexa won’t understand. With new voice technology, you need a name that will easily be detected. Practice saying your blog name in a voice control and see if it easily is translated correctly. You don’t want to confuse the computer in finding who or where you are.
11. Name is too Long. Attorney offices are known for this (Law offices of Stedman, Hybel, Williams and Long). Try to shorten the name as best you can. Ask yourself if it’s too long to write or say, or even explain.
12. Name is to Narrow. If you plan to do more with your biz or blog than your current focus, you need to make sure it isn’t too limiting. A blog like SummerBarbecueMom, is a perfect niche if you only intend to feature barbecuing in the summer. You may want to branch out and take out the summer so all seasons of barbecuing can be represented.
Now that you will avoid these common name mistakes, you are ready to get creative with a name you will love.
Tip: Before settling on a name, ask at least ten people what they think. Give them three names they can choose from. You might be surprised the feedback you get.