How to Choose a Store Name: Do’s and Don’ts
Thinking about how to name a store? Here are some helpful tips on what you should and shouldn’t do when handling this important task.
In this post, we talk about how to make a good store name that your customers will love and remember. The process of choosing a perfect name for your online business is far from straightforward and involves a number of variables. A couple of wrong decisions when naming a store can have irrevocable consequences and ruin your hopes for success. To avoid this catastrophic scenario, try following the guidelines on our do’s and don’ts list.
Why Choosing a Good Store Name Is Crucial
You might have heard of McDonald’s (loud laughter here). In case you haven’t (even louder laughter), this is the biggest international chain of fast food restaurants on the planet. What makes it so recognizable? The famous in-two-shakes, high-quality service? The outstanding menu?
Hardly so. Many other eateries have learned to serve tasty food fast. Rather, what truly sets this business apart from others is its brand name. Just watch “The Founder,” a film that tells the story of McDonald’s from the outset.
You might be surprised to learn that the real creator of the chain as we now know it is a former traveling salesman Ray Kroc, who bought out the original McDonald’s company founded by the brothers McDonald.
The latter invented a whole new system of cooking and serving food fast, and Kroc got interested in it. However, instead of just stealing the idea and building his own restaurant, Kroc wanted something else — the name.
To him, “McDonald’s” sounded ‘all-American, and appealing to the general public.” In the end, by hook or by crook, Ray managed to strike a deal with the brothers and became the owner of the McDonald’s brand. We all know the result. In 2020, the chain’s global brand value was estimated at almost $130 billion.
This story shows how crucial a good brand name is for every business. For online merchants, choosing a great store name is as or even more critical for a number of reasons. Here are some of the most obvious:
- It’s the first point of connection between your business and consumers. If your store name stays in your customers’ memory and has positive connotations, you can expect these people to return and purchase more products from you in the future.
- It’s crucial from a search engine visibility perspective. A store name is the basis of a domain name. If it’s relevant to your niche and contains appropriate keywords, the likes of Bing should put your online store higher in the search results. Thus, more potential customers should land on your site to improve your bottom line (hopefully).
- It helps you stand out from the pack. The global e-retail revenues are projected to reach 5.4 trillion US dollars in 2022. This means that the rivalry among e-commerce businesses is only getting more intense. Moreover, platforms like Shopify allow everyone to set up a store in a matter of hours, expanding the army of online sellers to gigantic numbers. So, a unique store name is one of the most effective ways to earn the target audience’s attention.
Many entrepreneurs are ready to pay thousands of dollars to marketing agencies for an ideal brand name. If you’re on a shoestring budget and can’t afford a luxury like that, you may want to coin your business name yourself.
To help you avoid common pitfalls and apply some best practices in this process, we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts.
How to Come Up with a Store Name: Don’t Make These Mistakes
Mistake #1: Making a Lengthy and Hard-to-Pronounce Business Name
The first answer to the question “How to pick a store name that your customers will like?” is “Don’t make it long.” Why so? For several reasons. The most important one is that long words go in a consumer’s ear and out the other. A long store name may not remain in your visitors’ heads.
An ideal brand name should be just one or two syllables in length, no more than that. Take FedEx, for instance. It’s easier to keep in memory than ‘Federal Express Corporation.’ It’s also simpler to pronounce — another important characteristic of a business name. View this list of the most popular global brand names for more examples.
There are several approaches you can follow to come up with a store name that’s short and easy to say:
- You can use a couple of short, similar-sounding words that describe what your company does or sells. Take PayPal, for example. The main purpose of the service is to ‘pay your pal,’ that is, to conduct peer-to-peer money transfers.
- Unleash your creativity and coin a word that doesn’t exist yet. You can also take a short word that does exist and change it in some way. For instance, the Xerox brand name is based on the term xerography, which is a combination of two Greek roots with the meaning of “dry” and “writing.”
- Use abbreviations or acronyms. Examples: FedEx, BMW.
These are certainly only some of the many roads you can take when you’re thinking about how to create a store name that is not lengthy and simple in pronunciation.
Three more tips:
- Avoid using characters that are not pronounced, such as the ‘e’ in ‘line.’
- Don’t include special symbols like an ampersand (&) in a store name.
- Discard articles — the, a(n).
Mistake #2: Trying to Imitate Other Brand Names
It should be obvious, but some companies are still prone to committing this dreadful error. They might be tempted to take a successful brand name and change it a bit, hoping to “borrow” some of the glory from a competing business. For instance, their brand name could be spelled Amazoon instead of Amazon.
Yes, this might bring more traffic by misleading the visitors at first. However, a practice like this can also cause a lot of trouble for an online store, including legal ramifications. A store name that even remotely mimics another brand name, especially a well-known one, is a magnet for always-ready-to-pounce lawyers.
Tweaking another company’s name a bit is only one trick you should never consider. You should also avoid using the words that the names of your niche’s representatives contain. For example, if they use the word “furniture” in their brand/domain name, be sure to pick something completely different but still descriptive of your business. This means you need to spend some time reviewing your competitors’ stores.
Mistake #3: Ignoring Your Target Audience’s Key Requirements and Characteristics
Another mistake you want to avoid is completely ignoring your typical customers’ wants, needs, and financial capabilities. Therefore, you need to think hard about how to come up with a store name depending on the following criteria as well:
- The segment you’re going to target based on age (people in their 30s, 40s, teens, etc.).
- The money value of the goods you’re going to sell (cheap, expensive, or in the middle).
- The segment you’re going to target based on gender (male or female).
Your store name, as well as its main theme, should reflect these characteristics. For example, if you focus on young shoppers, using respective words and phrases from their typical vocabulary or ‘colorful’ words can be a good idea. Example: Boohoo, an online store selling clothes for ‘sociable twenty somethings.’
As far as money is concerned, the more expensive products you sell, the more sophisticated and ‘aristocratic’ your store name should sound. Using personal names in this case is quite customary. Take Gucci, for example.
On the other hand, when you see a business name that reads ‘ClothingUnder 10,’ you should immediately recognize that this store sells cheap clothes (using prices and numbers in store names is actually a bad practice).
Finally, you need to answer the question, “How to name a store?” based on whether you mainly intend to target male or female consumers.
The latter value beauty, gentleness, and harmony. Example: Senreve, an e-commerce site selling luxurious handbags. The name represents a combination of two French words: sense and rêve (sense and dream).
Men, in turn, are attracted to store names that sound, well, manly. Example: Moosejaw, a store that offers trekking essentials.
How to Choose a Store Name: Do’s
Use Any Help You Can Get
Unless you’re going to run your store from an uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, there will always be people around you: your friends, relatives, colleagues, customers, and others.
Don’t keep these on the sidelines when deciding how to make a good store name. Ask them to suggest their name ideas. Perhaps, one of these will prove to be exactly what you’re searching for.
Another viable option is to use one of the numerous business name generators freely available on the Internet. We’ve already mentioned the corresponding Shopify tool, but this is not the only solution worth taking for a spin. Here are two more for you to get the ball rolling:
If you’ve already coined a business name, ask your friends for their opinions about it. There can be a crucial detail you’ve missed. A stitch in time saves nine. Test your newly born store name wherever you can.
Think about Your Business Development
The ultimate goal of every business is to expand and earn a larger revenue. You surely believe that you’ll become successful with your new store. Otherwise, why start this battle at all? Your store name should reflect your aspirations.
For example, even if you’re just selling clothes for teenagers now, in a year or so you might start thinking about targeting a more mature audience. If you choose a store name that explicitly limits your offerings to the younger segment, you might have to perform a rebranding when you want to play a bigger game. This is a painful and costly process that may have an unpredictable effect.
Therefore, naming your store without the age, gender, or price labels is the safest bet you can place.
Give Enough Attention to Your Domain Name
As soon as you’ve come up with a good business name, the next essential step is to secure a respective domain name. This should be the same as your store name, with the exception of white space. For instance, the online store Urban Outfitters has the following domain name: https://www.urbanoutfitters.com/.
You should also choose an appropriate domain extension. Of course, .com is the number one choice for an e-commerce site since it actually stands for ‘commerce.’ Customers tend to put a higher trust in online stores with this extension. However, you can also consider others, including .ly, .me, .org, .co, .net, and so on.
If you’re on a lavish budget, you can even purchase a domain name with several extensions. This will prevent your competitors from creating a similar domain name with a different extension to put a spoke in your wheel.
Before you actually buy your domain name from a hosting provider such as GoDaddy, though, you need to check its availability. There’s probably no better tool for this purpose than the Shopify domain name generator. Once you enter your preferred name into the search box, the tool will notify you if it’s unique and whether you can take it.
Finally, make sure to visit the most popular social media platforms and marketplaces like Amazon to find out if no one else is using the name you’ve picked.
“How to come up with a store name that everyone will like?” is a question that you can only answer by doing a lot of groundwork. Choosing a good store name is an extremely important process that you shouldn’t approach in haste. Draw not your bow till your arrow is fixed.
We hope that the tips we have provided in this post will set you on the right path and help you pick the best moniker for your online store.
A good name, though, is not the only characteristic that sets apart a successful e-commerce site. The look and feel of your online store should reflect the meaning that its name conveys precisely. The store should also have the right features to achieve all the goals you have set.
This is when experienced Shopify developers from PSD2HTML will bring you a lot of value. We can handle every task related to one of the best e-commerce platforms in the world. We can build your Shopify store from scratch or customize your existing site to better reflect your brand identity and satisfy all your business needs.
Write to us! We’re always ready to help.
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