Branding Naming – Dos and Don’ts

Mash Bonigala

Naming a company or a brand in this day and age could be quite a challenging experience. Every single day more and more companies – both online and offline – are being started. Further more, people are more aware of the need for selecting a good brand name. I will talk about what I mean by “good brand name” a little later on.

The situation is further complicated by the need for every company to have a domain name. It is very hard to get and register a decent domain name and much harder to get your hands on domains which are short and contain generic words in them.

So, how does a small business owner come up with a good company name that would also be available as a domain url? A tough question to answer. I will try to answer this question based on the experience I have had helping many small business get a brand name that works well.

I always advocate that companies should be bold enough to separate their company name from their domain name. This is more so for companies that choose a company name that is not available as a domain name. They could try and find alternative variations of the name as a domain name but if your company name already exists as a domain name and is owned by some one else then, you should consider the fact that you might put in a lot of time and effort into promoting your brand and that domain name might get hits as a result of of your target audience assuming your domain name would be the same as your company name.

So, it is quite tricky. On the one hand you need to select a company name that relates to what you do or is in some one connected with your brand story and on the other hand it has to be unique enough to be available as a domain name that you can grab and register.

First of all, make sure your company does not use common names or words that would have been used by a 1000 other companies. I know this is easier said than done. But it is quite important to have at least some part of your company unique.

You can try several different methods of coming up with names. If you do not have an obvious choice or the compulsion to use a particular name or combination or words, then you can try and formulate a list of names in the 4 popular categories of brand names: Generic, Evocative, Derivative and Negative.

Second, before you finalize the name, make sure it is available as a domain URL. Normally, it would be a good branding practice to get a domain URL name that is short and easy to remember. It is not nessasary to have a domain name that includes all the elements of your company name. If it makes sense, it is ok to have one or two elements of the name.

what is branding?