Choosing a brand name designed for Internet success.

Mar 15, 2005
Author: E. Mattoon

If you are launching a new company or product chances are you have given some serious thought to what name you will choose. Choosing a great, yet functional name has become more challenging than ever with the introduction of the Internet. The Internet can be a tremendous marketing instrument in promoting and establishing a new brand identity. To fully take advantage of this unique digital marketplace, additional consideration is needed when choosing a name that will lead to online success.

Before the dawn of the Internet age, an effective brand name did not have to meet as many criterias as it does now. Consumers did not have to put forward a lot of effort in remembering a products brand name. A distinguishable offline brand name primarily meant making sure your potential customer would recognize the product name or logo when they saw or heard it. In a retail store, a brand only competes with other brands on the same shelve or isle. A customer can usually find and recognize an item without even remembering the brand name. At most, they would need to be able to pronounce it, so they could ask for it by name.

On the Internet, a brand name is competing against millions and millions of words. A brand name that works effectively in the digital world is highly dependent on being memorable without any visual reminders. The Internet has changed the way consumers remember and use brand names. Unless you own a unique brand name or established trademark name, it can be very difficult to effectively compete online.

More and more people today use the Internet to find and shop for items they want. The Internet is commonly navigated by the use of search engines. Search engines assist us in finding businesses, products and information on the web. They require that we enter the correct spelling of a word for it to display the appropriate matching results. If a name is misspelled, then unrelated search results could appear that are not at all associated with what the person is really looking for.

To allow people to quickly find a brand name online, they should be able to easily remember and reproduce the exact spelling of the name. It is now more important than ever that a customer be able to correctly spell-out a brand name on the fly, even after just hearing it once. By having a brand name that is memorable and easy to spell, an Internet surfer will be able to quickly locate it online. When the brand name is searched for with the correct spelling, it will ensure that an exact match will appear in a search engine’s search results.

When it comes to naming a new product or brand, you can have search engines working for you or against you. Below are some helpful guidelines to help you create a well-formulated name for use on the Internet.

  • Avoid homophones (such as night and knight, that are pronounced the same but differ in meaning and sometimes spelling).
  • Avoid common words or phrases where many search results appear.
  • Avoid long and hard-to-spell words to reduce misspelled word searches.
  • Avoid names that have controversial websites on matching domains.
  • Avoid names confusingly similar to ones currently in use by others online.
  • Do use your own trademarked or established name.
  • Do use short names over long multi-word names with many syllables.
  • Do use new invented words that are easy to spell (I.E. joogles)
  • Do combine known words for new word combinations (I.E. moonsoft)
  • Do check trademarks and prior use before deciding on a name.
  • Do obtain a matching domain name, when available.

There are always a few exceptions to these guidelines. A lot depends on your marketing budget and how the new brand name will be marketed to current and new customers. If you are able to focus on visual-based advertising, then using an altered spelling of a common word may serve your purpose (like Saturdae). Whatever direction you decide to go, I hope you find that perfect brand name that stands out online.



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