Choosing a good name is an integral part of your business success; you shouldn’t get this step wrong. I reiterate you shouldn’t get it wrong else all other efforts will be in vain. If you are keen about branding, then taking the time to come up with a compelling name is not negotiable.
So you just got an idea and you are brainstorming on the perfect name for your startup? Well, I’m not here to choose name for you but my aim is to guide you so whatever name you eventually come up with will stand out as a brand. You don’t want to go all the way and all of a sudden discover that you chose the wrong name. I know so many brands that start off with a bad name, even when they spend so much to make the name stick in the minds on their consumer – in the end a bad name is a bad name, nothing can change that. So what makes a good name? below are top 10 Checklist to Consider Before Naming Your Business in Nigeria
Try as much as possible to keep it short. In fact any thing more than 15 characters is a disaster. Twitter itself does not accept more than 15 characters, that should give you a clue that your name might be too long. Nobody wants to have to type a long name to find you. The shorter the better. Imagine if Google had a long name, life would have been hard. Checkout names like Uber, Taxify, Snapchat, Netflix
This is very important if you don’t want to keep explaining to people what your business is all about. Use keywords that describe your business. A good example is mumpreneur.ng; you instantly know that it’s all about mothers running their business. Branded.ng, simply a branding company in Nigeria. Parenting.ng, a website for parenting tips and advise in Nigeria.
I don’t really want to call names but if your domain faults in this, you know yourself. If your domain is difficult to type, there are chances you will lose a lot of leads and visits to your website. A potential client doesn’t want to keep second guessing your business name. Avoid slangs or words that have multiple spellings – or trying to maintain the pronunciation of a word why changing the spelling. For instance, a particular brand used “effritin.com” instead of everything. I once wrote udala.com instead of yudala.com someone else even mistook it for “youdala”. I also noticed the issue while branding mumpreneur.ng so I simply requested we also register mompreneur.ng – so competition doesn’t steal our traffic. Make your business name phonetic so that people can Google it from hearing it aloud
Yes, dotcom domains look fancy but don’t force it. If its not available let it go, no love lost. When I wanted to register my branding business, I tried buying branded.com but as at then it was priced very high, if I can recall it was like $40,000 – I simply left it for them. It would have been very unwise to register www.brandedng.com it makes no sense so I settled for branded.ng. Since my business is local and only serves Nigerians “dotng” should do the work just fine. If you must use “dotcom” make sure that you are using only keywords without any funny letters after it in order to make it available.
Numbers and special characters and hyphen makes nonsense of your business name. Please, I repeat – don’t add hyphens or numbers just to make the name available – this is not good practice. If you see anyone doing it don’t imitate it. When you use numbers people who hear your url will be confused whether you are using it in alphabet or numeral.
Getting a keyword domain is important but another point to consider is how memorable it is. A memorable name sticks in the mind of your audience and stands out. Whether you choose to use a dotng or dotcom make sure it stands out. I want to be able to remember your domain name easily.
Don’t just dabble in and use .ng just because it’s available. Take your time to research properly to make sure that what ever “dotng” domain you are using is not already trademarked on the com. Its really doesn’t make sense to have a domain like techcrunch.ng, facebook.ng, Microsoft.ng, tidal.ng, mashable.ng.
Also don’t add “The” in font of a trademark domain just to make it available. In fact, its not best practice to add “the” in front of any domain be it dotcom or dotng. It will be awkward to have a domain like thebranded.ng or themumpreneur.ng. Although in some instance you can use compound words like techpoint.ng branddoctor.ng, Jobberman.com, Facebook.com but never add “The”
Choosing a niched keyword domain is smart but sometimes don’t be too niched. I started with personal branding, if I had registered my business as personalbranding.ng by now I would have been struggling to expand it. For instance let say you want to start a business that caters for just toddlers – instead of just registering a domain with toddlers as the key word a better alternative will be to use parenting as the keyword.
I always tell my clients, make sure you have a brandable name – most will argue and say “what matters is making money”, Yes making money matters but building a brand that standout also counts. Names like Lindaikejisblog, InstablogNaija are just not brandable names (no beef, but for learning purposes) Brandable names are unique, catchy and memorable. They usually consist of a key word. “Amazon.com” is a much more brandable name than “BuyBooksOnline.com. WellnessPatron.com is much more brandable than a name like looseweight9ja.com. Facebook.com is much more brandable than lindaikejisocial.com. usually when a name gets too long or contains too many words its looses it’s ability to be brandable.
These are a few points to note. Feel free to drop your questions and I will attend to all. Take a moment and share. Thank you