What’s in a name? An online store needs to get noticed in a competitive market. Your choice of moniker can have a big impact on how your business is perceived. But for every memorable brand name that sticks in your head years later, there’s a duff choice that never quite got off the ground. If you want to make an impact, then, you’ll need to choose wisely – and here’s how.

The first step

If you’re not sure where to start, or you just need help in compiling a short list of contenders, there are a wide range of automatic name generators to choose from. Whether it’s a targeted service such as Shopify’s, or one that picks a name at random, these tools are great to get you started. Try Getsocio for creative domain suggestions, or Hipster Business Names for some fun, trendy options.

Of course, you don’t need to use a business name generator to come up with an excellent business name – try delving into your own imagination as well. Why not choose rhyming or alliterative words, for example, or try making something up from scratch? For guidance, research your closest competitors and try and work out what you like and dislike about their names. You won’t want to pick anything too close, obviously, but you can often take inspiration from the type and style of name that’s popular within your industry.

It’s also important to factor in your online presence when picking a name for your store. What will your domain look like, for example, and how effective is it at communicating your brand? That doesn’t mean you need to fret if the .com isn’t available, but you’ll want to choose a name that works well with alternative TLDs. Or, if your brand name is short, you can consider combining it with an essential keyword to create a unique .com domain.

Registration Process

Once you’ve got your shortlist down, it’s important to ensure that nobody else has had the same idea. In the UK, this means checking with Companies House to see if there are any other businesses registered in that name. Although Google is not conclusive, a quick online search can give you a good idea of whether or not it’s already being used on an international level.

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Coming up with a name is actually a pretty fun process. You’ll find that family and friends will be only too happy to get involved. Organise a get-together, go through your shortlist, and see if they have anything else to add into the mix. After that, you can bounce various names around and see what sticks.  Organise your shortlist into word banks and use this as a springboard for generating more ideas. Before you know it, you’ll have found the perfect name for your brand.