What’s in a name? How important is your business name to the success of your brand — both in Canada and abroad? If you’ve got a great product but a so-so name, will quality carry the day over a lackluster moniker? In this post, I’d like to make your job easier by introducing you to the concept of domain search.
As noted by INC, there are three reasons for this. Your business name:
- Is the first thing potential customers see.
- Communicates what your business is about.
- Sets you apart from competitors.
Consider classic Canadian brand Roots. The name speaks to origins and the company has cultivated a loyal following for selling warm, well-made clothes that offer a unique take on Canadian style. The name is simple, memorable and tied to shared consumer identity.
So how do you achieve the same for your new business or rebranding? What’s the secret? While personal experience and emotional connection are essential elements, it’s not always easy to drum up brilliant ideas on demand. GoDaddy’s domain search engine can help.
Try it now — just type in a name
In search of inspiration
Where does your inspiration come from? Some companies pay experts to help brainstorm ideas and let them run creatively wild, notes Entrepreneur. This approach has led to successful company names such as Acura. While the vehicle-maker’s moniker isn’t an actual English word, it does speak to the notion of accuracy and precision, critical for any car manufacturer.
The downside of expert help? It’s not cheap, and if you don’t end up with any names you like it’s back to the drawing board.
Another option? Traditional brainstorming. Get your team together and break it down:
- What does your company do?
- What makes it stand out from the crowd?
- What do you offer consumers that other companies can’t?
Need help? Consider using an online business name generator for some extra inspiration. Just drop in keywords about your business or industry and see what comes up.
Improving your odds with domain search
Before you nail down a name for your business, consider your online presence.
In a digital-first world, the image you present online is just as — if not more — important than physical, in-store branding.
Why? Because online, all you’ve got are first impressions. If you can get customers into your brick-and-mortar store, they’ll probably poke around, ask questions and make attempts to figure out your brand name and mission, even if it doesn’t make sense immediately. Try this online and users are off to the next website, hoping for a brand that makes it clear up-front exactly what’s being offered and why it deserves consumer trust.
How can you tap into this kind of inspiration? Start with GoDaddy’s domain search box.
Enter a potential business name and see what pops up. Along with details about availability and cost, you also get information about domain name potential. For example, the domain “Writing.co” is available (as of this writing) and comes with the bonus of being an easy-to-remember English word.
What if my first choice isn’t available?
This is where the magic happens. GoDaddy’s smart search also gives you a list of other possible domains, including those using recently-released extensions (e.g. .com, .net, etc.) such as:
So let’s say you run a plumbing business. Head to GoDaddy’s .plumbing domain lookup page. Type in “pipe” and in seconds you discover that while Pipe.plumbing has already been taken, you could grab:
Even if you don’t find the perfect name on your first try, GoDaddy provides a list of similar names and domains to spark inspiration.
Before you register that domain
So you’ve found a great business domain name — and better yet — it helped lock down your new business name. You’re all done, right? Not quite.
Before you register that domain name, do a Canadian Business Name search to make sure no one else had the same bright idea. If another company has trademarked the business name, you won’t be able to register it in Canada. If another business has registered the name to operate in another province, you might be able to use it, but this could be a PR and marketing nightmare if consumers can’t tell your brands apart.
Making it official
Once you find a domain name and memorable business name that hasn’t been claimed by another company, register the business name with the government.
To complete your domain registration with GoDaddy, you’ll need to enter basic information about your business, including contact data. Make sure you provide valid information here, since the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) could revoke your domain purchase if you provide false data.
ICANN requires all domain registrars to publish the contact information for every domain registration. Unfortunately, spammers mine this database for names and emails they can then spam. When you make your registration private, you still own the domain, but the WhoIs database will show the address and phone number of GoDaddy’s privacy affiliate company.
The right name can help you earn trust
Your business name is inherently tied to your brand reputation, online and off. Finding a domain name that matches your business name not only improves consistency (and therefore consumer confidence) but helps you build credibility in the growing internet marketplace. The longer you own your domain name and the stronger its link with your business mission, the better your opportunities for branding — and expanding your company into new markets.
A piece of advice? If you find the perfect business name, trademark it and buy the matching domain in as many extensions as you can. This establishes your business as the primary owner of the name and reduces the chance that you’ll have to buy your own name from another owner at an inflated price when the time comes to expand your business.
What’s in a name? Everything. Find your best-fit branding with GoDaddy’s domain lookup tool.