By Nate M. Vickery
In the modern entrepreneurial era, the old philosophical question of whether the chicken came before the egg or vice versa carries weight more than ever before. Should you make up a brand name first, or should you hurry and seize the opportunity to claim the rights to a certain domain name before someone tries to sell you the rights to your own URL?
Is your brand name a reflection of your momentary surge of creativity or is it something you need to plan well in advance, taking into account numerous factors that could make or break your business when playing the long game? Let’s break it down, give the debate a well-deserved rest, and hand you the tools you need to achieve long-term success.
Chicken vs egg
In case you were wondering which came first – it was the chicken, because it evolved into a chicken from something else before laying an egg. The same goes for your brand and domain name problem, the company name comes first, after which you can find a suitable domain to fit your brand personality and adjust both names as needed.
The operative word here is “flexibility”, as your brand name, however pleasing to the eye and ear, might have to undergo certain adjustments depending on your domain and vice versa. Or it might not, you might find yourself hitting a jackpot on all fronts.
First, your brand name has to be strategically created with long-term implications in mind; it cannot be a spur-of-a-moment thing. Therefore, it needs to be brandable. Given the fact that your name will be the first thing your audiences and customers come into contact with, it needs to be catchy, short and it needs to carry weight when rolled from the tongue. This makes it brandable and thus able to fit any situation, whether you are pushing a marketing campaign or pulling a demographic in with a content strategy.
Secondly, your name needs to stand out. Not in the kind of “that’s a weird name we can’t pronounce” but more in a kind of “wow, that’s very clever” sort of manner. So never mind the trends when it comes to name giving, rather sing the song to the beat of your own drums and make it something different. Remember, the name portrays your brand personality, so be careful when using slang and pop language.
A winning domain name
So you have worked out your brand name, and it’s catchy, and it’s amazing, now you need a complementary domain name that will not only put your online presence on the global map, but will also encompass your brand within a small number of characters. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, and you will need to do your diligence.
In the digital world, the importance of picking an SEO-friendly domain is greater than ever; you simply have to put your name on top of the search box and make everyone’s favourite search engine like you. Firstly, you want to keep it short, avoiding numbers and hyphens, in order to make it audience and typing friendly.
Secondly, one of the sure-fire ways you can check whether your domain name is simple and catchy enough is to do a blind test. Would, for instance, someone listening to a radio program where your website’s address is mentioned be able to catch it in one go, remember it and type it into the browser?
The social media variable
Social media marketing is one of the most powerful inbound marketing strategies in the modern world, and if have a website, then you should also have a strong SM strategy in place. Therefore, your brand needs to be on every relevant social media platform in order to gain traction and attract prospective customers. But what if the name on a particular platform is taken?
You want to post under your brand name, so before you purchase a domain, be sure to check if that particular name is already taken. Alternatively, if you have money to spend, you can buy it out from whoever had it first.
Copyright, copyright everywhere!
Finally, beware of copyright infringements lurking in the dark, looking to swipe the rug from under your feet. We live in a copyrighted world, where even using a letter in a certain industry can get you sued for millions of dollars, as everything and everything can be “intellectual property”.
Therefore, make sure your domain name is not being used somewhere else, and that a trademark owner will not be able to sue you for plagiarism, legitimacy or rights, and collusion.
It might seem confusing at first sight, all of these details that come into play when you simply wanted to open a toad shop or a rug emporium, but such are the stepping stones to success in the modern world. Be sure to implement these crucial tips into your brand creation process and you will have no problems creating a name and a domain that will echo throughout the industry.
Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He has a degree in marketing and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends. Nate is Editor-in-Chief at Bizzmarkblog.com. You can reach him on Twitter at @NateMVickery.