Secure your brand name

Your brand name is the most important starting points you’ll need to consider when starting an online business.

It’s also one of the most crucial aspects to get right. Registering a domain name needs careful consideration. At the moment, my managing director is starting a joint venture with a company in Malta. The company in Malta have already come up with a name that has been taken across the .com and .co.uk as well as social media spectrum.

How to choose your brand name

Namechk.com is the most important tool I’ve been using when helping or starting a new project. Whether a side project or start-up, Namechk is an invaluable resource.

A memorable domain name that is also available across social media will be a tremendous asset for both your brand and online reputation. What are your potential customers seeing when they search your brand name? Make sure your name is available across the most important social media sites and the .com and .co.uk extensions are available.

Be Memorable
Short domain names are usually easier to remember however often already taken. I remember when I first registered runningsolo.co.uk 12 years ago, whilst I was at school and Dave a key care worker asked why it had no numbers in it, and that was back in 2006!

Several years ago, many start-ups were choosing to go down a very callow approach, in my opinion, opting to end their brand name using “ly” and “ify” which was a trend that has fizzled out.

Easy to spell & pronounce
As someone with a small speech and language disorder, and often asked whether I’m from South Africa or Wales, an easy to spell and pronounce brand name is just as important. RightNow and WriteNow is very involved when on the telephone and trying to distinguish between the two will become very tiring very quickly! I had a similar issue in a past project where I used hyphens!

Avoid Hyphens!
One of the mistakes I made very early was registering a domain name with hyphens. If the domain you really want is taken, you may just be tempted to choose a version with a hyphen. Don’t do it!

Buy the .com and your country extension!
Regardless of whether you’re aiming your site as the US market or locally, you’ll be better off in the long term buying the .com as the main domain and redirecting your local extension. In this case it’s both practical and memorable. Many people still relate the internet to .com.

Avoid Trademarks
Check and double check trademarks. You’ll want to play it safe and avoid purchasing domains that can be easily taken off from a bigger company. Nissan Motors and Nissan Computers are having a “fun” time with their lawsuit.

Double Entendre
Always check a potential domain name for a hidden double meaning. Joining words up can make for a quick misunderstanding.

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Brian M

Brian is a digital marketing manager and free-time digital marketing consultant.