Here’s how to choose a kickass name for your startup!

 In Branding, Business, Marketing

What has your startup’s name and website address got to do with your branding, PR, marketing and customer acquisition? Tonnes!

Here’s a scenario you have experienced first hand: there is that perfect brand name in your mind for your new business idea but the corresponding domain name is not-so-perfect! The desired one is almost always taken and, as a result, you have to settle for something either much longer or a name with misspellings, which only makes it harder for anyone to remember or find your startup. As a result, you end up settling for a name that was perhaps your 87th choice in the list of probable names!

Do you really need to compromise? Definitely not! Here are top tips that you can use when finalizing your name and website address. These tips will empower your startup to stand out and yet fit in:


1)   Keep it simple and memorable

Since the internet is the primary channel for your customers to find you, think of a name that is easy to spell, easy to remember and easy to recall. Many businesses twist their spellings to avoid trademark conflicts or to find a domain name that sounds right but is spelled wrong. Instead, pick a name that’s more in-line with your business and strikes a chord immediately. For example, American media conglomerate, Meredith Corporation, has its online magazine store on, a name that clearly defines the business, as well as is easy to brand and recall.  At the same time, it’s great for SEO too since a name like this is keyword-rich in the context of the relevant industry.


2)   Go for the ‘nice-ring-to-it’ name

If your business is not as simple as ‘magazine store’ and you need a pathbreaking name still, take inspiration from the likes of Google, Yahoo! and Shazam. Think of a name that sounds nice, even though the word itself may not make much sense or may be a new word made up of two existing words. For example, or


3)   Brainstorm with online tools

While selecting a name, feel free to make use of online word tools that will help you narrow down on a few top choices by giving suggestions:

  • Visual Thesaurus, a tool that gives you a visual web of words around your keyword.
  • Shopify Business Name Generator, a cool way to generate business name ideas as well as check their domains availability simultaneously.
  • Name Mesh, a tool to generate a name based on a keyword.
  • Naminum, a tool to generate a name based on a theme.

With the help of these tools, you can easily brainstorm and generate a shortlist to pick from. This will also give a structure to your naming process.


4)   Verify on trademarks

Make sure the name you decide on is not already trademarked. This will protect you from legal hassles later. Here’s an interesting example in this context involving the tech giant Microsoft. A 12th grade Canadian student, Mike Rowe, decided to launch his part-time web design business on domain name Microsoft claimed that this was a trademark infringement and demanded the domain name be forfeited. Eventually, they reached a settlement where Mike Rowe gave up the domain name in exchange for cool Microsoft perks and products. While this ended amicably for both parties, others may not be so lucky. Thus, it is advisable to check, and then double check that your brand name choice is not conflicting with another brand’s trademarked name.


5)   Think outside the box .COM

Would you rather be or or The first one is not only long, but also prone to spelling mistakes while typing the web address. Make a statement with your domain name by choosing something that is innovative and futuristic. Do not compromise on your choice of name, in fact with the new domain extensions, you have a choice to make your name more innovative and memorable. Take, for instance, – the domain names is short and easy to remember. In fact, with a name like, the brand communicates a message about what it does with just its domain name, which helps in your branding and promotions.

So, invest enough time and efforts in picking a startup name that’s descriptive, memorable and brandable. Choosing a suitable name and website address, which will become your startup’s identity, is crucial. Give the naming process the amount of attention it deserves, and take the first step towards building a robust brand.

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