“What’s in a name?” Well, it isn’t Shakespeare’s fault that he wasn’t born in this neo-capitalist utopia of ours that emphasizes the relevance of brands more than anything. We are surrounded by companies and their fancy terminologies of products.
Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald’s, believed his name as the face of the company would’ve never worked. Hence, he went to great lengths to acquire the Scottish name and golden arches that make McDonald’s today.
Now, you don’t have to fight to get your sacred name as well. You already might’ve thought up a thousand names by now OR not. Whether you’re in a constant state of confusion or just don’t have an idea, we have a few tips to help you out.
What is Branding?
Branding is the act of forming a business entity and solidifying trust in it. Branding not only means a reliable name but a promise in quality that is unique to you. Brand is a social entity that a business portrays to its customers.
For example, when someone thinks about CocaCola, they don’t think about the enormous soda factories around the globe. They think about the sweet and sugary taste that it offers. Similarly, McDonald’s fast-food chain restaurants have cleanliness as a principle value that is connected to their brand prestige.
Why is Branding Important?
Ever heard of the brand Supreme? Do you know what makes them so ‘Supreme’? And no, it’s not their quality. It’s sheer marketing that sells their brand. Although overpriced, customers still tend to buy. Hence, illustrating the power of branding.
Now, it goes without saying that a giant marketing campaign alone can’t help you build a brand. There’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. In the case of big businesses, financing isn’t a huge issue. They get crowdfunding easily.
It’s the small businesses that produce a challenge. Due to limited resources and financing, small companies have to cover a lot of ground in less distance. Hence, when beginning your own website business at first, start with…
Tip #1. Defining Your Target Market
Everything starts with an objective. You can’t get somewhere if you don’t know where you’re going. Before even jumping to naming ideas, think about what your business is all about. Find out who your potential customer is and how you will be providing value to him.
Think about what makes your website original. Is it your love for embroidery? Or do you have an undying passion for zodiac forecasts? Your website needs to convey that. So, when people come to your website, they know what it’s all about.
For example, Soundcloud is built around music artists that require a platform to showcase their work. The site has can display album, artist bio, playlists and much more without being too complex.
Tip #2. Don’t Short & Simple it
The most common approaches to naming a website are usually preferred to be ‘Short & Simple’ or ‘Easy to remember’. These tactics aren’t bad but they’re way too cliched now.
Although they work in the long term but you’re better off not going that route.
While short & easy to get names are basically everywhere now but then there are your ‘fourhourweek.com’, ‘paris-paris-paris.com’, ‘canyoupaymybills.com’ or ‘momthisishowtwitterworks.com’.
Notice anything? They’re all easy to remember as well. The length doesn’t matter as long as you get the point across. Be creative with it and don’t try hard to go the short & simple game.
Tip #3. Have a Theme
A theme gives your website a unique identity. Not every website can have the same bland WordPress grid. Everyone has been to one of those sites where you somehow know it might have the same theme as ‘that’ other site.
Synonymous colors, fonts, sidebar, navbar, tiles, etc. are what give your site a sense of direction. Having separate colors for separate sections could be fancy but sometimes comes off as unauthentic.
For example, if your site is about photography, then you can incorporate filters and overlap transparent layers upon each other. This could define a certain style unique to your site. Alternatively, you can also check out Webflow website builder to customize your own theme.
Tip #4. Your Name could be Enough
If you’re into the professional industry and can’t think of anything catchy, creative or SEO-friendly, then just stick to your name. Believe it or not, it’s more common than you think. Besides what’s more easier to remember than own your name.
Think about Steve Madden. Sure, there are your regular Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Prada or lotto but there’s only one Steve Madden. Names aren’t specifically easy to remember sometimes but when once they’re in your head, they are hard to forget.
Now, there is a catch to this. Your name alone could be a bit confusing as it doesn’t define what you do exactly. This could also be good because people would have to go to your site to find out more which brings us to our next point…
Tip #5. The Domain Name
We live in a time now where .com is the most overrated domain name. Yes, it’s very popular but it is simply overused by now. Users are becoming akin to using more creative domain names to define their businesses.
So if you’re a photographer and own a studio, you could go ‘yourname.studio’. Your name would be easy to remember and the domain extension could define your profession making your website and its purpose clear.
Got a blog? Go for .blog. Are you a fitness trainer or a nutritionist? Go for .gym or .fit. Are you a programmer? Try .code. Have a website that works like an application? Try .io as its the most popular domain for app-sites.
Tip #6. Logo
Before you go on ahead and fetch one of those catchy misspelled typo names for your site, consider thinking up a dedicated logo for your site. No matter the size of a business, logos are a huge part of branding.
You can’t find a business/website which does not have a personalized logo. Impressions always begin with images. And if your website happens to have an associated image, it pops up in a user’s mind more often.
There are many paid & free sites that offer logo-making or graphic designing services, you could also hire a graphic designer, or you could also be brave enough to design your own. The benefit of hiring a graphic designer is that you could work closely with them and get a more personalized outcome.
Tip #7. Social Media is cool but…
Don’t get us wrong. In today’s world, Social Media is a huge part of a company’s branding ecosystem. And for good reason, it still is a preferred route of starting & growing a business as it’s so easily accessible & marketable.
But here’s a fact: Everyone knows that. Hence, there’s a huge influx of influencers, analysts and social media marketers flooding the space while causing a huge slump in growth.
People are turning to other ways of brand promotion. For example, Gmail has been the most used app on android by far. Instead of going the same old Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn route, you could launch Email campaigns to target your customers.
Tip #8. Deliver Value
Sounds so obvious, doesn’t it? Of course, after you’ve defined objectives, themed your site, giving it the best name possible, put up a professional logo and marketed it to the best of your power, it’s time to put the pedal to the metal.
Believe it or not, most businesses fail at this simple stage. Your customers could care less about your fancy logo, once it’s out of the way that you can’t prove on your promises. Real commitment is a tough task.
Hence, it goes without saying: It always comes down to the end goal. Sure, branding is essential. But it isn’t the only moving part in your business. Customer satisfaction should always take priority in all cases.
Now you know everything there is to know about website branding. So what are you waiting for? Go fund that dream startup or fruit blog or film review website right now because time’s a-wasting!
Jokes aside, there are no hard facts about website branding. The online world is super unpredictable and ever-changing. All we can offer are simple guidelines to help you find a sense of direction, not well-defined goals.
Regardless, it’s not unwell to say that what might work for one may not completely pan out the same way for the other. Did you find the article informative? Have any thoughts you might want to share? Please comment down below and let us know.
About the Author!
I’m Chris Wagner, Head of Content @ HostingPill. I regularly write about Hosting, Web servers, and WordPress. I have more than 9 years of Industry experience.