Archive for the ‘Names’ Category

Tips for Creating Brilliant Business Names

Imagine if Yahoo! had been named TheInternetDirectoy. Or StarBucks was christened “Premier Coffees”.

The names would be far more descriptive than their current ones. But they wouldn’t embody the essence or spirit of the companies they represent. Even if they offered the exact same goods and services, it’s unlikely Yahoo! or StarBucks would enjoy the same market share they now possess if given the more descriptive, and arguably accurate, names.

Now why is that?

In short, great brand names leverage our emotions. They resonate with the experiential right side of the brain vs. the logical left lobe. And emotions carry more motivational “charge” than logic. People buy emotionally and then justify rationally. And because great brand names create mental “pictures” they equate to a proverbial thousand descriptive words. They are the zipped files, the condensed soup, the computer macros, that all expand and unfold in our minds every time they are seen or heard.

Creating emotionally charged names requires knowledge, expertise and a knack for wording. The first place to find positively charged names is in the words themselves. Words have equity and that equity can be transferred into a company or product name. For example, a company that wanted their customers to see their products and services as fresh, new and exciting borrowed the emotional charge associated with the word “virgin”. That’s how we have Virgin Airlines and Virgin Records. A computer company demonstrated its fresh, friendly approach to the industry with the consumable name Apple. A campy clothing company exuded adventure with its name Banana Republic. An online job board wanted to impress employers and job seekers with its massive listings… hence Monster. And need I mention Amazon? Borrowing on the attributes intrinsic to a word or phrase is a natural way to instantly instill emotion in a brand name.

But with more and more dictionary words being used, hoarded and trademarked, what’s a company to do? Another way is to simply put familiar positive words into unique combinations. Witness our previous example of StarBucks. What’s brighter than a star or has more mass appeal than money? Does it say coffee? No, but it sounds more appealing than “The Coffee Corral”. And more importantly, company names rarely exist in a vacuum. They are on a sign above the store, or on a proposal or on a business card being handed over by a salesperson. There is contextual support that helps fill in the blank so the name doesn’t have to do all the literal, descriptive explaining. That’s where a lot of companies err. They make the name explain their category rather than evoke their benefits.

Yet another way of accomplishing this task is by creating a word that sounds “ish”. When I say “ish” I mean it sounds like it matches the company or product- even if it doesn’t make sense. An example you ask? But of course. My favorite is Viagra. It has the “V” of vigor and vitality, plus the “iagra” of Niagra. While not an existing word, it plays on existing, familiar parts and patterns of speech that create a natural flow to the name. Hence the name Viagra is, in my book, “ish”. It fits the product and the category. Cialis doesn’t. Which means Cialis will have to buy the emotional bond with lots of emotion-rich (and expensive) advertising. It can be done, but it will cost. A whole lot.

Borrowing existing word equity, creating unique combinations and inventing “ish” words. Just three of the ways to develop a great brand name. Try each of these techniques and if you can’t come up with a name, ask a really good Scrabble player!

Random Fantasy Name Generators in Different Languages

Generate random names in any language using an extensive database of hand-selected names.

This is a useful tool for coming up with cool unique name ideas for anything – business names, roleplay names, pet names, baby names, you name it:) 

Simply select a template from the following list to create 100 names in a blink of an eye:


African Names

Croatian Names

Czech Names

Danish Names

Dutch Names

English Names

English (female names)

English (male names)

English (places)

English (tech)

Estonian Names

Finnish Names

French Names

German Names

Gothic Names

Hindu Names

Hungarian Names

Italian Names

Japanese Names

Klingon Names

Latin Names

Latvian Names

Norwegian Names

Polish Names

Portuguese Names

Russian (places) Names

Sindarin Names

Spanish Names

Swahili Names

Swedish Names

Turkish Names

How To Choose A Domain Name For Your Business

Choosing an appropriate domain name is the first step in the process of building online credibility. Remember to choose carefully because this online address may be where your business resides for the rest of its operating life. Now, some important tips to consider before choosing your domain name:

Choosing Your Domain Extension

A domain extension or top level domain is simply the suffix of your website address: (.com, .net, .org, .ca, etc.) Most Internet users are familiar with the “.com” extension, and will generally use this extension by default when typing an address into their browser. Choosing a “.com” extension should be your fist choice in case your potential customers forget that your address is “www.mybusiness.NET”, and visit your competitor at “www.mybusiness.COM” by mistake. Choosing the “.com” extension gives your website the most credibility in the eyes of your customers.

If your business only caters to the local community, then it makes sense to get a country specific domain name, such as the “.ca” extension. A country specific domain benefits you in two ways: both your customers and search engines such as Google will know that your website is registered to a Canadian and operates in Canada. Potential customers will feel more comfortable knowing that they are dealing with a Canadian company, and not a U.S. based business pretending to be a Canadian company. Also, search engines will give your website higher placement in the search results when a user is performing a Canadian specific search.

I personally recommend that my clients, if possible, register both the “.com” AND “.ca” extension. This way, your Canadian based website will benefit from using the “.ca” extension, while at the same time ensuring that they reach your website if they accidentally type the “.com” extension into their browser.

Using Your Business Name

The first choice for any domain name would be your business’ name. This ensures that your customers will remember your website’s address. You can’t expect your potential customers to remember a phrase that just relates to your business.

Choosing Choice Keywords

Including specific keywords in your website’s address will help your rankings in popular search engines such as Google or Yahoo. It is best to choose a keyword that you think your potential customers will use to search for your business. A search engine optimization (SEO) professional such as Cost Effective Design can assist you in choosing your keyword(s). These type of domain names are used in instances where the client does not want to use the business name because it is either already registered by another company, or the company name is simply too long. Any company that is serious about generating traffic through search engines should acquire a domain name with a keyword in addition to your business name.

Don’t Confuse Your Customers

If possible, try not to use domain names that include: “2” for “To” or “4” for “For” or “u” for “You”. These may make your domain look “cool” or “hip”, but in reality they are not very practical. These domain names create a problem when directing your clients to your website verbally or over the phone. For example, if you owned http://www.UsedCars4U.com, every time you verbally directed someone to your website, you would have to specify that the URL uses the actual number 4, and letter U.

To Use, Or Not to Use Hyphens

Given that more and more businesses are registering domain names every day, getting the website address you want is becoming increasingly difficult. One or two word domain names are usually already registered, forcing new registrants to choose URLs containing three or four words. To some people, these URLs can look like a big mess of words. Using hyphens in between the words can make them visually more appealing. For example, “www.used-cars-for-you.com, looks better than “www.usedcarsforyou.com. The jury is still out on hyphenated domain names. The advantages are that they look better and search engines can easily distinguish the separate keywords for better search placements, but the disadvantages are that they are difficult to verbally communicate and type.

The best solution would be to register both the hyphenated, and the un-hyphenated version of the domain name to ensure that there is no confusion.

Domain Name Length

Even though you are allowed to use 67 characters for a domain name, the general rule of thumb is: shorter is better. Although, in some instances, the website address may be more memorable if it is more descriptive. For example a domain consisting of initials only, such as “www.waa.com”, may not create a lasting impression compared to the domain name “www.windsorautoassociation.com”. Therefore, it is best to choose a name that, while short, contains enough description for your customers to easily remember.

Daily Available Domain Names RSS Feed

If your blog or website is related to domain names, startup businesses or marketing advice, you might be interested in this:

The MakeWords.com Domain Name Generator has recently published a daily RSS feed of available domain names, that you can easily syndicate using this link: http://www.makewords.com/dailydomains/RSS.aspx 

The RSS feed contains the same domain names as in their Daily Domains page and is updated every day by MakeWords staff.

Some recent available domains such as these are really good, makes you wonder how they are still unregistered:

micrim.com
generatevideo.com
party-goers.com
idolpals.com
instani.com
first-graders.com
domainergate.com
freshbeach.com
freshresort.com
front-running.com
paranthan.com
rubygoldrush.com
self-financed.com
trifor.com
vegetic.com

Creating A Great Business Name

You know how it is: you get a great business name idea and jump online to register a domain for it … only to find there is not just one name like yours, there are several names—or name derivatives—like yours, too.

Don’t fret. “Get creative,” says About.com’s entrepreneurial writer, Scott Allen. Another tip Allen suggests: Employ a thesaurus, too. Beware, though. Choose your name wisely. Chrysler learned that millions costly mistake when they unveiled their new Chevrolet Nova in the late 1970s—and no on in Mexico would buy the car—because “Nova” in Spanish means “no go.” Worse, still: Henry Ford, Jr. named the mid 1950s car with the vertical grill flop after his kid—Edsel.

With your new business, don’t get an Edsel or NoVa for it, as some websites that specialize in creating available domain names can craft this for you. The domain name search engine at www.makewords.com and other internet websites that brainstorm domain names can ensure ways to a great name for your site:

1. Play with names.  Take the first few letters of a combination of names from your family members, street signs or consult a baby name book—like St from Steve, Or from Orson and Nel from Nellie. There, you’ve got STORONEL  Or, something to that effect.

2. Research. What’s the Latin meaning of the name? How is it said in Greek? What’s the proper spelling in Hebrew? Remember, what may mean one definition in this country may take on a totally different—and sometimes insulting—meaning completely in another country or even said in another dialect.

3. And speaking of definitions … Hone in what your product is, does and stands out from the rest of the pack, and chose that one glowing, pivotal product gimmick as the domain name. Then you can register (and worry about) the company name, later. Think of Scott Golden’s rule of thumb: the Purple Cow Theory. Think about it: most cows are either brown, black or white, so if you saw a purple one in a field of all that brown, black or white cattle, you’d notice it, right? Cows are known not for milk alone.

4. Start reading everything. Bus signs, street signs, phone books, the table of elements, surnames.

5. Go Au Natural. Um, no, not naked, but back to nature. Orson Creek. Grey Seas Limited. Whatever works.

6. Get feedback—even if it’s on a name you hate. And this includes your own. Okay, so your own name’s hideous but you figured, what the heck, why not profit from it? Run it by your immediate family, anyway and see what they think, all the same. And, by the same token …

7. If you’re going to use their names—ASK! ‘Nuff said on that. And even if they still say no on the name use—regardless of the double-digit percentages they get from the royalties—move on.

8. Register your stuff, ideas and trademarks—if any—with the U.S. Copyright Office.  You may also want to look into your state’s registered offices for any name trademarks, copyrights or patents your idea may or may not be fringing upon. Also, register with your state as names that you will be doing business as, or known as a DBA, so that the IRS and other financial institutions can keep track with, for and yes, on you. For instance: If you have a Freddie-Eddie, a kid’s only night-light as your product, you may register the website name as your name spelled backwards—like NEVELE for ELEVEN or NEVAEH for HEAVEN—the do business in your given name, SBA whatever you have it spelled as, and register Fred-Ed.com, or something like that.

9. Consider registering .net and .info as domain names, too besides .com. Oh, sure, it’s not as glamorous as is a .com name—but it’s not as crowded and jockeying for web traffic space and branding recognition, either. And, if you’re looking to maximize your search engine places, .net and .info may be the way to go, since not many name brands have those tags to go by, either.

10. Get an EIN with the IRS. That’s an Employee Identification Number registered with the Internal Revenue Service. If you’re gun-shy in using your Social Security Number, they can assign an EIN to you. This way, you can use this for any and all business transactions you’ll be making with your new business.

11. Play with Colors, Shapes and Numbers. So, you’re still determined to get a .com with your name in it? That’s okay. More and more websites today have alphanumeric combinations to their domain names. Like the song by the Brothers Johnson called “Strawberry Letter #22”, some websites have letters and numbers working for them, too. As for a logo, like with a domain name, if you’re going to go on the international scale, make sure that logo is a universally accepted sign. Choose a light, bright color for your logo. A square with a smiley face may work if that smiley face is a rosy pink in most countries. If that “Have a Nice Day!” smiley face is square and yellow, though, you may have to take issue with those who own that kid called Squarepants.

Author: Jessica Mousseau. Start your domain search at MakeWords.com – a free domain name generator and brainstorming site. Our intelligent name suggestion tools help you search, create and bulk check hundreds of unused names or dictionary domains instantly.

How to Find Good Screen Name Ideas?

A screen name (screenname or s/n) is a name that uniquely identifies a user within an online system, instant messaging software, platform roleplay games and other Internet-based environments.

The term started out as screen name (two words), but in recent years, the usage of the single-word form screenname has been  increasing. The abbreviation “sn” can also mean an online screen name.

Screen names are often pseudonyms or first names, many times complemented by extra numbers, letters, or other characters to disambiguate them from users with similar screen names on the same system; this practice is increasingly common as the popularity of online environments grows.

How much a screen name means in reference to its owner usually depends on number of accounts, and length of use. When a person uses the same identity for multiple services, then it probably means something to them personally, such as a nickname or a running joke. People who are not able to obtain their desired screen name on a popular service make minor typographical changes to the name by adding numbers or changing spelling, resulting in a multitude of usernames like ‘Dela54r4h5′ and ‘will0wRick’.

Substituting numbers for certain letters is called Lookalike or l00k4lik3, because the numeric characters visually resemble the alphabetic ones and the name is still readable.

If you have completely ran out of screen name ideas, there are several websites that help you generate new name ideas randomly. Some examples from an online SpinXO Screen Name Generator are the following:

4l3xTab, CaesDressy, FelBeach, InfernoEamon, MorlyDemon, R0d30Lang, SephTin, VividN0bl3, 5illyPat, CandyParke, FeliAlone, IvennGoofy, MortNyc, RacingYul3, SergeSteen, VkDamia, AbrAnnon, CheeBour, FielToxic, JandDonald, MuchDua, RamonXmc, SincGr4nt, WaldMyh3r0, AlfyBoz, ChikSkyl, FitzW4v3, JeffeIam, N3dyTao, RamoX0x0x, SlashKende,  AmirSchool, ClauLovely, ForeverFarre, JeremMo, NascarTha, RecipeHold, SlipkKais, WinnCutie

If you wish to get more personalized results, just enter some words into the three textboxes - for example your name, your favorite pet, your hobby.

Go to SpinXO.com

Brand Concepts

A brand is a collection of feelings toward an economic producer.

Feelings are created by the accumulation of experiences with the brand, both directly relating to its use, and through the influence of advertising, design, and media commentary.

A brand is a symbolic embodiment of all the information connected to a company, product or service. A brand serves to create associations and expectations among products made by a producer. A brand often includes an explicit logo, fonts, color schemes, symbols, which are developed to represent implicit values, ideas, and even personality.
The brand, and “branding” and brand equity have become increasingly massive components of culture and the economy, now being described as “cultural accessories and personal philosophies”.

Basic Concepts

Some marketers distinguish the psychological aspect of a brand from the experiential aspect. The experiential aspect consists of the sum of all points of contact with the brand and is known as the brand experience. The psychological aspect, sometimes referred to as the brand image, is a symbolic construct created within the minds of people and consists of all the information and expectations associated with a product or service. The unicist approach to brand building considers the conceptual structure of brands, businesses and people.

Marketers seek to develop or align the expectations comprising the brand experience through branding, so that a brand carries the “promise” that a product or service has a certain quality or characteristic which make it special or unique. A brand image may be developed by attributing a “personality” to or associating an “image” with a product or service, whereby the personality or image is “branded” into the consciousness of consumers. A brand is therefore one of the most valuable elements in an advertising theme, as it demonstrates what the brand owner is able to offer in the marketplace. The art of creating and maintaining a brand is called brand management. You’re creating the story.

A brand which is widely known in the marketplace acquires brand recognition. Where brand recognition builds up to a point where a brand enjoys a mass of positive sentiment in the marketplace, it is said to have achieved brand franchise. One goal in brand recognition is the identification of a brand without the name of the company present. Disney has been successful at branding with their particular script font (originally Walt Disney’s signature, but later translated to go.com).

Brand equity measures the total value of the brand to the brand owner, and reflects the extent of brand franchise. The term brand name is often used interchangeably with “brand”, although it is more correctly used to specifically denote written or spoken linguistic elements of a brand. In this context a “brand name” constitutes a type of trademark, if the brand name exclusively identifies the brand owner as the commercial source of products or services. A brand owner may seek to protect proprietary rights in relation to a brand name through trademark registration.

The act of associating a product or service with a brand has become part of pop culture. Most products have some kind of brand identity, from common table salt to designer clothes. In non-commercial contexts, the marketing of entities which supply ideas or promises rather than product and services (eg. political parties or religious organizations) may also be known as “branding”.

Consumers may look on branding as an important value added aspect of products or services, as it often serves to denote a certain attractive quality or characteristic. From the perspective of brand owners, branded products or services also command higher prices. Where two products resemble each other, but one of the products has no associated branding (such as a generic, store-branded product), people may often select the more expensive branded product on the basis of the quality of the brand or the reputation of the brand owner.

Advertising spokespersons have also become part of some brands, for example: Mr. Whipple of Charmin toilet tissue and Tony the Tiger of Kellogg’s.

Brand Monopoly

In economic terms the `brand’ is, in effect, a device to create a `monopoly’ – or at least some form of `imperfect competition’ – so that the brand owner can obtain some of the benefits which accrue to a monopoly, particularly those related to decreased price competition. In this context, most `branding’ is established by promotional means. However, there is also a legal dimension, for it is essential that the brand names and trademarks are protected by all means available. The monopoly may also be extended, or even created, by patent, copyright and other sui generis intellectual property regimes (eg: Plant Varieties Act, Design Act, confidential means of manufacture (secret recipe) etc).

In all these contexts, retailers’ `own label’ brands can be just as powerful. The `brand’, whatever its derivation, is a very important investment for any organization. RHM (Ranks Hovis McDougall), for example, have valued their international brands at anything up to twenty times their annual earnings!

Brand Development

In terms of existing products, brands may be developed in a number of ways:

- Brand extension
The existing strong brand name can be used as a vehicle for new or modified products; for example, after many years of running just one brand, Coca-Cola launched `Diet Coke’ and `Cherry Coke’; although its subsequent change to its main brand and the retrenchment to ‘Classic Coke’ demonstrated some of the problems this may cause! Procter & Gamble (P&G), in particular, has made regular use of this device, extending its strongest brand names (such as Fairy Soap) into new markets (the very successful Fairy Liquid, and more recently Fairy Automatic).

- Multibrands
Alternatively, in a market that is fragmented amongst a number of brands a supplier can choose deliberately to launch totally new brands in apparent competition with its own existing strong brand (and often with identical product characteristics); simply to soak up some of the share of the market which will in any case go to minor brands. The rationale is that having 3 out of 12 brands in such a market will give a greater overall share than having 1 out of 10 (even if much of the share of these new brands is taken from the existing one). In its most extreme manifestation, a supplier pioneering a new market which it believes will be particularly attractive may choose immediately to launch a second brand in competition with its first, in order to pre-empt others entering the market.

Individual brand names naturally allow greater flexibility by permitting a variety of different products, of differing quality, to be sold without confusing the consumer’s perception of what business the company is in or diluting higher quality products.

Once again, Procter & Gamble is a leading exponent of this philosophy, running as many as ten detergent brands in the US market. This also increases the total number of `facings’ it receives on supermarket shelves. Sara Lee, on the other hand, uses it to keep the very different parts of the business separate –from Sara Lee cakes through Kiwi polishes to L’Eggs pantyhose. In the hotel business, Marriott uses the name Fairfield Inns for its budget chain (and Ramada uses Rodeway for its own cheaper hotels).

Cannibalism is a particular problem of a ‘multibrand’ approach, in which the new brand takes business away from an established one which the organization also owns. This may be acceptable (indeed to be expected) if there is a net gain overall. Alternatively, it may be the price the organization is willing to pay for shifting its position in the market; the new product being one stage in this process.

Own brands and generics

With the emergence of strong retailers the `own brand’, the retailer’s own branded product (or service), also emerged as a major factor in the marketplace. Where the retailer has a particularly strong identity (such as Marks & Spencer in clothing) this `own brand’ may be able to compete against even the strongest brand leaders, and may dominate those markets which are not otherwise strongly branded. There was a fear that such `own brands’ might displace all other brands (as they have done in Marks & Spencer outlets), but the evidence is that – at least in supermarkets and `department’ stores – consumers generally expect to see on display something over 50 per cent (and preferably over 60 per cent) of brands other than those of the retailer. Indeed, even the strongest own brands in the United Kingdom rarely achieve better than third place in the overall market.

Therefore the strongest independent brands (such as Kellogg’s and Heinz), which have maintained their marketing investments, should continue to flourish. More than 50 per cent of United Kingdom FMCG brand leaders have held their position for more than two decades, although it is arguable that those which have switched their budgets to `buy space’ in the retailers may be more exposed.

The strength of the retailers has, perhaps, been seen more in the pressure they have been able to exert on the owners of even the strongest brands (and in particular on the owners of the weaker third and fourth brands). Relationship marketing has been applied most often to meet the wishes of such large customers (and indeed has been demanded by them as recognition of their buying power). Some of the more active marketers have now also switched to ‘category marketing’ – in which they take into account all the needs of a retailer in a product category rather than more narrowly focusing on their own brand.

At the same time, probably as an outgrowth of consumerism, `generic’ (that is, effectively unbranded goods) have also emerged. These made a positive virtue of saving the cost of almost all marketing activities; emphasizing the lack of advertising and, especially, the plain packaging (which was, however, often simply a vehicle for a different kind of image). It would appear that the penetration of such generic products peaked in the early 1980s, and most consumers still seem to be looking for the qualities that the conventional brand provides.

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