Last week we were musing about how choosing a business name has changed in many ways since the rise of digital media. While many years ago you might decide on “AAA Removals” or “Aardvark Consulting” to ensure you were right up the front of the telephone directory, these days a whole new set of rules are in place to make sure you’re visible to your client base.
Trials and tribulations in search for a name
Finding a new company name is getting increasingly complicated with the need for multiple checks through websites and social media.
The search is getting so complex that digital agency Fusion director Gavin Klose says it is virtually impossible to find a short, four-letter name that has a website domain still available.
“Unless you have a really bizarre four-letter acronym it won’t be available,” Mr Klose said.
“Basically, every single name in the dictionary is taken, common names have been either taken or parked by name squatters who will charge you a huge amount to buy the domain name from them.”
Mr Klose, whose business works with companies on branding and names, says clients now need to first discover if a potential name is available by trademark and website domain.
Next, they should ensure the name is easy to find in a Google search or if its spelling is easy for potential customers to find so that they don’t end up inadvertently finding a competitor’s site instead.
“We are working with a web hosting company to find a name at the moment, it’s a very, very saturated marketplace and almost every single name we come up with is gone and not just that, gone to a hosting company,” he said.
“We were lucky that back in ’95 we registered Fusion as a name, if you tried to do that now it would be impossible.”
And once you have a name, Mr Klose suggests you “vigorously defend it” – Fusion has found two businesses to date using its name.
He also suggests incorporating social media links to the company website.
Kate Potter at Hughes PR emphasised choosing a unique name – but ensuring it was spelt like it sounded.
“Think about how it sounds out loud, think about whether it uses numerals or hyphens or full stops,” Ms Potter said. “If you have a radio ad and you have to explain in great detail how someone can find you online then you’ve used up half your spend just explaining your web address rather than communicating your other messages.”
Ms Potter said once a name was secured, its identity could be confused.
Triplezero web design company, for example, chose its name partly because www.triplezero.com.au was available.
Since then, the Government has established www.triplezero.gov.au – explaining emergency calling.
Hughes PR is a communications and public relations consultancy in Adelaide with proven and extensive experience in publicity and media relations, issues management, crisis management, digital and social media, community engagement, event management, media training, publications and strategic problem solving. Find out more.