Why Does Business Name Longevity Matter?
What kills longevity?
Picture yourself five years ago into your business. You probably dream about it. What will your business be? What new areas are you exploring? What products do your offer? It’s exciting to think about, isn’t it?
What you probably don’t want to picture yourself in your dreams by spending thousands of dollars and countless hours re-branding your business. That’s exactly what can happen if you pick a business name that isn’t built for longevity. Interestingly, the things that kill your longevity can be great for traction initially. We aware you to keep a balance and effect between them. With that said, here they are:
Who knows where the wind will blow?
Naming your business for something specific to what your business serve may limit your ability to expand your brand in the future. Your name shouldn’t pigeonhole you that if you plan to expand your business later you don’t stuck with a name with narrow focus or ended by changing it.
Here we are taking an example, but it illustrates how choosing a name with a narrow scope can limit your brands flexibility in the future. Let’s pretend your new startup is a clothing company. Your first product is men’s t-shirts with funny sayings on them. You want people to know what you do, so you name your business
This name is a triple threat to business name longevity, every word narrows the brands scope. Let’s break it down:
"Funny" – it limits the businesses positioning. What if you want to sell shirts later that have serious sayings on them, or drawings?
"Man" – it limits your target market. What if you want to change the audience to women and kids later?
"Tees" – it limits your business scope. What if you want to expand to pants, shoes, or accessories?
To avoid falling into this trap, choose a name that fits your mission, not to your product only. Let’s look at a couple of famous brands that have used this technique and has a great effect:
Meaning behind the name: To suggest scale, vastness.
Started as: An online bookstore.
Now: The world's largest online store selling everything from shoes to groceries to cloud infrastructure.
Positioning: Applying the economics scale to every segment of market they enter.
Meaning behind the name: Steve Jobs thought the name sounded “fun, spirited and not intimidating.”
Modus Operandi: To make products that are easy and simple to use.
Started as: A computer company.
Now: A computer, phone, wearable, laptop, tv, tablet, music company.
Edgy or Trendy Names
Both edginess and trendiness are effective techniques for standing out. They are less effective at standing the test of time. To cut through the noise, you may be tempted to pick a name that has little edge to it, or one based on a current trend because it helps you to distinguish your brand among the ocean of competitors.
Illustrating some famous examples here:
FuckJerry - Edgy advertising firm. Long Island Blockchain
Why? Because these types of don’t age well:
Your business evolves with time. You may be a rebellious young startup now, but hopefully you won’t always be. Trends come and go. If you align your brand name with a certain trend, the trend will later fade so do your brand, then your brand is in danger of going down with the ship. What is edgy now either loses its edge or becomes socially unacceptable once it. You should be mature as a company, so you’ll not be stuck with a name that may not describe who you are and what are your customer, anymore.
We aren’t saying that you should never take advantage of trends. But in general, they are better adopt as marketing campaigns rather than as permanent business name.
The Dotcom Is Taken
Here you’ve got the perfect name for your business.
The only problem in it is the Dot-Com version of the domain name is taken by another business. So, you opt to go with an alternative TLD, such as .net or .info.
Once you go from startup to established business, you are going to want the dot-com domain. As more and more people are searching for your business and your brand, not having the .com will create undue confusion but have a negative effect on your business authority and credibility. If you are going to choose an alternative Top-Level Domain, make sure that there is no other active brand currently using the Dot-Com domain.
Vessel Names are Great for Longevity
Want to be 100% sure your business name lasts as long as your business does? Now you know the major pitfalls that can hinder your brands longevity
One way to do that is to choose a vessel name. Vessel names are invented names that are not derived from any recognizable word so can say they serve as basis for example Yahoo, Google. These names are built for longevity, they are the most foolproof because:
- They don’t mean anything - they are a blank slate.
- There is no risk of your name limiting your growth.
- They carry no existing connotations - They’ll never be outdated.
- There are more options in .com - because they are so unique and rare that there is harldy an existing business is running the Dot-Com and collides with your business.
Now you know the major pitfalls that can hinder your brands longevity. Whatever type of name you go with, consider longevity when naming your business. If you take the time to ensure your brand names long-term integrity now, your future you and your account will be grateful later. THINK WISELY!