Photo: Brand Building

While volumes have been written about brainstorming a name for a brand, very little attention has been paid to the considerations you need to take into account when naming a brand in the Internet age. Specifically, how that spanking new brand name will play online.

So once you’ve had all your brainstorming sessions and narrowed down your options to a handful of potential brand names, you’ll want to conduct some additional research to save yourself some headaches after you’ve filed for your trademark.

4 Tips For Naming A Brand In The Internet Age

Here, then, are four tips on naming a brand in the Internet age.

1. Examine The Search Results For Your Brand Name

Do a search for your potential brand names at Google, Bing and Yahoo! to see what shows up. Does offensive or contrary content appear in the search results? Is there anything with which you do not want to be associated? You might want to go with a different name.

Do the same searches within the major social media sites as well:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Pinterest
  • Snapchat
  • TikTok

Additionally, is there a lot of bold on the search engine results for the name your considering? Are there a lot of ads on the page? Do other major brands show up in the results? If so, you’re likely going to have a lot of competition to get visibility in those search results.

2. Check Domain Names For Your Brand Name

You should check to see if anyone has bought the domain name for your brand and, if someone has, you’ll want to look at what is hosted there. You may want to try and buy that domain from its current owner. If you can’t find any contact information from the website, try using Whois.net to uncover the domain owner’s contact info.

Even if you don’t plan on having a website, you’ll want to secure the domain name for your new brand if for no other reason than keeping someone else from buying it. There are plenty of domain registrars to choose from but perhaps the most well-known is GoDaddy.com.

3. Find Your Brand Name On Social Networks

Likewise, you’ll want to check and see if your potential brand names are being used on social sites. Ideally, you’ll want to use the same exact username for each and every social account. If a potential customer finds you on Twitter, for example, they may look for you using that username at Facebook or YouTube or Instagram.

It is a sound practice to secure an account for all of the major networks, even if you do not plan to use a particular social media site, simply to prevent others from using it.

4. Alternate Slang Meanings For Your Brand Name

Finally, you’ll want to check to see if your potential brand name carries with it any slang meanings or associations. Ask people you trust will give you an honest answer what the first thing that pops into their head when you say the brand name.

Another good resource is the Urban Dictionary but be forewarned, it can be Not Safe For Work.