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Complete Guide to Naming Your Store
Our store naming guide will help you think about much more than just a name, we’ll look at your Brand Goals, Target Market, Demographic Interests, Analyze Competitors Names, Brainstorm Ideas and get store name inspiration.
By Store we mean the place customers go to purchase products. Over the past several years, the ease and practicality of online shopping has caused a decline in highstreet shopping and an massive increase in online shopping.
This has had a number of effects, not least of which is that people are spending more money than ever. To capitalize on that a number of businesses are opening their own online stores despite not having a physical store location. Competition for stores has grown vastly and continues to increase the pressure for existing businesses, both on and off the high street. Thus it has never been more important to consider how you name your store, and how you are going to stand out from the competition.
Demographic Interests & Store Branding
The retail industry is highly competitive, so good store branding is imperative to create customer loyalty. The key to any good branding begins with the name. The emergence of a retailer as a brand is a key development in retailing that helps new businesses differentiate from the competition and grow successfully.
We tend to think about branding in terms of physical products. I ask you to name a big brand and you will probably think, Coca-cola, or Apple. Major manufacturers of consumer goods. However, the concept of branding is easily as relevant to stores as it is to product manufacturers or services. So, those same branding principles should be applied to stores.
Taking their lead from the big names, smaller stores are “becoming more conscious of the value of branding. Retail branding is evolving as an important strategy for modern retail.” So when it comes to naming your store, whether it’s retail, food, gift, online or physical, you have to consider a number of things like: who are your target audiences, their age, interests, gender? What is your USP? Think about language that describes who you are and what your store is about, language that would evoke a positive response, and how you can use that to begin engaging consumers and building customer loyalty.
When naming a retail store it is important to really think about your target markets and potential demographics. For retail stores there is an added element to think about when compared to a product or manufacturer. This is location.
When it comes to location, you want to keep two things in mind: what are you selling? And where do your target audiences shop? You’ll want to be in an area where shoppers come to spend so your clothes will sell quickly but not if that’s not in keeping with the branding of your store. A store in the center of a city compared to in a small village will offer different services, have a more specific niche, and so should have a different name to appeal to the varying demographics.
For example, if you are opening a little boutique aimed towards a certain crowd or age group, the right name would really help. Certain words feel younger or cooler than others and might not appeal to a more mature shopper, so keep this in mind when you’re choosing your name.
A women’s shoe store name like “Hot Heels” or “Sole Wanderer” utilizes terminology relating to shoes, but makes it fun and light with word play. These names would appeal to a younger audience than something like ‘Clarks Shoes’.
The online marketplace is vast with an average of 50-100 thousand domains being registered daily. This is unsurprising with the remarkable ease of accessibility. This competition though makes it seem an incredibly daunting time to try and get into the game.
Here are 5 quick naming tips to help you get your online store seen:
1. Keep it simple
If people are going to find you online they don’t want to type in a sentence every time they search for you. On top of this a complicated name, hard to remember, hard to pronounce, hard to talk about, are easily forgotten. Imagine you’re at a party, the music is loud and you’re trying to talk about your new online store for luxury chocolates called, ‘Cherishable Chocolatiers’. Say it out loud now a few times. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. If it’s hard to talk about and hard to remember, you will lose custom.
2. Make it easy to spell
This is especially important for online. Someone’s been to your site and loved it, they’ve told all their friends who have typed it into Google, but the weird spelling you thought so clever has befuddled them, they haven’t been able to find it. Keep the spelling simple and obvious.
Do some keyword research. You can use Googles Keyword Planner. You want your name to be searchable but not competitive. It should be unique as possible so that you don’t have to fight your way up 300 places Google.
4. Domain & Social Media Consistency
When choosing your domain check the social media handles to. Try and keep it the same across all platforms. This will make it easier to find and follow you. Building up an engaged following online is vital to your online stores success.
5. Ask people
Finally, before you make any final decisions, ask people what they think of your name choice. Can they work out what your store sells? Can they spell it? Is it awkward to say?
Store Name Analysis
The name of the craft/vintage e-commerce store is a nonsense word. However,it is easy to remember, unique and fun to say and has several potential roots. It could come from the Italian eh si, meaning ‘Oh yes’. Or perhaps its an acronym for ‘Easy to Sell Yourself’. The word could have multiple meanings, all of them relevant to the brand in some way. It’s fun, easy to spell and entirely unique.
This is one of the oldest London high street stores. The name originates from the founder Harry Gordon Selfridge. The use of name has over time lent this department store a trustworthy brand identity and an assurance of high quality products.
A new kind of market. One without the ‘M’. It is a concept store that quickly says what it is. The name, with the hard consonants ‘K’ and ‘T’, make it quite a harsh unpleasant sound, however, it does stand out and it will be interesting to see how it’s name effects performance over the coming years.
Offering everyday affordable clothes this branded high street store instantly identifies its target demographic (20 – 40 year old women) and niche (affordable everyday clothing).
The supermarket giant is named by combining the name of the founder Albrecht with Discount. Interestingly in the US, the Albrecht brothers own the supermarket chain, Trader Joes. The choice to not transport the German branding to the US is likely because they didn’t believe that it would work in the US marketplace in the same way as it has in Europe.
IKEA sounds like a cool Swedish word but is really an acronym for Ingvar Kamprad (the founder), Elmtaryd (the farm in which he grew up) and Agunnaryd (the village in which he grew up). The name is short, easy to remember and quirky. It reflects the simplicity of the products they sell whilst playing upon the Nordic ideas of minimalist, functional design – a design movement dating back to the 20s, known as Skandi.
Store Name Inspiration
- Achilles: Named after the famed Greek hero of the battle of Troy. Achilles would make an interesting sports goods store. The name would work better for an online store, easily searched, the name is known and so people won’t have trouble spelling it and it makes an interesting name to talk about with people.
- Odyssey: From the Homeric epic the Odyssey. This would make a great travel store name. Named after the journey of Odysseus as he attempts to get home but is prevented by the Gods.He goes on many adventures before he eventually returns to his wife Penelope. Like Achilles this is easy to spell due to familiarity, and an interesting relevant topic.
- Maru: Named after the legendary missing treasure Awa Maru. This would make a great jewelry store name. It sounds exotic, it is easy to say and an interesting topic to discuss which would help it grow through word of mouth, and would also allow some interesting marketing developments. It would work well online as it’s short, unique and easy to spell.
- Simple Treasures: Affordable jewelry and accessories. Treasures implies value, but simple suggests affordable. This would work well on the street, but less well online as it’s too long.
- Sole Wanderer: This play on words would be an interesting shoe boutique name. Sole refers to the bottom of the foot, as well as referencing the soul. Wanderer implies travel, adventure and excitement.
- Foot to Boot: A much more practical and directly informative name. This would be an easy to remember small town boots and walking shoes store. It wouldn’t work well as an online store, or in a larger city, where the simplicity of the name would see it losing out to competition.
- Cherish: A cute boutique clothing store. The term cherish suggests that customers will cherish their purchases, as well as suggesting the retailer would cherish the customers.
- Little Pixie: Childrens store selling fun colorful clothes and toys. The reference to fairy tale creatures implies mystery and excitement, little in this term means young. It would work as an online store, but the name would limit that stores online growth. It would work better as a high street store where the personality of the name could be properly evolved in-store.
- Desirea: From the Latin, desiderata meaning that which is desired. This would work as a high end fashion retail store. It is a phonetically pleasing word with positive connotations suggesting luxury. However, the irregular spelling could limit it as a online store.
- Bean: A perfectly acceptable name for a coffee shop. However, the simplicity of the name lack originality so it could do with some development.
Things to Remember when Naming your Store
If you want to stand out from the competition then you need a name that stands out. Adding another ‘General Goods Store’ to the high street isn’t going to do you any favours.
Consider the branding of Google. The name is fun, quirky, and meaningful, derived from the mathematical term googol.
2. Keep it Simple
Don’t run off with a vast long descriptive name like ‘The Marvellous Window and Door Emporium’. It’s not exciting, it’s hard to remember and harder to say. Keep to 2 or a maximum of 3 syllable words.
Your name should be short, catchy and easy to remember. Think like IKEA, simple and easy.
3. Involve others
Two brains is better than one, three even better. Test out ideas on others, see how they react. The name you thought was brilliant might fall flat upon their ears.
4. Check web domain and social handles
Before you get excited about the name you found knocking around in back of your head, check that it isn’t taken! First, check that someone else hasn’t already registered that name or a similar one. Then find the website domain and buy it. Then go to your social media channels and secure those handles. Even if you don’t end up using them it’s better that no one else does.
5. Relate store name to business size
Are you a corner shop? Or a department store? Do you have one store or a dozen? What are your growth plans?
6. Make it obvious what you do
Don’t be too abstract or even worse mislead people with your name. If you use the word ‘green’ in your name for example then people instantly think either Greengrocers or garden store.
Think about the connotations and associations of the words you choose, use a thesaurus, or idiom dictionary even to come up with new ideas and variations around terminology that relates to your store.
7. Check out the competition
Make sure you’ve done your market research. Knowing what others are doing and what is working for them will help you avoid any obvious foibles.