When it comes to starting an ecommerce business, choosing a great name for your online store is a crucial first step towards building a memorable and profitable brand.
But coming up with catchy, meaningful ideas can be challenging, and it often feels like all the good names are already taken.
To help you find that perfect moniker, we’ve put together this list of business name generator tools to make sure your brand gets off on the right foot, plus five brainstorming strategies to get your creative juices flowing.
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Tools to generate catchy business names
Shopify’s business name generator
- Oberlo’s business name generator
- Domain Hole
1. Shopify’s business name generator
Shopify’s business name generator is a free tool that automagically combines a topic or keyword with other words and modifiers to generate a list of potential business names.
Namelix is a handy website that gives you business name and logo ideas. You enter a keyword or multiple keywords, and Namelix will use similar words to generate a list of ideas. It’ll also tell you if the domain is for sale.
In the example above, I chose to search for business name ideas related to “jewelry,” “gems,” “stones,” and “diamonds.” If you were to start a jewelry company, this would be a great starting point to choose a name and purchase a done-for-you logo.
3. Oberlo’s business name generator
Oberlo’s business name generator is a free resource you can use to find the perfect name for your project or business. Enter a word that you want to include in your business name, and the tool will spit out a list of variations to browse.
Wordoid is an "intelligent naming tool" that supplies you with a list of invented words that "look nice and feel great." If you're looking for a creative name that's brand-able but isn't necessarily a real word, then you’ll find this tool helpful.
You can use Dot-o-mator to search for available domain names. To use it, choose a category for the beginning and ending of the domain name.
You can choose from beginning categories like Agile, Bright and Colorful, while the ending categories include Animals, Boats and Space. Dot-o-mator then lists a bunch of words that fit each category. Click “combine” and you’ll see a whole list of available domain names created by putting the words together. If you see a name you like you can save it to your "scratchbox" and keep searching.
NameStation is an ideation tool for domain names that provides search guidance, keyword suggestions and name variations based on your search criteria. Conduct a search and NameStation will generate a list of suggested (and available) domain names. You can enter your main keyword and then dig deeper with your own secondary keywords and NameStation’s suggestions.
7. Domain Hole
Domain Hole offers a suite of naming tools to use and generate business name ideas:
- Domain Name Generator: Find random, unique, brand-able and pronounceable domain names.
- Brainstormer: Enter a keyword, and Domain Hole will serve a list of results including popular TLDs, variations, domain availability and hacks to get around instances where the domain is unavailable.
- Name Spinner: Combine your keyword with hundreds of words to get domain name ideas.
- Instant Availability Check: Already know what you want to name your business? Find out if the domain name is available, as well as similar variations.
- Complete Availability Check: This is a more comprehensive check than the Instant Availability Check and includes more TLDs and variations.
Bustaname lets you quickly search for available domain names by combining keywords. Enter some ideas, and Bustaname will list several combinations of business name name ideas. You can also use the tool to check domain availability.
Explore the entire domain name space beyond the obvious .com, .net and .org, and discover new and interesting domain names with Domainr. It anonymously logs searches and tracks over 1,700 top-level domains and over 1,300 generic TLDs, registrable at one of 219 accredited registrars. If you're looking for a short domain, this is a particularly good tool.
Impossibility! is a simple domain name generator. Here’s how it works: You enter a keyword, and tell Impossibility! if you want an adjective, verb or noun (choose from four, five or six letters if you’re concerned about length) added to your keyword. Impossibility! will add new words to the beginning or end of your keyword to in a list of unregistered domain names.
Brainstorming strategies for finding business names
Business name generator tools are great to use as a starting point if you don’t have any ideas, or if you’ve hit a creative block. Remember, these aren’t the only place to find ideas; there are other places to get inspiration from in your everyday life.
Here are some brainstorming tips to find your business name:
- Research what’s already out there. Not only will this help you understand what’s NOT available, but you can also list the business names that you like to see if that sparks any of your own ideas. Check out your competition and browse marketplaces like Exchange.
- Think outside the box. One of the most important rules in brainstorming is that there is no bad idea. It’s okay to come up with some wacky names, because you never know what feasible ideas may come out of it. If you start big, you’ll have more to work with when you narrow the focus later.
- Recruit help. Brainstorming is a creative process that can be done both independently and with other people. Maybe you already have a team of employees you can tap into to for your next venture, or you can ask friends and family to donate their time and ideas in a fun brainstorming session.
- Organize and review your ideas. Once you’ve come up with tons of ideas, you’ll need to go back and sort through them to find the top contenders. When you list your ideas, consider organizing them using word banks or categorizing them based on theme. This could also help spark some fresh ideas post-brainstorm.
- Test your name. Tap into a focus group that’s representative of your target market, ask friends and family (ideally the ones who didn’t help you brainstorm), and survey local shoppers to see which name ideas resonate the most.
Memorable names require your unique input
Remember, while these business name generators are great tools to start with, they’re no replacement for intuition, taste, and creativity—the human touch. Rather, use these tools to get inspiration for your own ideas, and build off of what the generators present to you.
If you have any tools that you like and we may have missed here, let us know in the comments.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article was originally published May 2014.
More resources for finding a catchy business name:
- Shopify’s business name generator
- What Should I Name My Online Store?
- 7 Steps to Start Your Own Brand From Scratch
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