I really still don’t know if branding is the way to go for a niche store or if a generic store is just as good.
Customers Call Wrong Store
I receive a few phone calls per week for customers asking about the status of their orders. The odd thing is that many times the customers are calling the wrong store. They call my store instead of the one that they ordered the products from.
This is both good and bad. The good is that the other stores are obviously not communicating with their customers enough that they have to call and check on their orders. The bad thing is that I didn’t get these orders intially.
When I tell them that they have the wrong store, they usually say “My wife gave me this number” or “I thought your site looked like where I ordered from” or “I wish I had bought from your site cause you called me back.”
Just an example
So the question is should I have chosen a brandable name? Let’s say I sell wicker baskets. My store is called WickerBasketsStore.com. My competition is WicketBasket.com, Thewickerbaskets.com, Wicketbasketsonline.com, etc… All of our store names have the two words “wicker baskets” and one other word attached to it. You can see how customers will get confused among all the choices.
I wonder if I should have chosen something like “GorillaWickerBaskets.com” or “GWBaskets.com” instead. They are certainly more memorable to a customer but there are reasons why I didn’t go this route.
“GorillaWickerBaskets.com” definitely sounds like a brand name. In fact, it sounds like a single brand name. Not a store that sells all different brands of wicker baskets. I was afraid a store like this may be seen as a small company manufacturing only the “gorilla” brand baskets. I know that this isn’t bad, but I tried to imagine someone going to a store called “GorillaMP3players” when they know that they are looking for an Ipod. Would they think that my store sold some cheap Ipod knockoff or some brand that they never heard of? Wouldn’t they want to go to “MP3playersonline.com” instead?
“GWBaskets.com” doesn’t sound like a brand name to me. It sounds more like a retail store selling baskets. The problem is that it doesn’t have “wicker” in the URL. I wanted my two keywords “wicker basket” in my the URL for SEO purposes and also for legitmacy. Some one looking for wicker baskets would probably chose an URL with both words in it. It’s basically telling the customer that we sell wicker baskets. In fact, we sell enough wicker baskets and are experts in it enough that its in our URL.
So I ended up with “WickerBasketsStore.com” a semi-generic name that says we sell only wicker baskets. And the name is working cause people are buying, but I wonder if something like “KenricsWickerBaskets.com” would have been better for the long term.