Starting out in the world of vacation rentals is always exciting. From updating the property’s old-fashioned decor to installing the latest home automation gadgets, owners get a buzz from adding extra touches that will bring them more bookings and more happy guests.
There’s one thing that often gets left until last, even though it’s one of the funnest parts of starting a vacation rental business! That is: choosing a vacation rental brand name.
Your brand is the basis for your marketing and will help your rental make a name for itself – so you need to make it count.
Here are our top tips for choosing the right vacation rental brand name.
1. Start with a strategy
Deciding on a brand name takes more effort than just picking at random. You need to:
- Think about what connotations you want your brand to have
- Research local and national competitors to generate ideas (and avoid copying their names)
- Make a decision regarding the type of name you want (i.e. a completely made up word like Zillow, a descriptive name like Rented, one that uses the company founder’s surname such as Sotheby’s Realty, or a geographical one like Smoky Mountains)
- Create some guidelines to assess and shortlist the names you come up with. For example: number of words (limiting to two/three words maximum is our recommendation) and number of syllables (less than three is good and memorable).
2. Get creative and write down all potential names that come to mind
Finding the “perfect” brand name can often be a case of trial and error until you finally settle on the one that’s right for your business. For this reason, it’s better to have too many ideas than not enough!
To start brainstorming ideas, you can think about:
- Using a dictionary and thesaurus to find synonyms and less commonly used words
- Googlestorming – typing search terms that are linked to your vacation rental into Google, and seeing what results it comes up with
- Analyzing your vacation rental photos and pick out any outstanding features. This might be plants, colors, amenities, views and so on.
3. Carry out keyword research
SEO is becoming increasingly more important for vacation rental owners who are looking to make their mark. That’s why it can really help to perform some keyword research to find relevant terms that travelers are already looking for in Google. This is especially useful if you’re planning on using something about your location in your brand name.
Start by Googling some of the names you’ve identified – could your website potentially make it to the top of the first results page? If you choose a really generic name, chances are you won’t be able to rank very well. Also, it’s important to check Facebook, Instagram and any other social media sites you’ll want to use to see if the handle will be available.
4. Refer back to your guidelines and the image you want to convey
For many vacation rental owners in competitive, over-saturated markets, you might not always get first dibs on the name you want. To make your decision easier, compare your long list of ideas with the criteria you set out in the first step. Which ones are most closely aligned with your guidelines?
Always remember that your property is a vacation destination, so its name has to be eye-catching and attractive for potential guests. You don’t want to scare them away from your website or listings with a name that sounds like a house of horrors!
5. Experiment using your vacation rental brand name
There’s no point coming up with a brand name that you don’t like saying, or worse – that you can’t pronounce!
So before you set your vacation rental name in stone, you should ensure:
- It’s easy to read
- It’s simple to pronounce and spell (especially over the phone)
- It won’t confuse your guests
- It isn’t too similar to a nearby competitor’s name
- There is a relevant domain name available (although according to Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne, this doesn’t have to be exactly the same as your brand)
- It conveys the right message and image.
Above all, when naming your business brand, it’s important to keep it short and sweet – and relevant to your rental! How did you come up with your vacation rental brand name? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments.
If you’re really stuck for ideas, there are plenty of online business name generators that can help!