domain name choice:
getting it right
3.06 CHOOSING THE RIGHT DOMAIN NAME FOR A BRAND
If the domain name is to be the brand name, then the criteria for each must be considered separately as well as synchronized to create a name that serves both purposes equally well. This book is full of all things 'domain name' therefore that aspect is covered, so let's take a quick look at the basics of brand names.
The concept of branding is reputed to date back to the ancient Egyptians, who would mark their cattle with a unique image so that strays could be identified as belonging to that owner. The contemporary marketer operates much the same way, seeking to distinguish a product or service from the competition and create a lasting impression in the mind of the customer. Online, the domain name is the equivalent of that original mark on the cow's hide.
Issues to consider will include things like:
* The personality of the organization - Google, for example sounds a bit 'off-the-wall', non-conformist, whilst Microsoft is more formal (it is not by accident that these two companies, like many others, reflect the personality of the individuals who formed them)
* Is there to be a logo, and if so will the brand name be part of it? If this is the case, then the aesthetics of the brand/domain name will be important
As for the actual name, many of the issues raised in the previous section on creating the right domain name that is also the company name apply. Most significant are the issues of names being created from:
* Invented words (Xerox)
* Initials (IBM, B&Q)
* Founder's names (Johnson & Johnson)
* The benefit offered by the brand (Toys 'R' Us, U-Haul)
* Generic names that are divorced from the organization or its products (egg.co.uk, moonpig.com - respectively, a bank and gift card provider)
With the notable exception of the invented word, when it comes to selecting a suitable domain name all of these options for a brand will face the same problems described in previous sections that addressed the selection of a company name.
DOMAIN NAMES IN PRACTICE :
parked up and going nowhere?
The following generic names are all 'parked' - and presumably making money from the ads featured on the pages - but I can't help thinking they could be used better by different owners: card.com, cloth.com, clothing.com, cool.com, fight.com, gamble.com, home.com, join.com, men.com, pay.com, personal.com, plan.com, queen.com, store.com and super.com. Given the necessary marketing budget for a new online-only business, I would have though the asking price for some of these would be worth a slice of that budget.
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Copyright copyright 2009 Alan Charlesworth. All rights reserved.
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