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Making a brandable domain name

     
8:39 pm on Jun 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi, I'm having a tough time on choosing a brandable domain name for my article site.

I was wondering what kind of process do you use to come up with a brandable name.

Thanks

8:57 pm on June 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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One thing I do is choose a few relevant words for the site and then look at the roots of those words in other languages. Japanese translation can give some memorable syllables (transliterated) as well as Hebrew and various African languages. Latin and Greek are always good, too.

Completely made up words can be tricky - espeically because they may have unfortunate meanings in languages you are not aware of (the "no-va" automobile brand fiasco in Latin America comes to mind.)

There's a process I usually engage, back and forth between available domain name utilities and "words". That process can build momentum as you engage it. I know I can't do it all in my mind - I just start to loose it!

9:07 pm on June 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thesaurus + rhyming dictionary can be helpful as well...

I'll second Tedster on the nonsense words. Without offline branding and alot of it...I think they're usually difficult to remember.

And questions about the origin of your domain name are inevitable, especially by people who had difficulty remembering it previously.

9:16 pm on June 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thesaurus + rhyming dictionary

Wonder if that's where lexisnexis came from.

no-va

I just looked this up and it turns out this is an urban legend, as well as the "bite the wax tadpole" story about Coca-Cola in China. And the moral of the story is "do your research first."

9:23 pm on June 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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lexisnexis

Interesting observation. May be worthwhile noting that the correct spelling for nexis is actually nexus?

You may have some room to play with spellings too. I would still SEO for nexus in their place.

9:24 pm on June 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I try to think of the way I want to be perceived. Words like easy and rapid communicate convenience. Words like century or solid might suggest longevity and by extension trustworthiness.

So you might want to think about the kind of feeling you would like to inspire in your site visitor (Gee, that site offers great values), and pick some words that inspire those feelings.

Another way to brand it is by using words that describes your demographic audience (or how they perceive themselves), such as smartkids, sassygal, etc.

11:18 am on July 4, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's a very difficult thing you're doing and, frankly, I wouldn't obsess over it. Very few companies have good brand names and it's not the make or break. We have the carphonewarehouse over here. It's a very dated name now but a very successful company because the brand is much stronger than the name.

I did all the dictionary stuff but ultimately it didn't help. You need to keep coming back to the important issue - what is the brand about?

Beyond that avoid anything generic otherwise, in the case of a domain name dispute, you won't have much of a case.

2:21 pm on July 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I find a Thesaurus is a great tool in exploring possible domain names. I also like to use a mix of common and not-so-common words... like job#*$!xxxx where xxxxxx is a not so common word but meaningful...

Good luck!

2:26 pm on July 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I find that going to rhymezone.com helps.
2:48 pm on July 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

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carphonewarehouse

You need to be careful about having a generic brand. A competitor/impostor/parasite can -- no, will, it's inevitable -- slightly tweak your name (say, as cellphonewarehouse). He'll steal your business, the goodwill you've built up through years of advertising and your carefully nurtured reputation, by confusing the public into thinking he's you. And you'll be powerless to stop him, with no legal recourse whatsoever.

Ref Mil-Mar Shoe v. Shonac, 75 F. 3d 1153 (7th Cir. 1996): 'Warehouse Shoes' held to be generic for a place where shoes are sold

6:54 am on July 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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more imporatnt than being just catchy, your domain name needs to be memorable. someone needs to hear or see it once and be able to type it into their computer days or weeks later. stay away from arcane or abstract ideas, keep it simple!
1:03 am on Aug 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What might be some good suggestions for a detective software site? Should it not necessarily contain the keyword word 'detective'?
1:25 am on Aug 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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play with:
snoop
sleuth
clue
bloodhound
flatfoot
gumshoe
privateEye
shadow
spy
hound
2:53 am on Aug 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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when I picked the domain name I could not find a name that had anything to do with the topic of the site.

So I found the shortest word that several people wrote exactly the same way when I asked them to write it down. I tried it over the phone and just directly.