Brandable domains are experiencing an incredible shift in demand as more businesses enter the online landscape. The low barriers to entry offered by an online business and the overall cost benefits to running an online business has attracted many budding entrepreneurs into the digital space. As a result online searches for brandable domains names for sale have exploded in growth over the last few years.
In the past a keyword domain offered an attractive option as search engines such as Google ranked keyword word domain names highly on their search engine but over the years Google has begun to reward brands over the smaller websites looking to make a buck from a niche area. Many of these smaller websites incorporated keyword domains as a tactic to exploit Google’s search algorithm and to attain high rankings on the search engines results pages.
These factors and various others have led to the increase in demand for brandable domains. Individual business owners have also learnt the value and sustainability that exists in building a brand which has also resulted in a bustling brandable domain marketplace.
What Makes a Good Brandable Domain Name
There are an infinite amount of name variations that can be created from the words and letters that we utilize but not every name created will be feasible for a brand. Many of the dictionary words such as Apple have been trademarked by companies which presents challenges in the brand naming process. Due to these challenges various naming techniques have been adopted over the years which have proven to be effective in evoking certain emotional and psychological responses to help build a brand image.
For instance: the compounding of two words to create a brand name has been used successfully by large brands such as FaceBook (face + book), WordPress (Word + Press) and various others. Word blending and mutations have also become a creative way to produce good brand names. Names such as Groupon (Group + Coupon), Prudential (Prudent + Essential) have adopted this naming technique. Misspelling of common words such as Flickr and abstract names such as Zillow are other techniques used to find unique names which will help a business standout.
Uniqueness is one of the key factors to consider when choosing a brand name as it will help your business differentiate itself from the host of others businesses online and very importantly: it will be easier to trademark the name.
Finding a unique brandable domain name is the first step in the selection process. Searching Google for the name you may be interested in will help the decision making process as you will be able to see if any other businesses have the same name or something that is very similar.
The overall linguistics of a name is very important. You do not want a name that is a tongue twister but rather, you want a name that has a smooth linguistic flow – it must roll of the tongue with ease. A name that is difficult to pronounce makes it a challenge for staff to say the name over the phone or for a customer to tell a friend the name which clearly isn’t what you want as a savvy business owner. It helps to speak the name out loud a few times and to hear others say the name. Some form of audience testing with friends and family will certainly benefit you and help in your decision making.
Easy to Spell
The name you choose should be easy to spell. When you hear the name for the first it is good to have a basic idea on how to spell it. Of course, many of our phrases and letters have a similar sound so it may not always be possible to know the exact spelling from only hearing the name.
What you don’t want is something too complicated. A combination of Dictionary words tend to be a good fit for a name but shorter abstract names which are made-up are also beneficial as a shorter name is always easier to spell and to remember. A customer will usually have to see a short name once to be able to recall it.
What does the name evoke? If I chose a name such as “Corpse Grocers” (extreme example) as a brand name for a Grocery Store that will be an instant killer. A name with a negative connotation is usually a bad practice. You want a name that invites your customer into your store (online or offline) without you having to say a word. You want to evoke trust in your name and not produce negative emotions.
There are occasions where a negative word can be used as a branding approach. A name such as Urban Decay which has a negative word in it is a good example of how a negative word can be used to build a unique brand identity.
Using complex words that not everyone may understand is a bad approach to naming your business. Simple is always the best solution. Simple words are often easier to remember and spell as compared to more complex words that require a high level of education to understand. Keep it simple, always!
Dot Com Availability
In the domaining world a .com domain is referred to as “King”. This label cannot be argued by anyone because the .com extension remains the most valuable, trusted and familiar extension that exists. With hundreds of other extensions been introduced to the market, the com domain extension continues to appreciate in value. A good brandable domain will more often than not be in a .com extension. Com is undoubtedly King.
Where to Acquire Brandable Domain Names?
The heightened demand for brandable domains has seeing the rise of a number of online marketplaces such as BrandBucket, SquadHelp, BrandRoot and countless others. But it must be noted that not all of these marketplaces are equal as some have mediocre names that have not gone through proper testing and analysis. It will be more viable for you to begin searching for names on a marketplace that has proper vetting in place. A new marketplace like SquadHelp has years of experience in branding and the names on their website are clearly more attractive then various other places.
BrandBucket and BrandRoot are two other good options as they have fined-tuned their acceptance criteria over the years and the names on their websites are of a high caliber. The problem with these sites are the amount of options available and some of the prices are over-stated. We recommend you start your search on Squadhelp before moving onto another marketplace.
There is also the option of brainstorming your own ideas to see if you can come up with a great name on your own. This route will undoubtedly be more time consuming and you may not find an available name which is the risk you take when venturing down this path. If you do not have the budget to purchase a premium name from a marketplace then this option will be the best place to start.
To conclude this write-up, you must recognize that the naming of your business and the brand name you choose is critical to the future of your business. A good name will often present great marketing benefits which can give your business a head start and a bad name will unfortunately have the opposite effect.
Take your time and do your own due diligence before committing to a name and remember: always choose a name that will allow for future diversification. A narrow name like SmartLaptops for instance limits your business to Laptops but a name such as DigitalPride gives you room for growth into various markets.