What’s in a name? Everything! 10 reasons why naming strategy is crucial for your brand.


DownloadedFileI was talking to a client the other day who wanted more visibility. They had a hideously long URL for their company website.

I rolled my eyes. I immediately knew they were doomed to failure unless they changed their name.

I asked: “Is there any way you can find a shorter url?”

My prospective client hemmed and hawed about how attached he was to his ridiculously long company name.

There’s a reason why Google and Yahoo succeeded — and a host of other earlier search engine contenders like NorthernLights and AltaVista bombed.

There’s a reason why YouTube won the video wars and early contenders like, “uh, um, uh, whats their name, I forgot” failed.

Because YouTube is a freakin’ awesome brand. It says what it does. It has attitude. It’s memorable. You can spell it. It rhymes with things. It’s unique. It works in other languages and other cultures.

When I named my business, I spent an entire rainy day on Go Daddy typing things in at random until I found “Visibility Shift.”

Even though it’s not short, it’s memorable, it says exactly what it is.

And it’s relevant to my consulting practice, which is about shifting your visibility to a new level. I was absolutely floored when I discovered such a great website name was even available — and for $7.99.

Here are 10 reasons you want to take time to find a truly memorable stand out URL:
  1. It’s easier to type a short, memorable name – a long or unmemorable or hard to spell url just discourages people
  2. It’s memorable – (One word is best. Two words are ok. Three is just too much. Say it out loud. Can you pronounce it?)
  3. Searchability (SEO) – A name that isn’t unique is going to bring up millions of search results in Google. You want a unique URL so you are the first and only hit in Google, without having to pay $$$$ to Google for adwords.
  4. International localization – remember the web is global and your name has to translate easily into other languages — so it’s better if it’s not a word in any language.  Run your name past some friends who speak other languages and some translation software and make sure it doesn’t translate into something embarrassing. (The Chevy Nova flopped in Mexico because “No Va” means “Won’t Run.”) Say it out loud again. Does it sound like something obscene in Chinese?
  5. Less is more. A short URL in a .co is more valuable than a long .com. Especially remember that the web is international and words need to be translated.  So the fewer words, the more universal your message is.  Learn from the success of big brands like Apple and Google who take a less is more approach.
  6. It doesn’t have to be a .com — You can be successful with a .us, .tv, etc. For example, Delicio.us. And that’s even shorter.
  7. Groupon is successful in large part because their name rocks. “Group + coupon.” Brilliant. Memorable. Unique. Short. Tells you what it is.
  8. Get your name first before you spend time and money branding it. Changing your name later is very costly and it means you are undoing all the work you did on public relations, marketing and social media outreach.  (Did you know that AirBnB was originally called “Airbed and Breakfast”? Seriously! The airbed rental idea flopped so they shortened it.)
  9. VCs look at your brand and name as a big reason to invest. A great logo, web design, business card, brand and name are almost as important as the product or technology behind the brand.
  10. Think about web branding when you name your products — and your kids, too. I’m grateful that my mother, very ahead of her time, gave me a name that is so unique that I go to the top of Google. Check that name out in Facebook, Twitter and Google and make sure it’s available. (The reverse applies if you want to protect your privacy — then John Doe is the way to go.) Consider adding a unique middle name to your name that describes what you do so you stand out. (ie: David “Avocado” Wolfe is a speaker in the health food field.)
This advice applies to any personal or corporate brand — a musician, band, artist, writer, book title or film. Choose your name carefully and snap up the URL as soon as you can, even if you end up sitting on it for years before you get your project started.
For more information about naming, visit Name Wire a blog about naming.
Advertisements

32 thoughts on “What’s in a name? Everything! 10 reasons why naming strategy is crucial for your brand.

  1. scene says:

    Hey! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4!
    Just wanted to say I love reading through your
    blog annd look forward to all your posts! Carry on the superb work!

    Like

  2. questions says:

    I muust thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this
    website. I’m hoping to view thhe same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities
    has motivated me tto get my own, personal site now 😉

    Like

  3. quiz says:

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also
    with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid tneme or did you customize itt yourself?

    Either way keep upp the excellent quality writing, it is rare
    to see a great blog like this one these days.

    Like

  4. minecraft says:

    Do yoou mind iff I quotre a couple of your posts as long as
    I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My website is in the exct same area of interest as yours and myy visitors would definmitely benefit from
    some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you.

    Thanks!

    Like

  5. worldcraft says:

    Hello, I think your site might bbe havcing browser compatibility issues.

    When I look att your webwite in Safari, it looks fine
    but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to ggive you a quick heads up!
    Other then that, fantastic blog!

    Like

  6. rent car indonesia says:

    Hey there would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working with?

    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers
    and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a fair price?

    Many thanks, I appreciate it!

    Like

  7. Angelic Guidance says:

    ccertainly like your website but you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts.
    A number of tthem are rife with spelling problems and
    I find it very bothersome to tell the realuty however I will definitely come again again.

    Like

  8. best article writer says:

    May I simply just say what a comfort to discover somebody who truly knws what they’re discussing on tthe net.

    You definitely know how to bring a problem to light and make it important.
    A lot more people need tto check this out and
    understand this side of your story. I was surprised you’re not more popular given that you drfinitely possess the gift.

    Like

  9. news says:

    * Assist PADI Instructors with students, and at Utila Dive Centre
    we have classes starting on a daily basis with plenty of opportunity for
    you to gain experience. With that, as a
    scuba diving instructor you will be able to bring others up to scuba diving.
    Multiple big and small fish populate the waters near the island, as well as sea turtles and sharks.

    Like

  10. grow light says:

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

    Like

  11. Spiritual Wedding says:

    Hey would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using?
    I’m plannning tto start my own bllg soon but
    I’m having a hard time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal.
    The reason Iask iss because your design seems different then mokst blogs
    and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S Sorry for getting off-topic but I had to ask!

    Like

  12. blocks says:

    Howdy very nice website!! Guy .. Excellent .. Amazing ..
    I’ll bookmark your websikte and take the feeds also? I’m satisfiied to search out so many helpful info right here within the post,
    we want work out more techniques on this
    regard, thank you ffor sharing. . . . . .

    Like

  13. Exterior Doors Dublin Ireland says:

    Buying home is a very big investment, one of the most important and expensive purchases you are ever likely to make.
    Another advantage of purchasing these locks is that you should not have a
    lot of difficulty getting the amount you need, whereas this may not be the case in a
    salvage shop. By far the most popular choice of double glazed windows are u – PVC windows as they are highly
    durable.

    Like

  14. e werb says:

    i advise, as a rule of thumb, to chose a name that can be shouted out and understood by someone standing on a street corner while driving by at 30 mph.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s