Domain strategies play an important role in brand creation. If you have ever started a business you know the importance and difficulty of deciding on a brand name. Over 300,000 new brand names are registered every year in the US alone. This is on top of the existing millions of brands and trademarks already registered… What makes this process even more challenging is the limited amount of domain names available for sale. Branding agencies that partner with domain brokers open up significantly more possibilities for acquiring the premium position domain for a newly created brand.
We look at domain strategies in three key buckets or categories. These categories are the descriptive, suggestive and inventive (domains or branding). Each of these buckets has a strategic role in branding. Depending upon the particular vertical, it can create an advantage to use a different category for brand creation. For example, if a dominant player is using a descriptive brand approach, a competing startup may want to use the suggestive or inventive categories to break from the entrenched branding of the market leader. This approach may also be necessary if the premium descriptive domains and trademarks are already acquired by the competition.
Descriptive Domain Strategy
The domain or brand describes what the company does.
Examples: Wholefoods.com, WorkInjury.com, FreeConferenceCall.com, ContentMarketing.com, BigData.com, clutter.com
Suggestive Domain Strategy
Suggests what your business is about however also invokes some creativity.
Examples: neat.com, mint.com, twitter.com, clutter.com
Inventive Domain Strategy
Creating a new word or using words of phrases that have nothing to do with a company’s industry or product offering.
Examples: Apple, Milk by Samsung
These three companies used Inventive Domain Strategies to create amazing brands that stand out in search.
Each of the brands owns the premium domain position for their brand and utilized the inventive domain branding approach. When done correctly, it creates a powerful brand experience. The role the domain plays in each of these companies is to reinforce the brand message in an effortless manner. The shortness of the brands and domains creates simplicity and power in positioning. Drift.com
Drift is a messaging app that makes it easy for businesses to talk to their website visitors and customers in real-time, from anywhere.
Check out the great startup advice in this interview with the founder of Drift.com
When Drift.com first launched, they were using the domain and brand Driftt.com
I have reached out to the David Cancel (the founder) and hope to be able to share more about why he invested to update his brand to be the correct spelling of Driftt.com
Slack is a team communication application providing services such as real-time messaging, archiving, and to search for modern
Slack.com just raised another $200M in April 2016 and is valued at $3.8B USD.
The premium domain name and its underlying strategy contribute to that value.
Zapier enables users to connect the web apps they use to move data between them and use event-based automation to avoid repetitive tasks.
This creative word connotes ease of use to consumers.
How three top branding companies and their philosophy on branding and naming synergizes with Domain Name Strategies
As a domain broker, I regularly make it a point to scout out and follow the top branding agencies. Branding and domain strategies are tied very closely together and when done correctly create a foundation and synergy that propel a brand forward. Here are three great brand naming agencies that you should check out.
Siegel & Gale
Philosophy: Great brands are simple ones. The most powerful live at the intersection of clarity and surprise. By embracing simplicity, they attract the right people and drive business results. Cutting through the clutter, they’re impossible to ignore.
Here is a great article from Daniel K. Golden, Senior Director of Strategy in CMO.com: Startups: A Billion Dollar Brand Question
Philosophy: A good brand is more than the sum of its parts; it lives in our memories and follows us throughout our lives. We believe a brand is a reputation—driven by a collection of perceptions, emotions, and experiences.
Check out their four dimensions to a great brand.
Philosophy: Brands that cut through the clutter, build desire, drive loyalty, and create advocacy
Check out their 10 essential categories to a great brand.
** Here is a framework to help you evaluate which domain strategies will work for your brand: **
we provide a checklist to help define the essence of a great domain. A domain should connect with your brand and create synergies at each of these key points:
P = positioning to create authority
R = reinforce your brand
O = opportunity to pivot
F = easy to find and remember
I = capture consumer intent
T = trademark availability
S = create simplicity
You can also see our CONVERT checklist for how a premium domain can position your brand.
Drift, Slack and Zapier are examples of startups using the inventive approach of naming/domains to create strong brands. Great branding works. For example, slack.com just raised another $200M in April 2016 and is valued at $3.8B USD. A great brand needs the perfect match domain to create simplicity, advocacy, and momentum.
Drift realized this and moved from Driftt.com to the premium domain positioning of Drift.com.