Brand Your Startup Like a Unicorn

Unicorn Company

On their website Fortune has a page that lists all of the unicorn companies for 2016. A unicorn is a startup that’s reached a valuation of $1 billion or more.

These founders had the ability to identify a strong unfulfilled need and to meet that need in a revolutionary manner. They also had the additional skill of successful branding. That makes them exceptional.

One of the key ingredients of a powerful brand is an exact-match, dot-com domain name.  If a founder gets the brand right their exact match domain will save time and money and create a higher return for their marketing dollars.  A company’s unicorn status is a testament to great products and services. But it’s also a sign of fantastic business management and a dynamite brand.  Let’s look at three of these unicorn’s and their respective domain names.

SnapChat is a mobile messaging app used to share photos, videos, text, and drawings. It’s become hugely popular in a brief time and is particularly appealing to the younger generation.

Its brand is short, sweet and effective. It precisely describes what the company does: take pictures, connect with others and socialize. At the same time it’s easy to say, spell and remember. At eight letters it’s also easy to type on a mobile device.

Furthermore it creates a mental image the first time we hear it. Snap has a double meaning too. It represents taking a picture but it also means fast. The word chat exudes casual, friendly conversation and most of all, fun.

FlipKart is an e-commerce company founded in 2007. It’s sort of the  of India with a focus on electronics and clothing items.  It’s also made the journey from startup to unicorn in less than seven years.

Their brand is an example of elegant simplicity. At two syllables and eight letters its smooth, efficient and mobile device friendly.  It takes the shortened version of the phrase ‘shopping cart’ and gives it a playful twist.  This is accomplished by amending the spelling to a ‘K’ and adding the upside down fun of the word ‘flip’.  In our mind’s eye we easily envision ourselves flipping items into our virtual shopping cart. Perfect!

SpaceX is an American private aerospace company founded in 2002. Its founder is the eccentric entrepreneur Elon Musk. The company’s mission is to commercialize space travel by building and operating reusable, roundtrip, spacecraft.

This brand takes a slightly different approach than the other two. It has six letters instead of eight.  In fact, it’s really just one word: space. However, a single letter, X, has been added to the end the word to create an air of mystery, technology and science fiction. This stimulating combination of qualities immediately captures our inquisitive nature and we want to know more.

In summary, my advice is to brand like a unicorn right from the beginning. If the shoe doesn’t fit, wear it anyway. You’ll grow into it.  Think like a unicorn and get the best brand possible. Now.

Sure it’ll cost a bit more but you’ll make it up on the back end. That’s because your marketing plan will be simple, sleek and efficient thanks to the elegance of your brand.

And one last thing. Remember. If you don’t invest the extra time and money on your brand, you can bet your stock options that your competition will.