Get Your Brand Name Right the First Time

brand name

Most startups and entrepreneurs spend a significant amount of time selecting what they think is the perfect brand name for their new venture. They look for a name that is short, concise, easy to say, spell and remember. Sometimes these brands are keyword based like PayPal and DropBox. Other times they’re abstract and emotive like Yahoo and Google.

When keyword brands are chosen, new ventures often fail to obtain their first choice domain in the exact match, dot-com version of their brand. As a result, they pay dearly for the upgraded version after they’ve reached a sustainable level of financial success.

Let’s look at some of the most famous startups who’ve had to deal with this less than perfect situation.

Slack, DropBox, Mint, Uber and Twitter

Did you know that before they acquired Slack.com, this cloud-based team collaboration company was hosted at SlackHQ.com? Or that GetDropbox.com, was the original home of the file hosting behemoth, DropBox?

Mint.com likewise is a downsized version of that company’s original domain MyMint.com. And even the king of unicorns, Uber, began its life in the startup jungle using the Internet address of UberCab.com. So you won’t be surprised when I tell you that the social media giant, Twitter, got its auspicious start with a misspelled version of its brand using the domain Twttr.com.

Bitly, Square, Instagram, FourSquare and Hive

Bitly.com was originally launched using a Libya based domain extension at Bit.ly. The financial, merchant services and mobile payment company, Square, cut its entrepreneurial teeth at the SquareUp.com Internet address.

Instagram launched its business model using the Armenian country code at Instagr.am. Then, the city entertainment guide, FourSquare made its debut appearance at PlayFourSquare.com. Lastly, Hive, the creators of the smart, work-flow app for teams, spent 18 months plying its trade at HiveTeams.com before finally upgrading to the more desirable Hive.com in January of 2017.

Turbocharge your brand

There are also some startups who’ve done more than just upgrade. They’ve turbo charged their Internet address by acquiring the abbreviated, dot-com version of their brand.

Facebook, for example, launched at TheFacebook.com before upgrading to Facebook.com and then acquiring the two letter abbreviation of their brand, FB.com. Likewise, the mattress company Tuft & Needle, which was founded in 2012 on the TuftAndNeedle.com domain, purchased the abbreviated version of its brand by acquiring TN.com for an undisclosed amount in 2015.

These two upgrades to abbreviated domains are notable because they demonstrate an extra special commitment to owning the best possible variation of a brand. That’s because there are only 676 two letter, dot-com domains in existence and prices for such highly prized web addresses are in the millions of dollars.

Bucket of brands

In summary, the most important thing for a startup to do is, of course, to get started. But waiting till later to upgrade your brand to its exact match, dot-com version could be a costly unforced error due to inflated acquisition prices and additional costs for marketing and consumer re-education. The smartest strategy for most new ventures, is to obtain their exact match, dot-com domain at the get go. Fortunately, boutique marketplaces like BrandBucket make this task as easy and simple as digital pie.

 

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