How to brainstorm domain names the lean way?

If you are looking to have a matching domain name/website name for your business (important!), and you are set on a .com (also important!) then your choices get more narrow. It's a fact that a large portion great domain names are already registered, but fortunately many of these are not in use and the owners are willing to part with them.

Here are our four key tips for business owners searching for a business name and domain name:

Streamline the brainstorming cycle.
The traditional brainstorming session involved gathering lots of ideas, then vetting each one. Is the name available? Is it even a good business name? The lean approach is to work backwards and start with a list of names that are available and that have already passed the "good name" test by people who you trust and who know their way around naming and branding.

Decide and execute.
If you are purchasing a domain name from an existing owner, don't allow yourself to haggle. Just move on if there is no option to "Buy Now". The time spent in negotiation is time better spent working. It may also lead to a dead end, and you'll have to start over.

Be happy with your decision.
If your choice of business name feels good to you, then you will be able to build a compelling story around it. Dwelling on a name you weren't able to get isn't productive, and prevents you from truly committing and moving forward.

Be accepting of change.
Sometimes the lean branding cycles of customer feedback will make it clear that your name choice was not the right one. Don't be afraid of starting over. Fortunately, a good domain name is an asset that doesn't lose value, and it may work for someone else so you can recoup some or all of your cost.

Simply put... Lean branding is not about shortcuts, savings, and settling. Lean branding is about being smart, streamlined, and speedy. And most of all, it's about starting.

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