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Bob Hawkes

Brand Names Including Animals - A Look At The Data

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By Bob Hawkes, Mar 18, 2021
  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    Many great brand names have been built around animals, such as Puma, Jaguar, RedBull, FireFox, DuckDuckGo and many others. The animal provides a concrete image on which to build the logo and brand. Many times some aspect off the name hints at characteristics of the brand. Foxes are known to be agile, speedy and possibly sly, applicable to web browsing. The bull is known for strength and stamina, relevant to RedBull products.

    In 2019 James Iles took a look at how animal names are used. He summarizes the case this way:
    In this article I look at some tools you can use to determine relative popularity of different animals. You can readily use these tools to do investigations on animal names of interest to you.

    Common Animal Names Used In Brands

    Primary Names started a basic list of popular animals in 2018, extended by others since that time. The list contains names such as fox, bull, bear, cat, dog, dove, falcon, panda, lion, tiger, owl and shark.

    A Look At Sales Data

    You can use NameBio to readily find sales including animal names by using the Niche category and then Animals as subcategory.

    The top sales are in fly.com that sold three times, for $2.89, $1.76 and $1.50 million. While a fly is definitely an animal, it also has other meanings. Similarly land.com, impala.com and mara.com are on animal list, although most probably don’t first associate them with animal names.

    After excluding these types of names, here is a list of animal names with NameBio-recorded sales at $15,000 or more. Animal is used in the biological sense, including birds, insects, marine life, etc. If you want the complete list of all animal sales, here is the NameBio link.
    1. gorilla.com, $496,320 (2019)
    2. bird.com, $200,000 (2005)
    3. snake.com, $135,000 (2019)
    4. crab.com, $92,000 (2008)
    5. coyote.com, $63,000 (2011)
    6. crow.com, $48,300 (2007)
    7. dolphin.co, $48,000 (2012)
    8. coyotte.org, $45,000 (2014)
    9. crocodile.com, $45,000 (2008)
    10. bedbug.com, $40,000 (2008)
    11. impala.com, $30,000 (2017)
    12. tiger.io, $28,888 (2020)
    13. badger.com, $27,400 (2011)
    14. monkey.co.uk, $22,400 (2012)
    15. buck.co, $19,888 (2019)
    16. fox.net, $19,000 (2007)
    17. possum.com, $18,250 (2012)
    18. PolarBear.org, $17,825 (2011)
    19. dog.de, $15,935 (2006)
    20. BlackBuck.com, $15,000 (2015)
    21. dog.net, $15,000 (2005)
    I was surprised that many of the more desired animal names are not in the sales list. Some are in use and were sold privately. Another reason, though, is that many superb animal names remain in domain investor hands, waiting for the right buyer. Keep in mind that NameBio does not include sales from the brandable marketplaces.

    I also looked at some extensions other than .com.
    • There were 25 .org sales with a total dollar volume of $90,000, half coming from the dolphin.org sale.
    • A total of 52 .net sales, accounting for $138,500.
    • The .io extension has 33 animal-related sales for $88,600. The tiger.io sale last year accounted for almost one-third of the total.
    • There were 31 .co sales, with $138,800 total. $48,000 of that came from the dolphin.co sale.
    • While there were 40 new extension animal sales, $90,100 total, the highest was $10,000 for ox.club that sold this month.
    • The .ai extension has sold 38 times in animal names for $31,900, although none are over $5000 yet.
    Popularity Of Animals In Company Names

    I had a look at how often animal names are used in business and organization names using the OpenCorporates database. I included only names from active listings. Some animals are difficult, for example bear may be used in contexts that are unrelated to the animal name, and searching for ox will be dominated by alternative meanings in longer words. The results below indicate that most animal names find use in hundreds of business names, and that dog, bear, fox and cat are all very popular.

    GraphOpenCorporate.png

    Keep in mind that the OpenCorporates directory lists both businesses and organizations, and some of these are nonprofit organizations. OpenCorporates data can be sorted by industry classification. For example, it is possible to determine if a particular animal finds use in names for retail or wholesale trade, finance, or the construction industry.

    Popularity Of Animals In BrandBucket Listings

    Another way to gauge popularity is to look at how many names are based on a certain animal in popular brandable marketplaces. You can use the Refine search on BrandBucket to do this by then selecting Contains rather than the default broad search. Keep in mind that even doing that will not eliminate all names unrelated to the animal. For example, FlowLoad includes the word owl, but is not inspired by the word owl.

    GraphBrandBucket.png

    At BrandBucket names including owl, rabbit and fox are particularly popular.

    It seemed to me that names well known only in certain regions don’t appear often on BrandBucket. For example moose and beaver are both well known animals in Canada, and some other countries, and they are used in 6455 and 8237 business names on OpenCorporates. However, on BrandBucket there are just 7 names with moose and 1 with beaver.

    Popularity Of Animals At SquadHelp

    One can’t readily do searches at SquadHelp that exactly includes a term. SquadHelp searches include domain names that are inspired or broadly similar. For example, a full SquadHelp search on duck yields 505 listings, but only 36 actually contained the word duck on the day I searched. Here are the results of my hand-checked searches at SquadHelp on some of the more popular animal names, including only listings with that animal name.

    GraphSquadHelp.png

    Chinese Zodiac Animals

    I have wondered if the animals of the Chinese zodiac, rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, get a boost in use as business names. We are currently in the year of the ox, which will be followed by tiger, rabbit and dragon. All of these are attractive branding names for other reasons, and it will be interesting to see if there are more sales in these names.

    Animal Brand Meanings

    I found this article helpful in suggesting animal symbolism in logo design and branding. Here is an example of the sort of information offered:
    Final Thoughts

    James Iles wrote an interesting article Animals All The Rage in 2018 that covered both acquisitions and a selection of recent sales.

    As well as the tools indicated earlier, a simple Google search can give you a feeling for how different animal names are used. Searching trademark databases are another way to gauge interest in a name, as well as to make sure your proposed acquisition is not infringing. One can research trademarks at Trademark247 or at the USPTO, among other places.

    Not infrequently, two-word domain names combine a color with an animal, such as RedBull. Sometimes this is an obvious pairing, like BlueBird, while other times it is an unnatural, but memorable, combination, such as PinkElephant.

    I hope users will comment on what animals they think make particularly strong brands. While please don’t post your entire set of animal names, it would be appropriate, if readers desire, to post the one favourite animal domain name you currently hold.


    Thanks to NameBio, OpenCorporates, BrandBucket and SquadHelp for databases that were used for this research.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  4. Bob Hawkes

    About The Author — Bob Hawkes

    Domain analyst, writer and informal educator, with particular interests in domain name phrases and non-business uses for domain names. I am a risk averse domain investor who only invests modest amounts in a variety of extensions and niches. Don't hesitate to contact me - I like to help!

    This is Bob Hawkes's 83rd blog post on NamePros. View all blog posts

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  5. Comments (68)

  6. noneisnone

    noneisnone 444 VIP Gold Account

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    sadly raccoons are not that popular :(
    Proud owner of Racoon.us
    next article should be about Flower / plant names bob i have yet to find a report about the sale of plant/flower names
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
  7. NickB

    NickB it's a mystery VIP

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    Nice write up Bob.....

    I have a few 2 worders - my personal favourite is Data Swan .com
     
  8. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Top Member NameTalent VIP Gold Account Trusted Blogger

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    A good suggestion that was not on my radar. I have added it to my list, and will do one, but it won't be next week.
    Thanks again,
    Bob
     
  9. BradWilson

    BradWilson Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    Thanks @Bob Hawkes for another excellent topic and this one is definitely not boaring :)

    As per your request to only list one domain, I own one animal domain Cheetah . World and I see from the article you posted, Cheetah is listed 4th which is awesome.

     
  10. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam AMDB.tv VIP

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    Thanks for sharing.

    I am surprised that BEE didn't make it to your list as it's an animal that is quite popular in branding. Even Open Corporates has over 40000+ companies listed with that keyword (no filters applied).
     
  11. NickB

    NickB it's a mystery VIP

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    Good shout - around 270 odd words begin with bee, could that skewer the results?
     
  12. Keith DeBoer

    Keith DeBoer BrandableInsider.com PRO VIP ICA Member

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  13. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam AMDB.tv VIP

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    Possibly. But same can be said for CAT or BEAR
     
  14. The Durfer

    The Durfer Top Contributor VIP Gold Account

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    Ty Mr. Bob. I have sarigue.com (south american possum)
     
  15. Mohamed Ahmaid

    Mohamed Ahmaid Established Member

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  16. Kingslayer

    Kingslayer Top Contributor VIP

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    What i like about single word animal domains, is a company who brand around that brand/animal already have a mascot.

    In the UK (I'm sure its the same for for the US and other countries) i see companies spending probably millions on gimmicks and mascots to make their brand memorable.

    For example GoCompare with the opera singer, CompareTheMarket (meerkat).

    Brand around (say) gator dot com, you've already got your mascot and you can't forget it, i actually forgot the meerkat brand (of my example) i know the adverts, but couldn't remember the brand.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
  17. ReallyBigIdea.com

    ReallyBigIdea.com Established Member

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    .. ​
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
  18. Montecar

    Montecar Established Member

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    gorilla.com, $496,320 bird.com, $200,000. Why is there such a difference? :penguin::chicken::xf.laugh:
     
  19. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    Gorilla is NOT a bird. That is why.
     
  20. BradWilson

    BradWilson Upgraded Member Gold Account

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    I'd be way less likely to argue with a gorilla :)
     
  21. DuDD

    DuDD Established Member

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    • Animal domain name is really everyone's favorite
     
  22. koolishman

    koolishman Top Contributor VIP

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    More so in China, right?
     
  23. DuDD

    DuDD Established Member

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    YES
    • Fruit domains are also popular such as apple/banana
     
  24. Montecar

    Montecar Established Member

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    It is likely that the gorilla is closer for some people!
     
  25. Montecar

    Montecar Established Member

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    Thanks Bob Hawkes! Informative, for me, let's say it was interesting that the rating after the dog goes fox and bear and not the cat! :sneaky:
     
  26. Catalyst01

    Catalyst01 Established Member

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    Bee is a very popular keyword so should be on the list Bob
     
  27. Catalyst01

    Catalyst01 Established Member

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    Thanks for opening discussion in this area and for this detailed analysis of the use of animal names in branding. This is highly conceptual; it requires a level of creativity and deep thought to brand and adopt an interpretation that the public will quickly grasp and bond with. Nice article @Bob Hawkes. Thanks for sharing
     
  28. Iamcherry

    Iamcherry New Member

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    Thanks for sharing Mr. Bob . Interesting Article:xf.smile:
     
  29. Catalyst01

    Catalyst01 Established Member

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    Nice humour...Just laughing.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2021
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