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strategy The Branding Power of Two: Duet, Gemini, Copilot and More

NameSilo
If you watched the 66th Grammy Awards ceremony on Feb. 4, 2024, odds are the duet by Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs is a lasting memory. Tracy Chapman made the song Fast Car a huge hit in 1988, while the 2023 Luke Combs rendition made the song popular once more. Their memorable duet performance left such an impression that within 24 hours Tracy Chapman’s original release from 1988 had skyrocketed to the most played song on iTunes. By the way, browsing the list of nominated songs and artist names is an interesting walk through creative and diverse naming – full list at 66th Grammy Awards

So what does that have to do with domain names? A duet can be a beautiful thing. I think we are seeing strong interest of late, particularly in artificial intelligence, in the metaphor of a duet, including similar terms representing two parties working together harmoniously. While generative aspects of GPT first captured public attention, increasingly the focus is shifting to AI as a tool to be used by humans in a supportive and interactive way.

CoPilot, Duet and Gemini

Let’s start by looking at three terms that have have been adopted by artificial intelligence giants, all of which imply a metaphor of working together.

Duet Google have Duet AI, Your AI Powered Collaborator. The idea of AI not as a stand-alone generative technology, even though it can be amazing doing that, but rather technology that assists and works with you, is totally spot on. The English word duet dates to the middle of the 18th century, with its origin in the Latin term duo and in turn the Italian duetto. As we will see later, as a short clear word with a positive metaphorical meaning, it has been widely used in branding in many sectors.

Gemini Gemini means the twins, and has been known in mythology and astronomy for a very long time. The twin stars of the constellation Gemini are Castor and Pollux. As one of the Zodiac constellations, it is better known among the general public. Google used Gemini for their AI engine family; here is their blog post when Gemini was introduced in December 2023. I had expected an official announcement this week that Bard was being renamed to Gemini. The renaming has been widely speculated recently. You can read about Gemini at the Google DeepMind site. Gemini has already performed very well at various AI capability tests, outperforming humans on Massive Multitask Language Understanding. Gemini implies twins, two parties with common objectives.

CoPilot
Microsoft flagship AI is Copilot, using the metaphor of two pilots together operating a plane or other vehicle. You can access Copilot directly here, or through various apps and services. Copilot draws on the partnership between Microsoft and OpenAI to access GPT and other AI technologies. When I looked at recent Y Combinator company names, quite a few specifically mentioned Copilot. Copilot as a metaphor implies better, and more secure, performance through sharing the controls.

I think all three, Duet, Gemini and Copilot are superb names for an AI service, probably better than Bard or GPT. While GPT draws attention to the underlying technology, and bard is a word with a rich history that carries an appropriate metaphor of creation and direction, I don’t think either is quite as good as duet or copilot as a brand.

I used Google Books Ngram Viewer to look at the relative popularity of the three terms, at least as measured by number of mentions in books. Duet was by far the most popular, with Gemini much the least.
Image-NgramViewerDuetCopilotGemini.png

By the way, there was big news regarding GPT on the trademark front this week, with the USPTO issuing a ruling declining the OpenAI application for a trademark on the term GPT. That ruling clearly has implications, but just deals with the pure term GPT, not combinations that can still carry trademarks.

Brand Terms Based on Two

I took a look at these and other words that mean two or pair, with results summarized in the following table. Here is the meaning of each column, in order:
  • Term I concentrated on the pure form, usually a noun, with other forms possible of most of the words as well.
  • Number of active Open Corporates company and organization listings, including ‘also known as’ and former names.
  • Number of extensions the exact term is registered in, as obtained from DotDB.
  • Number of related domain names registered. That is, longer domain names that include the term. That information is also via DotDB.
  • I tried to visit the .com of each name, and recorded the current status.
  • Similarly, I checked the .ai extension status for each, or tried to.
  • Since tech startups often use the .io extension, I also checked development status for that.
  • Number of Google results, expressed in millions, when the term is placed in quotation marks for exact term results only. While this number varies somewhat with searcher location and date of search, results should correctly indicate popularity ordering.
term
active OCs
TLDs
related
.com status
.ai status
.io status
“ “ Results (M)
copilot
292​
384​
9,189​
developed​
developed​
not in use​
270.0​
couple
1,339​
153​
27,591​
developed​
developed​
redirected​
4,200.0​
dual
3,814​
198​
34,669​
parking​
parking​
parking​
1,190.0​
duet
908​
205​
7,035​
redirected​
not in use​
not in use​
154.0​
duette
46​
55​
280​
coming soon​
not in use​
not in use​
5.1​
duo
8,434​
277​
109,700​
developed​
for sale​
not in use​
516.0​
dyad
239​
76​
4,157​
developed​
not in use​
for sale​
13.0​
Gemini
10,399​
402​
16,596​
developed​
redirected​
redirected​
176.0​
pair
1,957​
180​
361,304​
developed​
for sale​
not in use​
1,650.0​
twain
1,628​
65​
1,653​
not in use​
developed​
not in use​
87.3​
twin
28,064​
280​
146,937​
developed​
not in use​
developed​
907.0​
two
88,101​
249​
839,629​
not in use​
developed​
not in use​
15,340.0​

Here are observations based on what I found when I looked for developed sites:
  • In Copilot, both the .com and .ai are developed sites, but not by Microsoft. The .com is a technology provider to streamline a service business. The .ai is a “human-powered AI to optimize business.”
  • Gemini is developed in .com by the well-known cryptocurrency company, that also redirect the .ai to their .com. The .io is also redirected for the term Gemini, but to a diversified services company.
  • Duet the .com is redirected to SAP.com, a company offering a broad array of services to business, everything from supply chain management to cloud technology adoption and financial reporting.
  • Couple is, not surprisingly, a date matching service, powered by AI. They also use the .ai extension.
  • Duo in .com offers cybersecurity services by Cisco.
  • Dyad in .com is developed as a mentorship service, again drawing on the idea of pairing.
  • Pair in .com is a web services company.
  • Twain is a co-pilot service to help with writing sales messages. While I first associate Twain with famous names like Mark Twain or Shania Twain, it is a dictionary word, more popular in history, meaning two.
  • Twin is an online casino.
Clearly some of the terms in the table are much better than others for branding. I did not include other forms of these terms that might be used, such as paired.

BrandBucket Listings

To get an idea how popular these terms are in a brandable domain marketplace, I checked at BrandBucket:
  • A search for duet produced 137 results, some directly including duet or a similar term, but others around the idea of two, pair, twin, etc. BrandBucket did a nice job of finding names with similar intention.
  • Gemini only produced 5 results, and Copilot none.
  • Duo search gave in 377 results at BrandBucket, a number in common with the duet search.
  • Twin resulted in 250 suggested names.
  • Couple was popular, with 393 results.
Google’s Amazing Single Character Domain G.ai

The other day on X, @DomainHacks pointed out that Google own an amazingly short domain name, just 3 letters including the extension! If you type g.ai it will redirect you to AI.google, their brand extension, with resources on AI work at Google. By the way, the g.ai link does not work at NamePros, but if you enter it outside NamePros it will redirect.
TweetMaxGai.png

So while Google would have difficulty securing gemini in the .com or .ai extensions due to current developed use by others, they already have a great short domain name option.

Digital Twin Technology

Digital twin technology is another way that the twin concept is important. In the article: What is digital-twin technology?, McKinsey & Company describe it this way:
A digital twin is a digital representation of a physical object, person, or process, contextualized in a digital version of its environment. Digital twins can help an organization simulate real situations and their outcomes, ultimately allowing it to make better decisions.
IBM have an excellent in-depth section on digital twins at What is a digital twin?

It is still relatively early in the adoption of digital twin technology, that depends heavily on artificial intelligence, with some estimates of current market size the order of $10 billion per year. MarketsAndMarkets predict the digital twin market will reach about $110 billion by 2028. If achieved, that would correspond to an annual growth rate above 50% per year. According to dotDB, the exact term DigitalTwin is taken in 196 extensions.

By the way the term digital twin is generally credited to Michael Grieves, then on faculty of engineering at the University of Michigan, and was first used in 2010.

Digital twin technology is an interesting topic all on its own, and I might do a future article around applications and domain names for the sector. There is mention of digital twins in a metaverse discussion thread on NamePros, with DT13 mentioning the term in August 2021. There may well be older references on NamePros as well.

Domain Twins

Not to be confused with digital twin technology, there are also domain name twins. One of my early NamePros Blog articles was A Look at Domain Name Twins. These are domain names where both the SLD and the TLD are the identical term, such as blog.blog or be.be or me.me. Obviously the supply of these is very limited, but they do possess a certain simplicity and charm.

GoDaddy and ENS Agreement

Speaking of working together harmoniously, the biggest announcement in the domain world this week was the GoDaddy and ENS agreement to allow easy, and without gas or DNSSEC fees, connection of your GoDaddy registered names to the ENS system. That allows you to link the domain name to digital wallets, and also use in smart contracts and other blockchain distributed applications.

Read about what is involved and contribute to the NamePros discussion at ENS Partners with GoDaddy, started by @equity78.

Here is the link to the GoDaddy outliner on the topic, while ENS published this post.

The Final Word

This article has touched on a number of topics around the theme of two, or more broadly working together, but the central message I want to stress is the importance of consideration of any symbolic connotation of a potential brand name.

While the term duet could apply literally to a musical performance by two artists, as a metaphor it can be applied to situations such as mentorship, assistive services, coaching, fitness, consulting, co-working spaces, co-creation, support services, etc.

By the way, the term metaphor has a couple of main definitions, and I am using it in this article in the sense of definition two, as a symbol, “something that stands for or suggests something else by reason of relationship, association, convention, or accidental resemblance.” The term metaphor also has a related but different meaning of a common phrase that is not meant to be interpreted literally, such as “It is raining cats and dogs.”

As domain investors, we often focus on name aspects such as clarity, length, aesthetics, familiarity, and audio test. Those are all important. But when considering potential terms as brands, also keep in mind:
  • What symbolic meaning does the name imply?
  • Is that connotation positive?
  • How many sectors and niches could draw on that symbolic meaning?
  • Is the symbolic meaning clear or subtle?
I invite NamePros Blog readers to extend and improve this article. In particular, perhaps:
  1. What do you think of the names duet, Gemini and copilot as artificial intelligence brands?
  2. Other than these three, what other terms from the table particularly stand out for you as having strong brand potential?
  3. How important do you consider metaphorical or symbolic meaning in the selection criteria for a brand?
  4. What additional entries could have been included in the table, that also have a connotation of two parties?
  5. Please at most mention one, but what domain name do you personally have currently, or have sold retail, that you think is a very powerful and universal metaphor? For this I don’t mean just related to two or pair, but any type of metaphor. And please one name only per member, and only names with a clear and meaningful symbolic connotations.



Sincere thanks to OpenCorporates, DotDB and Google tools including NGram Viewer that played a role in the data presented here. Also, thanks to to the various information and news sources linked or acknowledged in the article. Krista Gable is one of the individuals who has spoken most regularly about the potential of digital twin technology. As disclosure, I do personally hold the term duet in several second and third tier extensions, but of course this article is not motivated by that.
 
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The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
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Thank you Bob for another excellent post. Ai in general can be quite divisive, whether that boils down to choice or preference or the prevailing market forces. Some argue for dot .ai whilst others are firmly on the dotcom Ai train.

With twins in mind I always try to get a matching pair if I'm hand regging a domain name. I have a habit (whether good or bad) to register the hyphenated version of a domain name too as I see it as possible brand protection. If I don't reg it someone else may.

In addition, when choosing an Ai domain name to reg I always try to get it as Ai(keyword) dotcom and (keyword)Ai dotcom. This is for two reasons. Both angles are covered. The preference for before or after Ai is an individual one but IMHO it really depends on the keyword chosen. Some keywords just sound better before Ai and some sound better after Ai. I think it is also more complex depending on the relevance to Ai in general.

For example - AiFluffywhitehorse dotcom is not as good as AiAstronauts dotcom.

I'm sure that the discussion will continue for some time and only history will reveal who won and who lost and who just was happy to take part.

Rgrds,

Redd
 
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Hello Bob
Thanks for the exquisite reading
 
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Thank you, @Bob Hawkes for another wonderful article!

What do you think of the names duet, Gemini and copilot as artificial intelligence brands?
Something to be noted, in my opinion, is that all the three names speak of collaboration amongst equals. This is intended to inspire trust and put away the fears of an AI that overcomes our direction. It's something near, familiar and reliable with which help we are to reach excellent performance. This is the message, I think.
 
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a matching pair if I'm hand regging a domain name. I have a habit (whether good or bad) to register the hyphenated version of a domain name too
In addition, when choosing an Ai domain name to reg I always try to get it as Ai(keyword) dotcom and (keyword)Ai dotcom.
I had overlooked those as other ways to apply twins or pairs to domain investing. Thanks for pointing them out. I also like matching new gTLD and the corresponding .com, and have a few of those pairs.

in my opinion, is that all the three names speak of collaboration amongst equals.
I agree completely with this important point. I think that has clearly evolved as how AI is currently being promoted, and that is why the duet/copilot names are so appropriate.

I think we will see increasing numbers of smaller companies, and not just mainly AI companies, push that point too.

Thanks everyone for your comments. And thanks the person who DM me to help me catch any typo or wording errors. I truly appreciate it.

-Bob
 
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