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Hot Companies with Horrible Brands

Labeled as domains in Domain Industry News started by Haroon Basha, Aug 18, 2018.

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  1. Haroon Basha

    Haroon Basha IZUQ.COM Gold Account VIP

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    Hot Companies with Horrible Brands
    by Keith deBoer


    Not too long ago, dictionary word domains were considered as exact match, category killers for various products and industries. For this reason you’ll find fiber optic products at Fiber.com and air travel services at Fly.com. But things have changed. The rules have been disrupted. Now dictionary words have become a premium vehicle for branding in a wide variety of industries. Sometimes this creative application of a single word domain has been a hit. Other times it’s been a disaster.

    Let’s take a look at some examples of companies who have succeeded despite what I consider to be questionable, single word, branding choices.

    Click here to read further:
    https://dngeek.com/2018/08/hot-companies-with-horrible-brands/
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. Josh R

    Josh R Owner of BrandConsultants.com & TheDomainBlog.com PRO VIP

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    I personally see some really great brand names on that list.
     
  3. alcy

    alcy Active Member VIP

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    well.. if nothing else then this article at least demonstrates how very subjective a matter valuating brandables can be among domainers.
     
  4. urlurl

    urlurl Active Member VIP

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    my favorite miss on a name is Airbnb

    they do not sell airfare, trips or travel... nor are they a bed and breakfast.

    :xf.wink:
     
  5. 1Darko

    1Darko Active Member VIP

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    How about Porkbun - hero or zero?:xf.grin:
     
  6. urlurl

    urlurl Active Member VIP

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    no comment...oink oink
     
  7. Kpett

    Kpett Established Member

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    I'm surprised Doron @Doron Vermaat would allow such a poorly written article to be published on his website. I think Keith should take it back and work on it a little bit more - maybe add some insight, possibly some statistics as well, instead of just saying like and don't like. Haroon's intro above was a more interesting read than the article itself.
     
  8. myfavorite

    myfavorite Established Member

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    Very true.

    I sold a name that was rejected in practically all brand able domain market and fellow domainers will not buy it for reg fee.

    But I loved it at the point of acquisition, though opinion of others made me look at it somehow till somebody bought it for good price.
     
  9. nicholas

    nicholas Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Apple, Amazon and Uber are "questionable, single word, branding choices"???
     
  10. karmaco

    karmaco Active Member VIP

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    I agree. None of those names are bad and nothing informative about the article.
     
  11. MadAboutDomains

    MadAboutDomains Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I agree.

    The world can't function with only brand names that match specific products and services in the way that the article appears to trumpet in it's initial paragraph. So to say that the name choices of the big boys listed in the (Apple, Amazon etc.) article are questionable choices for names is really quite naïve.

    upload_2018-8-22_14-57-28.png


    Whilst it's nice for the person that owns the defacto generic name, there is only one .com for something. Names like Fly.com and Fiber.com that describe exactly the product or services that they provide, the systems and legal structures that are in place (trademark registration being the one that stands out in my mind) explicitly forbid the registration of brand names like "Fly" and "Fiber" for Flights and Fiber as they are descriptive of the services that they want to trade. To allow it would be crippling for others because they couldn't use those generic terms anymore in trade. As the owner, you'd be stuck with having to register "Fly.com" and "Fiber.com" as your brand name (trademark), so your brand is tied to the domain, which might be fine now, but what happens if things change, domains fall out of favour or people stop caring for .com? You're left with no legal protection on the name "Fly" of "Fiber".

    If you have the name Fly.com and you were to offer Hotels, that's a completely different story. From a branding perspective it's great because it doesn't describe the service that you provide and it allows you to stand out using your brand name. If people get to know "Fly hotels", then people are going to be able to find you easily on any platform, but typing "fly" into Google expecting to find Fly.com isn't likely to get you very far unless the owner has worked hard on SEO and the brand has gained notoriety amongst the general public, it would be like a needle in a haystack of other people that offer the same service under the term 'Fly'.

    Of course there are plenty of examples where there have been fantastic successes, like Hotels.com. They are known as Hotels.com for a reason and that's great, but they might struggle to move with the times if things changed drastically. Further to this, they couldn't choose to start offering other products in the way that Amazon could do without it being weird. A name like 'Amazon' is a truly generic, it doesn't describe their goods and services, it is memorable, it can be registered as a trademark and the name allows them to offer any goods or services that they choose as their brand evolves. The same goes for Apple, Purple, Uber, Bird, Lime etc. I personally believe that this is the point.

    I would conclude that the rules haven't changed like this article purports, it has always been this way. Trademark rules have long supported names that don't relate to the products that are provided, brandable single dictionary word names have always been desirable as brand names and generic single word .coms have always been in demand since there has been demand for domains... it's just that there are a lot of them being used now.

    Whether they are good names or not is entirely debatable :xf.cool:, but the fact that they are arbitrary names I think it could be argued that this is entirely the point.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  12. Eckhart

    Eckhart Book it now VIP

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    So he thinks Apple and Amazon are horrible brands? :jawdrop:
     
  13. Josh R

    Josh R Owner of BrandConsultants.com & TheDomainBlog.com PRO VIP

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    If Apple had decided to call themselves Computer.com rather than Apple, they wouldn't even be a tiny fraction of the company they are today... Computer.com, Music.com, Desktop.com, TV.com, are all names that would "limit" your brand. A name like Apple, Lime, Amazon etc gives your brand "limitLESS" potential for growth... Btw, Apple now dominates the keywords Computer, Music, Desktop, TV and others..
     
  14. Doron Vermaat

    Doron Vermaat --- DNgeek.com --- Efty Staff PRO Gold Account VIP

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    I'm happy to see Keith posted an opinion piece that seems to be unpopular for once.

    I agree with others that the article could have had some more indepth explanation about why he thinks some brands are better than others but he's free to publish whatever he wants on DNgeek.com

    I do get his take and agree that some brands are questionable, but not horrible. We don't question Amazon or Apple only because we're so used to them but think about it and then tell me where the synergy is between the word and the product/service?
     
  15. Arca

    Arca Active Member VIP

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    Purple's mattress is literally purple. What makes it a horrible name for the company? What better domain could they have chosen? It's an iconic one word .COM with an obvious connection to their product.

    And team collaboration tool Slack.com is on the list of good brand name choices. I wonder what “relevance to the company’s products, service or mission” the word “slack” has to slack.com’s service? Following the article’s guidelines, the meaning of the word seems antithetical to the tools/service the company is providing.

    Slack:
    - (of business) characterized by a lack of work or activity; quiet: business was rather slack.
    - slow or sluggish: they were working at a slack pace.
    - having or showing laziness or negligence: slack accounting procedures.
    - a spell of inactivity or laziness.

    The word connotes the opposite of what the company is supposed to help teams and businesses accomplish. It's a bit like naming a productivity app "unproductive" or a mediation app "mayhem", and personally I think it's more of a mismatch for the company than most of the names on the list of "horrible" names. At least “horrible” names like Lemonade.com, Uber.com, Apple.com, Purple.com, Toast.com, Sumo.com, Gusto.com, League.com don’t mean the opposite of what these companies are doing.

    Though personally I think the only bad names on the list are li.me and bird.co. The rest are exceptional one word .COM brand names, and the companies, especially the newer ones, have done a great job of acquiring such amazing one word .COMs. Hypothetically speaking, there might have been more ideal naming choices for some of these companies, but as we all know, the most important thing is not just whether you come up with a hypothetically "perfect" name, it's whether or not you can also acquire the exact match .COM to go with your brand (domain scarcity is perhaps the chief consideration behind current brand naming trends - even the whole "brandable domain" name trend, with words altered/intentionally misspelled is largely a response to the "proper" version of these brandable names already being taken in .COM). The perfect brand name is of little use without the matching .COM to go with it, and considering the serious constraints the supply of one word .COM domains put on company naming, I think the newer companies on the list have done a great job of securing powerful names with the matching .COM to go with it.

    Zero - I stick to vegan registrars.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
  16. Atta

    Atta Active Member VIP

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    Am I reading a satire? 🤔
     
  17. weblord

    weblord Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    another example is this: a freeware chat product though it's the fastest so far for me in regards to chatting, owned by discord, inc.. both company and brands are hot for me and i know it's hot too with game players playing online who only wanted to chat while playing but is not practical to rent a ventrillo chat server for that matter.

    Discord is a proprietary freeware voice-over-Internet Protocol application designed for gaming communities, that specializes in text, video and audio communication between users in a chat channel. (wikipedia)

    they have discord.com

    which is a negative word
    discord. Discord is the strife and tension that arises when two sides disagree on something, like the high-pitched screaming of two kids fighting over the front seat of the car. Discord can be broken down into the prefix dis, meaning "different," and cord, which stems from an old word for "heart."
     
  18. MadAboutDomains

    MadAboutDomains Established Member ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Here's a bit on the Discord website where they answer "How about the name?":

    Q (uppfinnarn): How about that name?

    A (Jason): We picked the name because at the end of the day it just sounds cool and has to do with talking. We had a bunch of names that we bounced around, but picking a name for a product is a complicated process. You want a name that is easy to say, spell, remember, related to the function of the product, available for ™, and has a website you can get. There are a lot of things to consider and we had a number of different candidates. Discord met all the criteria that we had and we fell in love with the name.

    A (Socrates): And Discord in the gaming community is the problem we are trying to solve with this product.
    https://blog.discordapp.com/2015-05-21-ama-transcript-3968de391c53

    Also, they launched in 2015 on discordapp.com and it took until 2017 for them to get the dictionary word .com - discord.com https://twitter.com/discordapp/status/875421449250418688
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  19. Jen005

    Jen005 New Member

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    GoDaddy?
    When I first heard its name.. I thought its sugar-daddy dating site. :P
     
  20. larryscott2559

    larryscott2559 Established Member

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    When I think of a disaster dictionary word or term or acronym domain names I think of VPN.com. "VPN" is searched a million times per month and VPN.com is not even getting 1% of that traffic. Unless they have significant traffic from email marketing I believe most of their traffic is direct type in traffic. Spending a million dollars to get a domain name like that and not getting the return of the investment is a travesty for a "successful" brand.
     
  21. Smiles76

    Smiles76 Established Member

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    If they are a hot company, it's proof there branding is working.
     
  22. gipson

    gipson Next Domain Market VIP

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    Amazon is not a bad name for global ecommerce.
     

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