Episode 036: Finding Brandable Domain Names for Your New Business
Brilliant Branding Live Show Archives
Originally aired weekly August 2017 - August 2018 With host Phil Davis
"Brilliant Branding" shines the spotlight, and provides valuable insights, into the most common, and frustrating company identity issues facing startups, entrepreneurs, consultants, and even established business owners. Topics address timely issues such as effective naming strategies, smart logo design, tips for trademarking, clear brand messaging, engaging social media and reputation management. We take a deep dive to uncover the "pivot point" of an organization, the "why" behind each business to help build a more clear, cohesive and compelling brand image.
Welcome to another week and another episode of the Brilliant Branding podcast! Every week as we brand businesses and divisions, we find ourselves asking one another whether there’s some big topic that we haven’t yet covered. Well, this past week it occurred to us that one big topic we have yet to cover is how to find brandable domain names for your new business. We get a lot of people asking for advice on how to find the perfect domain name all the time, so we figured it would be a perfect topic!
Today we’re going to be talking about how to find that elusive, perfect, brandable domain name. To date, we’ve collected over 4,000 domain names just using the methods that we’re about to describe. Keep in mind that the information listed here is brief and it is by no means a comprehensive guide or formal professional branding advice. This is our recommendation for people bootstrapping it. That being said, let’s dive right in!
Don’t Let The Tail Wag The Dog
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that your domain name needs to be based on your name and not the other way around. Just because you found a great domain name that’s only $10 doesn’t mean that’s the name you should use. Don’t try and reverse engineer it to get it to work. We get clients that come to us after having done this all the time. Their names sometimes sound clunky, awkward, or otherwise unappealing. They look and sound forced.
Try to start with the name first and then find a domain name. If you can’t find an exact matching .com domain name, there are tons of variations you can make. You can add words like go, my, now, online, etc. to the name (For example, goXcompany.com, myXcompany.com, nowXcompany.com, etc.). You can also add various domain name extensions, such as .net, .biz, .io, .it, .cool, etc. Use some of these variations and you can salvage the brand name you really want. Plus, people tend to be more forgiving when it comes to not having the exact matching .com name these days (Unlike the pre-Google 90’s when people typed keywords into AOL or into the URL bar).
Know Your Industry
Make sure you really understand what industry you’re in before you start trying to find a domain name. If you’re webby/ techy, you can get away with a webby/techy name right now (For example, trendy domain name extensions and/or buzzwords added into the domain name). Just realize that if you pick some trendy-sounding domain name that you’re going to risk sounding dated in a few years. However, depending on the industry you’re in, that might not matter. If you’ve got a 3-5 year plan, then you may want to just ride the wave out and then cash out.
On the other hand, if you’re in a more traditional industry like finance, you may want to make sure and pick a domain name that sounds traditional, time-tested, and trusted.
Use Available Resources
These days there are quite a few resources available for those looking for a domain name.
Here are a few of them.
Brandable Domain Name Sites:
These websites take the hassle out of branding by offering domain names that are worthy of a real, established business along with a premade custom logo. This is a great option for people who are open to suggestions and want to knock out multiple steps in the branding process all at once. Navigate these sites and within minutes you can purchase your website and logos to load up onto your marketing materials.
Domain Name Generators:
If you’ve already determined your brand criteria and you have a few keywords in mind, these websites will help you generate domain names. Simply type your keywords into the search bar and these sites will automatically suggest domain names that mix your keywords with trending and relevant words, phrases, and domain name extensions. These domain name generators can be a quick and effective way to try out dozens or even hundreds of domain name variations in a short amount of time. Some of them are even powered by AI! How cool is that?
Domain Name Auction Sites:
These sites are great for finding unavailable names at a discount. Some are set-up to automatically ping domain names that are about to expire or delete and serve them up to you to buy. Others are just straight-forward auction sites.
Domain Name Registration Sites/ Site Builders/ Hosting:
If you have an idea for a specific domain name and want to see if it’s available, then you can use any of the services listed here. If the exact matching name you want isn’t available, these sites will often serve-up similar name suggestions. Some take it a step further and offer a web development platform and/or web hosting, making them a one-stop-shop to take you from zero to a fully-functional website within minutes.
Thanks For Tuning In!
Thanks for tuning in to today’s episode! We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to find brandable domain names for your business. For more detailed information, listen to the audio version of the podcast. This is the last of our podcasts in this series. We really hope you’ve enjoyed these. If you’ve gained anything from these podcasts, we’d love to hear from you! Send us an email or give us a call. As always, if there’s anything we can do to help you brand your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us! We’ve got big plans to create and release more valuable Brilliant Branding information, so make sure to check us out on our website and social media from time to time. Until then, good luck with all of your branding adventures and, as always, stay brilliant!