Some say that all the good ones are taken.
Finding the perfect domain name to represent your business online can feel like searching for the perfect mate. You fall in love with a name or concept, only to find its been “cheating” on you with a different company – already committed to serving someone else’s brand.
Just as there a lot of “fish in the sea,” domain names and variations abound! Don’t lose heart. You simply have to be creative and open to some alternatives.
Maybe you’re tempted to change your business name so you can get a domain name that matches. Hold on a minute! Let’s look at some phrasing options before you turn your existing branding on its ear.
Let’s say your business name is Ray’s Pizza. And there are lots of other businesses that go by a similar name. Online, you find that “RaysPizza.com” is taken. Here are some ideas for alternatives that work, that still support your online brand.
1. Add a Hyphen. Adding a hyphen between each word in your domain phrase can open it up to more online possibilities. ”Rays-Pizza.com” It also can make it easier for people to read your business name through its dot-com phrase.
2. Add Words that Make Sense.Adding a simple word or two to a base phrase already taken can also open up availability. It also can help you stand out so you don’t get mixed in with the others similar to you. For instance, a pizza shop might use its location, “RaysPizzaOnFifth,” or a description, “OriginalRaysPizza” or “RaysPizzaOnline” to stand out.
3. Use a Command.Part of marketing is getting your base to do what you want them to do. Why not incorporate that in your domain name! Invite them to use you! “GoToRaysPizza,” “ChooseRaysPizza,” “HungryForRaysPizza” are a few variations. I’m sure you can come up with a few for your own industry.
4. Drop the Business Name. Sometimes a clear, simple phrase with a keyword can be even better than using your real business name – especially if the name of your business is tough to spell or to remember. “Ray’s” is easy enough, but what about “DiGiacomo’s Pizza”? Instead of frustrating people trying to find you online who can’t quite get your name right, try restating it all together. “EatMorePizza,” “HotFreshPizza,” “PizzaMadeFresh” could all work really well.
5. Add Your Location or Territory.Some businesses only serve a certain corner of the world. If you want to focus on being the one to call for people in your region or town, you can also add that to your domain name to help you stand out. “PizzaForSoho,” or “RaysPizzaCleveland” – your site visitors will know they’re at the right site. The same goes for other industries… “OfficeCleaningDallas” … “NursingCareInBoise”… “ChicagoBusinessMarketing” … you get the picture.
Those are just five tips to get you started. If you have more to add, just leave a comment to share!
Your domain name search doesn’t have to end in heartbreak. Taking a slightly different approach can even help you stand out in the minds of your audience. Just be sure to be clear, be true, and make it easy for folks to find you without having to spend much time figuring it out. All it takes is the right words.
Some small businesses claim it’s getting harder to find a short, interesting short word that really sums up a new product they’re launching. One that grabs attention and has an appropriate meaning. One that “fits.” I disagree, so let’s have a look.
Google recently launched the beta of Chrome, a new type of Web browser. Folks who use it seem to love it. But I’m more interested in its name.
A recent piece in ”Name Wire” discussed this topic. The author seemed to doubt its value, saying its too much of an “insider” name (the word “chrome” means something to them when it comes to industry jargon). You can see for yourself at http://www.namedevelopment.com/blog/archives/2008/09/google_chrome_o.html
Let me clarify… I’m no chip-head. I’m not a computer geek or expert when it comes to code or programming or such. I can navigate my way around a Help page pretty well, but that doesn’t count here. So I feel pretty comfortable in looking at Google’s naming as Mrs. John Q. Public would. And I really like it.
For most PC users, Google’s Chrome is an add-on feature to help “make the Internet run faster.” When I think of the word “chrome,” I think of Pimp My Ride. I think of Father’s Day antique car shows where one is blinded by the workmanship of chome enthusiasts. I think of chrome as a shiny automotive aftermarket add-on for hot cars to make them look even more spectacular. Just as racing stripes make a car look faster, chrome makes it look more expensive. And way cool.
So to me, Chrome on my computer will bring the perception of “cool,” speed and quality in an add-on customized, pimp-my-ride kinda way… then the name more than works.
Let’s hope the browser works half as well!
Earlier this year, I was given a wonderful opportunity to create a slogan and branding identity for a capital campaign for an educational non-profit. The challenge was that we couldn’t use the word “campaign” or “appeal.”
Now, for those of you who have been around the block before when it comes to development and institutional advancement (aka “fundraising by asking”), you know that almost every campaign calls it like it is… a campaign!
But not this time.
The leadership didn’t want to use those words because they didn’t want this particular effort to be confused with annual fundraising appeals that go on every year. This was different. It was a chance to make a real difference with the proper approach.
You see, thanks to several million-dollar-plus gifts, the non-profit was in a position to keep the ball rolling and to seek out other large donations from its constituents – those who may be inspired by the generosity of the few.
The word we used is “Momentum.”
Sure, it’s all about “keeping the drive alive,” to quote the cliche. It’s finding the right expression to open people to the idea of giving, instead of boring them with a “been there, done that” message.
Words to encourage action – what good fundraising writing is all about.
New taglines and slogans often reflect a shift in a company’s marketing. Sometimes it can be a change in the company’s service focus entirely. Sure, the words can say whatever you want them to say. You can make claims out the wazoo, but you need to go back in and connect the dots internally for your external promotions to work best for you.
Here’s an example. Glass and window business uses the catchy line “We fix your panes.” But their service is inconsistent, and their technicians are gruff – to they’re actually a real pain to deal with. Disconnect. Bad for business.
Catering business uses the slogan “Because Good Just Isn’t Good Enough.” But their fare tastes like cream of mushroom soup is the base for every sauce, and their foil-pan presentation is far from ideal. In fact, “good” would be an upgrade for them! Disconnect. Bad for business.
When you’re ready to update to a fresh slogan for your business, be sure it reflects the true nature of what you do. And be sure its message is exemplified throughout every aspect of your operations – including every employee and every customer interaction.
Sometimes words simply aren’t enough. And today’s clients are cynical and savvy enough to know when you’re less than authentic. Be sure your marketing message resonates throughout your business actions. Anything else is an opportunity lost.