Business Domain Names
Since every website needs a name, Dr. Steve Baba has written a
free ebook that will help you obtain a brandable, memorable domain
name at a reasonable cost, which will contribute to your brand equity
and profits. The ebook, downloadable from Seemly.com, explains how
to select and buy an elite domain name. You will be able to obtain
a better name than your competitors have.
There are at least 10,000 words in a dictionary that would make
great domain names plus at least 10,000 proper names and 10,000
great short coined-words. With a supply of 30,000 great names and
millions of good names, obtaining a good name is easy.
There is no need to pay more than a few thousand dollars for a
great one-word domain name, and many good domain names are available
for free. This book provides you with the information needed to
beat domain name speculators at their games.
Both naming methodology to identify great domain names and negotiating/purchasing
methods to obtain great domain names at low prices are covered.
After a couple of introductory sections, the book starts with domain
naming goals or the criteria for choosing a great domain name: image,
memorability, trademark-legal, and price. Then quality domain naming
strategies are discussed. Inferior domain naming styles, which you
want to avoid, are then discussed.
The second half of this book explains how to buy a great domain
name. Auctions, expired domains, speculators, and other sources
are discussed. Finally, many other topics are expanded on.
Steve Baba has a Ph.D. in Economics and ebusiness experience. The
ebook on domain names is available at www.seemly.com, for free.
No registration is required. The ebook is a PDF file of approximately
250K. The free ebook is advertising supported. The following paragraphs
are book excerpts. Generic names, arbitrary dictionary words, coined
or made-up words, modified generic names (generic plus) and unrelated
two-word names are quality domain naming strategies. But, each quality
strategy has strengths and weaknesses.
There is no such thing as a perfect name. Generic names are highly
controversial and expensive. Examples of generic names are Hotels.com,
Shoes.com and Furniture.com. The generic name strategy was always
controversial and peaked during the dotcom bubble. The generic naming
strategy is virtually never used offline, but a very few small stores
do business under generic names such as the "Mattress Store"
in Annapolis, Maryland. Offline, anyone can use the same generic
name and open a store name "Mattress Store." Online, ownership
of the domain name MattressStore.com can only prevent competitors
from using the same exact domain name. Since, generic names cannot
be trademarked, competitors can use Hotels.NET, Rooms.com, Hotelrooms.com,
Motels.com, Hotel.com (singular), Inns.com Hotels.us, and so on.
Often, there are a half dozen simple generic names for each industry
not to mention generic names with a prefix (e, i) or suffix such
as eHotels.com. Since competitors can use similar generic names,
developing a distinct, memorable brand is difficult.
Memorability or the need to spend less on advertising is often an
argument for high domain name prices - but this argument is only
half true. At the same time, with only a few first-rate generic
names in each industry, the generic domain names may be unavailable
or overpriced, and are rarely bargain-priced. A generic name also
hampers brand extension beyond the generic category - Hotels.com
selling plane tickets? Another quality strategy is unrelated, arbitrary
dictionary words. Examples of unrelated dictionary word names include
Amazon.com Yahoo.com, Google.com, Target and Staples. Both the words
yahoo and google are in the Oxford dictionary, but were rarely used
prior to becoming famous brands.
Compared to generic names, it was not immediately obvious what
business Amazon, Yahoo or Google was in. On the other hand, Yahoo
can legally prevent competitors from using similar names such as
FreeHoo via trademark laws. SearchEngine.com would be the generic
name for Google. "Fast" and "All The Web" are
used as trademarks by another search engine. But "fast"
and "all the web" are not unrelated or arbitrary. Other
search engines can also claim to be fast,
speedy, quick, the entire web, or something similar. The key to
having the most trademark protection is to choose an unrelated,
arbitrary word. Descriptive words, such as fast, are unlikely to
earn much trademark protection. Instead of fast, it may be possible
to use a suggestive name such as jet, rocket, or race. With 10,000
good, short, easy-to-spell dictionary words, it is always possible
to find one for a few thousand dollars. Shorter four or five character
dictionary words are more expensive.
Three character dictionary words are extremely expensive. Coined
or fanciful words are words such as Exxon or Kodak that had no prior
use. In theory, coined words are the best from a trademark-legal
point of view, since no one has used the word before. Ideally, a
coined word is totally new and unrelated to any other word. But,
memorability requires a short name, which
has led to a number of similar coined names such as Duron, Enron,
and Micron, which diminishes the legal advantage, since confusion
is possible. LexIs sued LexUs. While the legal
protection is not perfect, the legal protection is considered the
strongest of any category. But from a marketing point of view since
no one has used the word, coined words may be as
difficult to remember as nonsense syllables. With a supply of thousands
if not tens of thousands of short, coined words, it is always possible
to find one for a few thousand dollars or less - often free.
Because of the lack of trademark protection for generic names,
the lack of distinctiveness, and the cost of many generic domain
names, many businesses have used a "generic plus" or "modified
generic" naming strategy. A prefix, suffix or second word can
be added to the generic name. Examples of this are Carmax, CarMart,
eCars, CarDepot, CarOne and CarLand. This works if the generic word,
such as car, is short. Longer generic names, such as CarpetCleaningMax.com,
can be too long. But many of the longer generic words have common
abbreviations. For example, computer is often abbreviated "comp"
as in CompUSA. Software is often shortened to "soft" or
"ware" in names. Tech is a common abbreviation for technology,
overused in names.
These names range from virtually generic, eCars.cars, to nearly
coined, QuanCars.com, with descriptive, suggestive and arbitrary
second-words in-between. Since the generic word lacks any trademark
protection, the trademark strength depends on the trademark strength
of the "plus" part of the name. The generic plus strategy
is often an attempt to have the benefits from both a generic and
a distinctive name, but may have the problems of both if one is
not careful. At worst, it could infringe on someone's trademark
based on the second word such as CarsRus or CarBay. The generic
part of the word is usually trademark safe. Another strategy is
to use two unrelated words in a name. Examples of two unrelated
words are RedEnvelope.com and BlueTooth.com.
The two unrelated words strategy differs from the generic-plus
strategy in that neither word is related to the generic product.
Technically red is related to envelope by being an adjective, but
neither word is closely related to the product or service being
sold. The main advantage to this method, two unrelated words, is
that it's cheap and often free. With 30,000 single words, there
are 900 million combinations of two single words (30,000 x 30,000).
The main disadvantage is that two unrelated words are twice as difficult
to remember as one. Two words that are commonly related to each
other such as "happy birthday" or "hot wire"
are easier to remember, but rare and may be as expensive as single
words. From a trademark viewpoint, it could be twice as risky.
It could infringe on someone's trademark based on either the first
or second word. If you are
RedDog.com selling computers, either Red Computers or Dog Computers
could consider trademark action against you. The entire book can
be read at www.seemly.com.
About the Author
Steve Baba has a Ph.D.
in Economics and ebusiness experience. The ebook on domain names
is available at http://www.seemly.com , for free.