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Choosing a Name and Domain in 2017

The most frustrating and time consuming process that JYZ Design encounters is when a client tasks us with helping them come up with a name for their product or service. It is easy enough to actually come up with a name that a client likes, but then inputting that name into a domain registrar is when the hair pulling starts. Is a client going to pay $30,000 for their perfect name? Not unless they have some serious VC’s backing them. Between domain squatters and every Tom, Dick and Harry starting the next big thing-as the cost of entry is so low-it seems all the names have been used, and every .com domain has been bought.

If you are looking for that single word, properly spelled, iconic name I will go out on a limb and say you are ten years too late. I would even stand on that limb and say the same about obvious misspellings of words. And there’s no point going for un-obvious misspellings, for obvious reasons.

So what is the solution? Assuming you are set on a .com name there are a few ways it can go. The simplest way is if your preferred name is already used but in a different industry and/ or city, you can just try that name with your city behind it. For example, you will be a local industry and the original owner of the domain is not a national or international company. You never want your name associated with an already more famous brand.

Beyond that, we have had some success using foreign words that are either known in English, sound poetic, have intrinsic meaning, or are easily pronounceable. But to assume this will be easy is to assume no French people (or whomever) buy domain names.

Another method we have found to work is the use of acronyms paired with other abbreviations or words. This opens innumerable other avenues to explore and has resulted in happy clients from our business.

One area JYZ Design seeks to avoid is the use of random, funny words (zook, quoke, etc). My belief is that those names arise from a combination of a lack of imagination and the wrong assumption that names such as google or twitter came about from the same application of random words to their product.

The tl;dr of this is that there is usually no quick answer. We have gone through the process where it has taken up to six weeks to find a combination of name and availability that satisfies a client. The point is, while choosing a name seems straightforward, it has become a lengthy research project. Allow the writers and designers the time and scope to flesh out a name, and talented people will find that name which jumps out at you, and by extension, your targeted market.