Brandable domains: the good, the bad and the ugly.
There are many places online that tell you that they sell ‘Brandable domains’ or ‘Brandable business names’.
Buying a brandable domain - and using this as a business name - is a great solution for a lean startup, an entrepreneur that’s struggling to come up with a decent name for their business, or a business that doesn’t have the time or budget to get help from a branding or specialist naming agency.
First things first: what is a brandable domain?
A brandable domain is a domain name that has been created and registered, but is not yet used to name and brand a company. So it’s ready and waiting to be used by a business as its brand name.
Brandable domains aren’t brand names yet - but they have the potential to become brand names; they have the qualities a name needs to become a brand name.
A good brand name is a crucial element of a company’s branding. It helps a business stand out from its competitors and gets it noticed. It also helps people remember and recommend it. And it helps the business to be found online.
A quick look at what’s on offer makes it clear that, at best, the brandable domains on sale vary in quality.
Only a small percentage are Good. Some are, frankly, Bad. The majority are just plain Ugly.
Brandable domains: The Good
Business names that are truly brandable tend to be short. It makes them more memorable and ‘sticky’. They’re also easy to read and clearly pronounceable - they obey the rules of word construction (See our blog on orthography, semantics, phonetics, etc!).
They have to have a .com, not a weird and wonderful suffix like .io or .ly - or a new breed word like .pizza or .photography. The ‘dot com’ has been with us for 30 years now …and it’s still king of the domains.
And ideally, a brandable name will provide a clue - either to the business type, its services, its product benefits or to its style, approach or personality. So a cutting-edge tech business name should sound and look exciting and techy, whilst a traditional crafts-based company name might be more traditional and reassuring.
Brandable domains: The Bad
Some types of business name aren’t really brandable at all. A so-called brandable domain that’s a mash up of keywords like supercheapwidgets.com is never going to become a brand name. Neither is a combination of industry generic descriptive words, like accuratebookkeeping.com. These names simply don’t have any qualities that make a brand: they’re neither distinctive nor engaging. They’re blah names and not brandable at all.
Brandable domains: The Ugly
A brandable name isn’t just a collection of letters that haven’t been registered yet. Just because the domains swizzozlot.com and gnbry.com are available to register, doesn’t make them brandable domains. These names are largely awful, not awesome.
Although brandable names don’t have to spell out a meaning or explain anything - and don’t have to be rational - they do have to be credible. Awkward, silly or just plain bizarre isn’t very often a good idea.
Good domains make for great brands
Novanym was set up by experienced branding people. We work hard to develop and and sell truly brandable domains. There are no fillers. No keyword domains. No unimaginative, descriptive business names. And no awkward, clunky or embarrassing names. Just good quality names that have the potential to become great brand names. Take a look at our brandable names here.