The Challenge Of Picking A Brand Name For Your Startup

If you read TechCrunch on a daily basis you start to see a lot of trends in the brand names that startups are picking. Brand names are directly related to domain names and if you look today, the startups making news now are short and brandable, and two-word domains are definitely still very much in style. While you will find other TLDs like .CO, .ME, and sometimes .TV in the mix, .COM is definitely the king and .NET and .ORG are rarely seen.

So what happened to .NET and .ORG? Well extensions like .CO, .ME, .TV, .IO and several others gave people what they consider to be better options. Everyone agreed that .COM would be their absolute first choice, but in going for a second choice .NET isn’t favored over some of the newer and more brandable extensions.

Often it is startups that want to brand around a one-word domain that opt for an alternative extension to .COM. A good one word .COM could easy cost over $350,000 and when you’re just starting a company, this isn’t feasible. So starting with a .CO or a .ME for $5,000 – $10,000 may be the best way to get started, and then you can buy the .COM once the company becomes profitable.

I work a lot with startups and this is the behavior I’m seeing and a reason why I think .CO was so smart to focus on the startup space. I have been surprised how quickly .IO has caught on but I think this has to do with the fact that IO is nice and geeky, and startup people like myself are also pretty geeky 🙂

It is a tough debate but one that many startups have to make. Go with a brandable two-word .COM like or Or build a brand around or while you build a profitable business and the funds to buy a one word .COM. There’s no right answer but here are the startup domains that are making news on TechCrunch today: (Brands itself as “Thumb”)

What do you think? Would you pick a two-word brandable .COM or a one-word dictionary .ME, .CO, etc.? Or would you just make-up a word like Jongla or Ayasdi and stick with a brandable one word .COM?

Comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton