Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Biggest Mistakes When Choosing a Domain Name/Company Name

As long as I'm on my soap box writing about annoying Naymz (next post), here are some mistakes to avoid when choosing a name for your company and a domain name to go along with it:
  1. Don't name your company something just because the domain name is available on GoDaddy for $9.95
  2. Don't give up on a great company name if the domain is taken or out of your price range... unless you are a 100% online business (e.g. Amazon, Fandango, Priceline, OpenTable) simply use a modifier (,, www.______inc.) - trust us, your customers won't care and they will still be able to find you
  3. Don't get a domain name that is spelled differently than it sounds Naymz, Takkle)
  4. Don't get cute and try to be like Flickr - unless you have a million dollar ad budget, you can't afford to leave out vowels
  5. Don't put dots in your name like - it's dated, annoying and impossible to remember where the dots go
  6. Don't come up with your name over a bottle of wine

Friday, May 16, 2008

Naymz That Make Us Insane

I was interviewed this week by Inc. Technology on what the biggest mistakes are in choosing a domain name. I wish I had remembered this doozie - Naymz, which is the epitome of everything WRONG with a name... It's seriously spelling-challenged (we'll give it an A+) and beyond annoying. The cutesy spelling is downright offensive to anyone who knows how to spell. The irony is that Naymz is a professional "Reputation Network" site (think LinkedIn wannabe) with a homepage that screams "Put your good name to work." Okay, Naymz how about you put your BAD name out of its misery.

Here are some other recent Head Scratcher submissions to our Name Shame Hall of Fame...

Technorganic (a seriously twisted website with a forced name that tries too hard and doesn't work... the "o" in Techno is silent when you merge it with Organic, so it sounds like Tech Norganic. Next time hire a naming firm... we know a really good one.)


Sambazon (they export Acai from Brazil )

Norvax (Insurance Agents - sounds like a vaccine)

Hauppauge Digital



Far 4 (ceramics store)

Keep those bad naymz coming!

The not so "100% unfooled around with" Simply Orange tagline

One of the things you should be cognizant of when naming your company or devising your company slogan is not to paint yourself into a corner. This lesson has been learned by Simply Orange®. When the company was started in 2001, they were just that, Simply Orange® (Juice) with the slogan “100% unfooled around with.” Simply_orange_2

This was reinforced by copy on their website saying “…our recipe is simplicity itself: Do not sweeten. Do not concentrate. Do not disturb. Just let oranges be oranges. And let their taste speak for itself.”

Clear enough, right? Well, in April 2003 they changed their slogan to “Simply unfooled around with." It could be that this change was a nod to a little fooling around they do as evidenced by some added verbiage on their website “ All Simply Orange® varieties are gently pasteurized and loaded with a full day's supply of Vitamin C ." (the gently pasteurized part was not on their website before). We're all for heating liquids for the purpose of destroying bacteria, protozoa, molds and yeasts, but it is definitely not 100% unfooled around with.

Then in February 2006 the slogan disappeared altogether on their homepage. This may have been changed to account for new not orange products Simply Lemonade and Simply Limeade™ which were introduced in March 2006. These new products have to be fooled around with or you would not be able to drink them (go ahead, bite into a lemon). Remember, these are the Simply Orange® people who are now selling other simple fruits.

In January 2008 they changed the slogan again to “Honestly simple.” and added Simply Grapefruit, and Simply Apple to their lineup. The also have trademarked Simply Cider, Simply Apple Cider and Simply Refreshing Tea, meaning they are perhaps simply going to add to their now not so simple menu.

Now there is news that Simply Orange® is augmenting their previously unfooled around with pasteurized orange juice with two new products: Simply Orange with Mango and Simply Orange with Pineapple, to be introduced in August 2008. This from the company that told us back in 2001 that they were going to "let oranges be oranges."

We guess they are going to have to change that to "let oranges be oranges except when we put in Mango or Pineapple, then it’s fooled around with, otherwise, you know it’s not fooled around with except for the pasteurizing thing we talked about before."

In summary, here is the progression of slogans:

  • 100% unfooled around with.
  • Simply unfooled around with.
  • Honestly Simple.

Here are some free suggestions for future slogan changes:

  • Simple? Not so much.
  • It’s really not that Simple anymore.
  • Honestly, it used to be simple.
  • We should have looked up what Simply meant before we used it.
  • We’re not 100% behind the whole Simple thing
  • Life used to be simple when we just unfooled around with oranges.
  • Too late we found out that nothing rhymes with Orange
  • Hey! Look over there!
  • Orange of the Species.
  • Simply fruit and, um, refreshing ice tea which is not a fruit but sometimes people will put in a slice of lemon, so you know, there is some connection to fruit.

The moral of the story is to pick a name/slogan that allows your company to breath and that breathes life into your company. All it takes is one call. Now , that’s simple.