A Systematic Brand-
and Domain-Naming Approach
August 21, 2010
Is “sky blue” or “millennium blue” more valuable
as a brand and domain name? To determine such values, you need a
systematic methodology to ensure confidence in your best choices.
An experiment conducted
by professors Miller and Kahn asked participants to distinguish
between four categories of color and flavor names:
common (e.g., blue)
common (e.g., sky blue)
description (e.g., Gatorade blue)
(e.g., millennium blue)
The researchers found that the products with
unspecific and ambiguous names, names that were unexpected, distinctive,
and a bit mysterious, were regarded as more desirable than products
with generic or straightforwardly descriptive names.
Two more advantages to branding with an offbeat
name: The name will be easier to spot among search engine results,
and the corresponding domain name is more likely to be unregistered.
What about names that are simply difficult to
say—are they desirable? A study
by professors Alter and Oppenheimer tried to answer the question.
The researchers generated fictitious stocks that were either very
easy or very difficult to pronounce, then presented these to participants
as real companies and asked them to estimate future performance.
The easy-to-say names were picked to earn more than the hard names
and to rise in stock price. The participants also predicted the
prices of the latter group would go down.
A systematic approach to selecting brand names
would be to combine results from experiments and studies in order
to select the most valuable among identified options using a comparables-based
statistical valuation models.