What to call your company when all the good names are taken


As if dreaming up an awesome name for your company wasn’t hard enough: 21st century entrepreneurs must also wrestle with the complication of domain name availability.

These days, even splorp.com is taken. And the owner, no doubt, is glad to have it.

Short of acquiring an existing domain name via a reputable agent (a process Name Ninja describes as a cross between detective work and hostage negotiation), businesses in search of an identity are advised to explore such techniques as:

1. Picking an evocative word and adding a supporting word. A cheesemonger, for example, couldn’t get cheesy.com but cheesybrands.com is available.

2. Picking an evocative word and adding a suffix like ‘ify’ or ‘ster’.

3. Going the splorp route: combining two words that relate to your business (or not) and hoping the mutation sticks.

When naming our own company, a Toronto-based brand and communications consultancy, we sidestepped these methods entirely. Our priority: a name that doubled as a value proposition. A point of intrigue that would steer the conversation to our service offering. Not our domain name tribulations.

Here are a few of the company names we considered, developed value propositions around, and – most important – were actually able to acquire:

Hypersocial.ca – kinetic, exciting and a nod to our track record of creating chemistry and conversations between brands and consumers. In the end, we grudgingly conceded this URL would be better suited to a social media company.

Ageofamusement.com – An all-knowing, zeitgiest-y reference to the era in which we live and how consumers like their communications served.

Shoemakerschild.com – A reference to the proverb, the shoemaker’s children have no shoes. This option communicated a tireless dedication to craft and a soul of selflessness. Putting the client’s interests ahead of our own. Picture a simple, humble website – with brilliant case studies.

In the end, we went with Top Button.

Because a brand is like a dress shirt.

When the top button (aka the brand strategy) isn’t done up right, the entire garment (i.e. the marketing and communications) goes askew, and the shirt doesn’t look or fit as it should.

A metaphor for everything we believe about branding, our name packs a built-in pitch: we created a top button for our company. We can do it for yours too.

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