I read a recent article in The Daily Telegraph’s business section about Rodial beauty products. It’s a remarkable brand, not just because of the turn-back-the-clock anti-wrinkle formulations, but also because the names are truly eye-popping. What copywriter wouldn’t want to pass up the chance of dreaming up Snake Serum, Dragon’s Blood and Bee Venom? Who couldn’t fail to be seduced by the promises of SUPER FIT boob job and SUPER FIT size zero?
Any naming project these days is a tricky one – mainly because just about every url worth its salt has been snapped up. Not any more, though. Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) are coming up for grabs on a regular basis. The registry Donuts Inc has plans for over 1,000 new appendages such as .agency, .boutique, .builders, and .cheap. Apple and Ford have already laid claim to registering their names as gTLDs, as protection from naughty cybersquatters.
But for start-ups who can’t afford to pay $185,000 to ICANN when applying – and $25,000 for each year the domain name is used – what’s to be done?
There is a cheaper way to get a great name and corresponding url: through using a creative copywriter. But how much cheaper, you’re wondering?
Thinking up a name can take minutes, but more likely days. In the early 90s at Wolff Olins, I worked on a brief for a new Hutchinson Telecom brand. Our team spent days, poring over dictionaries and the thesaurus (only Roget’s will do, BTW)….probing books…. ploughing through magazines. The name? Why, Orange. Seems pretty much par for the course now as we’re so used to it, but Oarnge was a head turner when it launched.
A good starting point is to trawl through wordy sites like More Words, Word Hippo, The Phrase Finder and good old Roget’s (in hardback, of course). It’s rare that a client will decide on a name, plus its url, in the first round of suggestions so you need to allow for plenty of to-ing and fro-ing.
Half a day isn’t enough. But two to three days of a copywriter’s time allows for research, mulling, revising and revamping.
The cost may be a little more than you’d anticipated. But the result should be priceless.