For years people have been hacking dictionary words to create company brands. I’m talking about startups like Zenefits, Bitly, Marketo, and Zomato, to name a few. But lately a new hacking style has emerged. I call it “double-letter brandables.” Just like other dictionary word hacks, double-letter brands appeal to those who want the cachet of a dictionary word without the high price tag. Current examples include the startups Fiverr.com, Worthyy.com, Givve.com, Riipe.com and Editorr.com.
Finding a double-letter brand looks ridiculously easy. But you’ll find that locating quality versions are increasingly difficult. I know, because I’ve been looking. I’ve purchased quite a few and through trial and error I’ve developed a list of principles and procedures that have guided my search. I’ll share them with you in case you’d like to dip your toe in the double-letter pool.
* WHAT I LOOK FOR *
Keep it Short – After researching scores of double-letter keyword sales at NameBio I noticed something. All but one of them were 8 letters or less including the extra letter. So I favor short keywords. However, when a strong keyword like Technologyy (11 letters) becomes available at a reasonable price I’m happy to purchase it.
Seeing Double – One popular style is with vowels. My favorite is to double the I or A in the first syllable of a word to create brands like Riipe or Caatchy. Likewise a double I or A in the second syllable, as in Adviise or Replaace, can also work if that is the accented syllable. The double I (and other double letters) seem to be increasingly popular at the BrandBucket marketplace.
Surprise Endings – Sometimes a double consonant at the end of a keyword can work nicely too. I like double T, R and Y the best. Some examples are Investt, Buyerr and Easilyy. However other double consonants, when used on strong keywords like Travell, Cloudd and Groww, can also make good brands.
Keep It Up – I favor keywords that have several tech industry applications and that are uplifting and create positive imagery. This would include brands like Thrustt, Shiield, Biirth and Logiic. Exceptions might include darker words geared towards the entertainment industry. For example Invaderr, Temptt or Enemyy may not be the right fit for the general tech and mobile sector but they could appeal to startups in gaming and film.
How Do I Look? – A brand is not just a sound. It’s a visual too. It will become a logo that appears on webpages, in ads, and on business cards. So Swiift and Swiftt look alright to me. However, hacks like Sswift and Swwift look unbalanced to my eye. For this reason I generally avoid them.
* WHAT I AVOID *
Three’s Not a Charm – Unless I’m buying a novelty name like Zooom, Vrooom or Thriiice I stay away from triple letters. For example I wouldn’t register a name like Swiffft even though it only has one extra letter in it.
Maintain Your Integrity – I think it’s important to keep the integrity of the original sound and pronunciation. For this reason I prefer to double up the long vowels in an accented syllable. Retiire would be one example. I shy away from doubling up short vowels on unaccented syllables such as Rackeet which is a hack of the keyword, Racket. I would also not buy a name like Depott (Depot) as the double ‘T’ changes the perceived pronunciation of the keyword. The same goes for doubling the vowels ‘e’ and ‘o’. They usually change pronunciation. Examples would be Alonee and Doone which are double-letter hacks of the keywords Alone and Done.
Who are U? – The letter U is tricky since it’s pronounced as ‘uh’ in one word and ‘oo’ in another. An example would be the way U is pronounced in Bucket vs. Acute. To me doubling up the U in Acuute makes more sense than doubling the U in Buucket. So I think twice before doubling up the U. It can sometimes be OK but it just depends on the keyword.
Raadio Test – Lastly, I try to avoid hacking words that are spelled differently but sound the same. Why? Because this can confuse potential customers and consumers. Examples include: Sown vs. Sewn and Shoot vs. Chute.
Do you own any double-letter brandables? Do you think it’s a passing fad or a lasting trend? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Double-letter brandables that, as of press time, were available for hand registration.