Hot Companies with Horrible Brands

Not too long ago, dictionary word domains were considered as exact match, category killers for various products and industries.  For this reason you’ll find fiber optic products at and air travel services at  But things have changed. The rules have been disrupted. Now dictionary words have become a premium vehicle for branding in a wide variety of industries. Sometimes this creative application of a single word domain has been a hit. Other times it’s been a disaster.

Let’s take a look at some examples of companies who have succeeded despite what I consider to be questionable, single word, branding choices.

  • Lime – A bike sharing company  at
  • Igloo – Domain advisors at
  • Sumo – Web marketing solutions at
  • Amazon – Global eCommerce platform at
  • Lemonade – Insurance app at
  • Uber – Ride sharing app at
  • Gusto – Payroll services at
  • League – Health benefits management at
  • Bird – Scooter rentals at
  • Apple – Global tech company at
  • Toast – Business operations software at
  • Purple – High tech mattresses at

On the flip side there’s a bunch of one word brands that I really like.

  • Agenda – A scheduling app at
  • Advance – Global media at
  • Great – A Swedish charity to help the impoverished at
  • Slack – Team collaboration tools at
  • Ledger – Crypto asset management at
  • Casper – High tech mattresses at
  • Pax – Vape and cannabis devices at
  • Ring – Home security systems at
  • Timeline – Modern history at
  • Freedom – Mortgage company at

What’s on your list of heroes and zeroes for startup branding?  Let us know in the comments below.

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Newly funded startups and their (domain) names – week 19.

Here we are again with a list of 53 startups that raised almost 2 billion dollars in funding last week. With 86% of domains in the .Com extension it is obvious once again that not many startups want to compromise on their domain name ending which I believe is directly linked to a lot of bad naming decisions. Aside from social layer for cloud storage startup FileChat and online travel agent TravelBird there are not many company names I like on this weeks list. In fact, it baffles me seeing how many companies enter the market with a bad name and/or domain name.

I understand that it is practically impossible these days to find a great .com domain name that is still available to register but with a few thousand dollar and a couple of days (re)searching and shortlisting you can find and secure a great domain name from sites such as Brandbucket and Brandroot or even the more generalist domain name marketplaces such as Sedo, Afternic and auction site Flippa offer plenty of great domain names within any budget range. It seems however that many startups still choose to opt for launching with a difficult (or sometimes even impossible) to pronounce and/or remember name instead. A decision they will surely regret later down the road if you ask me. And many prominent Angel Investors and VC’s agree with me.

Here’s this week’s list (bio-science and pharma are still HOT!):  (more…)

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