What’s in a name? Would pumpkin pie, if referred to by any other appellation, smell less like a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves? Of course it wouldn’t.
Similarly, your website will still be the same, regardless of the designation you give it. However, like pumpkin pie, the label you attach does establish a certain set of expectations on the part of the general public. Choose carefully when brainstorming a domain name.
1. The Group Method
Brainstorming must be conducted with a completely open mind. Setting parameters limits your thinking. Get a group of people together who have a good idea of what you’re trying to accomplish and let them throw out whatever names pop into their heads—while you do the same. Don’t discard anything they say; write everything down on a whiteboard so the entire group can see it. This way, ideas will build upon one another.
Once you’ve exhausted the group, go through the list to see what resonates. Keep in mind; well over three hundred million domain names are already registered. Stopping at just one is folly as it’s likely to be taken. Try to come up with a list of at least five acceptable ideas.
2. The Conversational Method
Again, approaching the topic with an open mind, you’ll sit down with a friend or colleague who has an understanding of the nature of the site. With this strategy, you’ll just toss out ideas to one another until something strikes you both as being viable. Again, you’ll need to generate more than one, so try to come up with at least five upon which the two of you are in full agreement.
The strength of this approach lies in the ability for the two of your to instantly recognize a good name when it’s hit upon. This can work better than the first method for people who prefer to work in a less chaotic fashion. You can also work this approach with a name generator more readily. The danger here is you could overlook something fun.
A rowdy crowd tends to be a bit more creative.
Stay away from existing brand names. Their owners will get around to serving you a cease and desist order at some point. Avoid stuffing keywords in the name too. Exact domain matches tend to be frowned upon by Google’s search engine.
With that said, if you’re trying to buy a website domain, you’re in Pasadena, your name is Paula and you sell pumpkin pie—”PaulasPasadenaPumpkinPies” does have a nice ring to it. It’s also available as of this writing.
Whatever you think of, make it simple to spell and easy to remember. Don’t be afraid to go quirky either—some the best domain names had no meaning until they were applied to a business. Be careful to avoid secondary meanings though.
Ultimately, brainstorming a domain name is simply a matter of getting rowdy with a bunch of your friends around the idea of coming up with another name for pumpkin pie.
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