This post is about why domain or brand names don’t matter.
If you’ve ever started a company, or thought about doing so, you’ve probably spend a good amount of time coming up with the “perfect” domain name. Naming your brand is hard. It’s like naming your child.
I really like coming up with names for things, and I spend quite a bit of time thinking about them whenever I come up with a project or a short film. But I’m also very much aware that domain names don’t matter. That’s why when the people behind Bloop.com came up to me and tried selling it to me for a quarter million dollars, I said no. Well, that was one of the reasons.
In case what I’m talking about here doens’t make sense to you – I’m the founder of an animation blog called BloopAnimation.com
You see, Bloop.com doesn’t have any inherit value on its own. Same goes for Google.com. Google were the ones who put the value into Google.com. Before that it was just a weird word. So getting Bloop.com wouldn’t do anything to my brand. Yes, it’ll be nice to have a 5 letter one syllable domain name (they are rare these days), but it’s not like it’ll improve my business.
I’ll take it even further – Animation.com. Would I benefit from owning this domain? Well, think about yourself. How you act as a reader/consumer. Do you go to Shoes.com to buy shoes? Books.com to buy books? Computers.com to buy computers? I’d say no. In fact, there as very few websites in which the domain name completely describes what the content it, and they are usually very spammy (think best-laptop-reviews.com).
A bigger lessons here, I think, is that brand names in general matter very little. Yahoo, Amazon, Google, Zappos (and also, my own brand – Bloop) – they are all meaningless without the work that went behind making it a valuable business.
Next time you struggle thinking about the perfect brand/domain name, maybe instead try thinking about all the hard work you’ll have to put it to make that name matter to people.