Should you have your brand name as something like zappos or mint or is it better to go with seo such as cars.com?

Go for a distinctive name.

  1. The days of the SEO keyword brands will soon be over. As stated multiple times here on Quora, shoes.com soon won't get you any further than zappos.com.
  2. SEO algorythms change more frequently and intensely than brands should. Therefore, do not fully rely your brand on it.
  3. Your brand obviously consists MUCH more than your brand name. Again, do make your brand name a self purpose, it is just the name, not the full brand (and that comes from a guy who is also advising naming).
  4. If you want to make your brand name sticky in people's heads, it is important to remember to provide two things: conformity and disruption. If your name is too disruptive, and people have a hard time connecting it to your business sector or company, you are going to have a hard time. If your brand name is too conform (e.g. a generic term), and people therefore have a hard time connecting it to your brand values or your business, then you will have a hard time, too.

See the answer on Quora:

Should you have your brand name as something like zappos or mint or is it better to go with seo such as cars.com?

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Is it better to have a domain that is short & brand-able (e.g. Flickr, Quora) or one that is longer but easy to spell?

Yes, it is important to K-I-S-S, but you don't have to overdo it. One sillable, two, three – this actually doesn't spell problem in reality, just in textbooks.

Short does not by itself mean 'suited for branding'; many people do not internalize that fact.

Also, keep in mind that you will never 'own' the misspellings of your brand. Imagine one of them being a negatively connotated word in arabic for example. If you expand globally, and you did not find that out during your research, you're in trouble. Or imagine someone registering a misspelling of your brand as their brand (some brands are misspelled on purpose; you mentioned Flickr) and ruining its image. You might share that faith then.

All in all, you can also own a brand that is short and not misspelled – there are still ways to figure a matching one out and get your hands on the domain. If you haven't tried Domainhole, yet, you might want to. Your chosen domain is not available anymore? Do check the price. Sometimes they come cheaper than you might think. If that is off the table because you already researched for it, and you therefore might have to go for a misspelled brand name, then make sure

  1. that the misspelling sounds like the correct, generic term that it is based upon,
  2. that the corresponding web equity is available (be it for purchase) in all of the channels that you need (if you haven't figured that out, do it first),
  3. that either Google helps you by finding your brand even though it is misspelled or make sure to buy the corresponding Adwords and fine-tune your SEO so it works accordingly. I'd suggest to do the latter anyway.

Don't forget that, depending on your product, your brand can be marketed in several ways that differ from the beaten path. For example, shifting your marketing budget towards app store marketing (ASO) could make the role of your exact domain spelling less important.

See the answer on Quora:

Is it better to have a domain that is short & brand-able (e.g. Flickr, Quora) or one that is longer but easy to spell?

When should one use his own name in a business name?

Question details:
"In Architectural practices, one often uses "Last Name + Architects" as business name. This can be a bit old fashion but it is also timeless, while names such as morpholab can quickly age. I am thinking of using something timeless like DISCOVERY Architects. What do you recommend?"

One should do so if it helps one to succeed in one's particular industry to have their actual name in their brand name. For instance in Architecture.

I would argue that the suggestion in your other question on this topic,
 Brands and Branding: Is it better to have a distinctive business name or one that is easy to spell?,
Mamou-Mani Architects is a brand name much more worth using than Discovery Architects or morpholab for a couple of reasons. I already stated the pros for using it in your question that I mention above (some of the most important being that its sonority makes it sticky, emotional, distinguishing and storytelling), so I will just list some cons against the other two brand names:

Discovery Architects

  • Discovery is over-used and – to most people – meaningless. It is a word which is always easily connectable to any brand, and therefore absolutely unspecific and not distinguishing your brand from any other.
  • The ubiquity of the two terms included in the brand name Discovery Architects makes them harder to protect and to market. The more generic a term, the higher its SEO costs (one factor among many).
  • You are a famed architect. The name Discovery Architects does not connect your enterprise to your person, neither tell a story about you or your work.
  • Once again connection: People have a lot in mind when they think Discovery: TV, Space, but hardly architecture. There are certain branding conventions you should respect in your area of business, and this name does not.

Morpholab

  • It hasn't got anything to do with architecture, at all.
  • Morph as a term is not perceived in connection with something that relates more to structure, stability, like architecture.
  • Lab does not sound like your company actuallybuilds things, rather like it researches things, like a laboratory usually does. The term is far more experimental than necessary or beneficial for your brand.
  • You already need a similar name like this one for your online shop (to which I would like a bety invite, by the way.), as described in your question Brands and Branding: What do you think of the name MrMorph for a shop selling 3D printed objects?

So far, it looks best to with Mamou-Mani architects. It's a pretty good brand name.

Disclaimer:
Please keep in mind that I answer Quora questions on branding without doing extensive brand research, which may at times influence the results.

See the answer on Quora:

When should one use his own name in a business name?

Is it better to have a distinctive business name or one that is easy to spell?

Mamou-Mani speaks to people in a certain way. The sonority – the way the sound of the name appeals to people – delivers the foundation for your brand to deliver its message. You can call it appeal, stickyness or catchyness: it is what the other name does not have.

The principles against which you should test your brand names at this stage:

1. Is it catchy? Does it stick with people?

2. Does it go nicely with most of the branding conventions in your particular niche of business?

3. Does it break with a few of them (helps raise stickyness)?

4. Are there bad connotations or feelings associated with your brand?

5. Are there good connotations or feelings associated with your brand?

6. Is there still some free web equity for your brand in the channels that you will use to reach your audience?

If you score high on most of these questions, you might be on a good route.

Keep in mind that I do not perform intense research for Quora Questions (after all, I am in consulting), so the following might be sketchy and unverified.

So, let's run the test:

1. Is it catchy? Does it stick with people?
It sure is catchy, but I can't tell from here if it will stick with people. That you will have to test.

2. Does it go nicely with most of the branding conventions in your particular niche of business?
Name plus 'Architects'? Check.

3. Does it break with a few of them (helps raise stickyness)?
Not really from my perspective, but the sonority of your name (as Mike Nardine states correctly, it runs "trippingly on the tongue") gives it a particular flavor.

4. Are there bad connotations or feelings associated with your brand?
Don't see any from here. But you should always do some research on that. I once had a client whose name was also the name of a particularly fierce dictator, and something like that just 'might' hurt your business a bit.

5. Are there good connotations or feelings associated with your brand?
I see none so far.

6. Is there still some free web equity for your brand in the channels that you will use to reach your audience?
Important. Research that if you haven't already.

So far it looks like your brand is on a good route.

And btw: I find Manou-Mani distinctive as well as easy to spell. A little tip at the end: make sure you buy web equity for misspellings, too and redirect them. Simple as that.

See the answer on Quora:

Is it better to have a distinctive business name or one that is easy to spell?

How much of an effect will my domain name have on marketing strategies and generating business solely via e-commerce? All the top ranked extensions are taken.

Question details:

"clothing line called "monkey see, monkey do" and there are only 3 extensions left – not very good ones.  does the extension make that big of a difference or should i not focus on it?  or should i consider changing my brand's name which i actually love and have had for a few years now?"

I see a way for you to keep your brand name and get a decent top level domain. You can do this by playing with the second level domain name without forsaking you brand name. Pocket, the service formerly known as ReadItLater, is a good example (getpocket.com) Consider

  1. Abbreviations like msmd, msmdclothing
  2. Verbal extensions like buymonkeyseemonkeydo
  3. Noun extensions like shopmonkeyseemonkeydo
  4. Playful extensions like monkeyseemonkeydomonkeyshop (long URL names can have great appeal in some industries, the clothing industry is a perfect fit)

And try to go with a .com top level domain.

Please note that I did not perform any WHOIS availability searches.

Feel free to ask if you need more suggestions or have any questions.

See the answer on Quora:

How much of an affect will my domain name be on marketing strategies and generating business solely via an e-commerce? all the top ranked extensions are taken?

Why did Google name their new product Hotpot instead of Hotspot?

The great thing about the name Hotpot is actually that people – of whom most have no idea what Hotpot really stands for, I'd suggest – will stumble upon the fact that it is not called Hotspot but Hotpot, like you. It's a great 'brain-catcher' that makes you think twice and helps the brand lock itself into your brain. See my post on Hipmunk's name to learn more about de-habitualization and the breaking of norms:

See the answer on Quora:

Why did Google name their new product Hotpot instead of Hotspot?

Is a cutesy name like Hipmunk bad for an app that serves online businesses?

The brand name Hipmunk – among many other characteristics it has like internationality, memorability and searchability – does something very simple that has been a mantra of web companies ever since their market got called 2.0: it breaks a norm.

Breaking naming conventions or norms is actually not a simple task, if you want to do it in a constructive way. Of course you have to be aware of all the conventions in the brand space that you will likely operate in, and then break some. But gently. Because you don't want to try to break your potential customer's habitualization up too much. Read on to find out what habitualization is and why I suggest not to break it up too much.

Habitualization occurs when regular, frequent, routine interaction with something tends to render the way we respond to this thing a matter of habit, something we largely aren’t aware of anymore because we have come to accept that we simply don’t have to pay it any substantial attention. In other words: To reduce complexity, our brain stops thinking about it. This happens with people, places and even with brands and purchase transactions (one of the reasons why phishing is so successful).

Try to remember the last time you bought a pack of toilet paper. Did you make an educated choice, or could it be that you just grabbed the pack you always grab? That's called habitualization.

The same goes with brands. The problem? If you're new to the game, people who are frequently booking flights with Site X probably won't give much of a thought about you and go ahead and book with the site they have always booked with.

De-habitualization helps your company by stopping people for a second and making them think again. In that brief moment of open-mindedness and mental activity, the consumers have time for your brand of toilet paper – or flight booking service. Hipmunk's name does exactly that: in a sea of conventional names, it makes you stop and think "What the heck – that's a silly name!"

The only problem I see with Hipmunk's name is that it crosses the fine line of de-habitualizing a bit too much. Sure, the name appeals to you-n-me-customers, but if they want to ever penetrate the largest market of flight bookings, they will face a problem because of their naming:

Frequently flying buttoned-up businessmen and companies probably won't like their secretaries booking flights at a site called Hipmunk with a cutesy logo.

See the answer on Quora:

Is a cutesy name like Hipmunk bad for an app that serves online businesses?