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?

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Zero Dollar Budget for Startup Marketing: Myth or Real?

Zero dollar budget for startup marketing:

Real.

  1. Build a great product that creates buzz because of its huge benefits for customers and its great (product/UI/UX/web) design. Build social into your product so that it can provide its own virality.
  2. Brand wisely, with an emphasis on simplicity and focus, do the same in the creation of your communication units (PR messages, blog articles, inhouse product videos etc.).
  3. Get the word out by applying a pull strategy, concentrate on word-of-mouth, PR and inherent product marketing.

There are many more channels and ways to advertise without even touching your budget; I have chosen to keep it simple for this list.

Zero dollar cost for startup marketing:

Myth.

Correlation:
The less budget you want to spend on marketing, the more it will cost you in terms of hard labor. A beneficial way therefore is to try an 'almost zero dollar cost' strategy, if your funds are very low. But realize this one fact: promotional pressure can be applied in the most easy way by strongly advertising for a lot of money, and sometimes (e.g. if you do not have a significant advantage over all of your competitors) it can be a necessity.

See the answer on Quora:

Zero Dollar Budget for Startup Marketing: Myth or Real?

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?

What are some startups that had great products but failed because they didn’t market them (well)?

Scroll down for my list

Intro
This article http://www.chubbybrain.com/blog/…
suggests that poor marketing is the 4th most frequent reason why startups crash.

I personally believe that bad assumptions on markets and lousy execution of products are more typical reasons for startups to fail. Also, it is often hard to argue that a product fails just or mainly because it was poorly marketed. After all, it is always an easy way to write about such a situation by blaming it on the marketing, because strategic marketing hardly has a lot of hard data to defend itself.

I did, however, compile a short list of companies and products that I think were in one way or another poorly marketed.

Disclaimer: Please take into account, that startup failure never is a one-reason thing. Therefore, the question wether these startups defaulted mostly because of poor marketing, will remain disputable. Feel free to discuss about it with me in the comments.

I'll start this list now, let it simmer for a while and modify it every now and then.

Tech/Web

Company: Color
Problem: great product, but market pioneer; failed (or 'is still failing') because of lack of users, has revamped into a 'live photo and video streaming' application
Marketing fail: failed to educate and wow people; when penetrating a market niche whose value proposition is something that most potential users are not familiar with, there is a lot of education, viral seeding and just overall demonstration and spreading of the value proposition to be done

Company: CrunchPad
Problem: The buzz created around the product was way too early and way too much. When difficulties between Arrington and Fusion Garage pinnacled, the project self-destructed, leaving a black hole of disappointment because of the huge brand recognition it got before. Yes, they might at some point have had a great product. Only that they produced so much vapor that it was hard to please the masses…
Marketing fail: disability to keep expectations low enough, openly discussing timing before it is safe that the production will make it, simply too much communication before anything substantial was in sight

Company: Joost
Problem: great Software, great founders, great backing ($40 million) – but not enough viral functionality built into the product, therefore it got trumped by what came after it – Hulu and the like.
Marketing fail: marketing not built into the product (social media/viral marketing in this case)

Company: Pets.com
Problem: many of you must have heard this story: what started as an aspiring delivery service for pet supplies, largely pushed by an enormous and insightful marketing campaign (their sock puppet mascot was even interviewed by people magazine), later failed to deliver what the value propositions promised their customers.
Marketing fail: A lot of the ca. 80 Million Dollars went into marketing. Marketing worked great. The only problem was, again, that it was creating false expectations that the company later couldn't deliver on.

Other Industries
Company: Mitsubishi
This is just too funny, I had to add it:
Problem: Calls its SUV 'Pajero' differently in Spanish speaking countries ('Montero'), because pajero basically means 'wanker' in Spanish. Noticed that way too late.
Marketing fail: bad naming, bad branding/internationalization research

See the answer on Quora:

What are some startups that had great products but failed because they didn't market them (well)?

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?