Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How to Name a Website

I recently started this website to showcase a random baking recipe generator hosted at SugarDrone. I am satisfied with the site but I struggled to name it. The struggle stems from the fact that a company's image is defined so much by it's perception. The logo and name are the basis of perception.

The million dollar question is how do you design a perfect logo and brand name. For a company or brand name I have noticed the following patterns:

Rule #1. Keep it easy. I like the names flickr and butterfinger. But why do we like them? They are unique and they roll off the tongue. Maybe this paradox is the missing link behind naming conventions. If you have one word it should be simple, but most simple words are too mundane and there exist some techniques to create unique but simple names:

Foreign words - altavista, haegen daz (fake foreign word)
Antiquated/Ancient words -  Nike, epicurious
Misspelled words: Compaq,
esoteric words: Google,
acronyms: UPS, IBM, PPG, GM,
compound words: FedEx, Herbalife, Microsoft, Starbucks(name), Papermate, Babelfish, Epicurious
combination words: Green&Black,Protector&Gamble, Ben&Jerry's

Musicians love:
the combination technique, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, James Gang, Radiohead, Black Flag, Underworld
the misspelled technique, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Fixx
the foreign foreign words technique, Huesker Due, Moetorhead

Easy to Say:
Some syllable clusters and letters flow easily. Take "l" to "o" as in "Brazil Open"

Rule #2. Also, as for a website, the name can't sound cheesey.
My litmus test is telling someone my website is at "". If I cringe when I say
it (e.g. "Email me at"), the domain name is no good.

"PerfectCrumbs" was my first choice for naming my website but it does not flow easily. "sugardrone" on the other hand conjures up the image of someone working incessantly in the presence of sugar, is easy to say, and is unique, perfect.

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