Your Company Name in Today's Web
Have you ever had the perfect name for your company or product but you couldn't use it because it was already taken? Gene Simmons was in a similar situation when he was originally putting his band together - tons of other groups were performing under the name "Kiss". Luckily, Gene had the foresight to trademark "Kiss" and "KISS" for use in audio recordings, which prevented any other band from releasing music under the same name. So, why doesn't he own kiss.com?
While Gene knew enough to protect the band's name in the early stages of their development, he failed to secure it online. One of the best ways to protect your brand is to own the most obvious domain associated with the company and/or product. Because we are running out of .com domains quickly (GoDaddy even launched an ad campaign to encourage the purchase of a ".co" web address over a .com), one of the best practices for ensuring that you can secure the appropriate .com is to invent a unique name. Coldplay famously used this strategy to their advantage with the release of the Mylo Xyloto album. Lead singer Chris Martin said in an interview that he knew it would be a perfect title for the album when a Google search for those keywords turned up zero results. Such a distinct title guaranteed that upon the first announcement of the new Coldplay album, all searches would lead directly to the new project.
Owning your web domain is not the only thing you should be focused on. You may have thought of a good name for your brand, but check to see if it is available on Facebook and Twitter. As social media maintains its strong grip on our daily lives, it is essential to secure your URL across all of the relevant social networks. Recently, a new client came to us having done tons of research on their brand name, a trademark and a .com domain, but they had failed to focus on what was available on the social networks. Thankfully, we were able to suggest names that were cohesive with their branding and could still be obtained on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Even though the name was different than what they originally came to us with, we were able to provide them the advantage of having one distinctive identity across all their social spaces.
While nothing beats a good trademark attorney, purchasing your domain and securing your own unique URL on social networks is now easier than ever. As you choose a name for your product or company, do your research on what is available; it can ultimately save you a lot of time and headache and can bring more online awareness to your offering.