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“The best company names connect with customers on an emotional level with an “edge” expected of an innovative start-up and the “gravitas” of an established, powerhouse firm.”

John William Geranios, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of Brandings & Brandings.com. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, MBA from Georgetown University and Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He has served on the faculty in the Strategic Management & Public Policy Department at The George Washington University School of Business, chaired the Department of Business at Mount St. Mary’s College and has taught at Pepperdine University and California State University, Los Angeles.

It’s no secret. The right name can make or break your start-up. To help you succeed, Brandings has created the largest global marketplace of attention-grabbing cool company names and catchy domain names.

Each company name has been carefully screened, tested and comes with a changeable logo design and the matching dot-com domain name.

Brandings

BusinessInterviews.com: How do you help small businesses create powerful brand identities that enable them to compete with the largest global companies?

John: At Brandings, we’ve turned the company naming model upside down. With “old-school” naming firms a lot of time and money is spent developing glossy reports and slick presentations for clients.

Start-ups today need to move fast, and frankly they don’t have the time or money to spend on fancy dog and pony shows. We made finding a great name easy and inexpensive. Brandings provides an online catalog of ready-to-use names that been screened, tested and come with an initial logo design making it easy for startups to move aggressively forward with their launch.

We recognize that most start-ups will be competing in a hyper-competitive marketplace, often dominated by behemoth players. To thrive in today’s market environment, start-ups need a name with an edge but also have the gravitas and strength of powerhouse firm.

The best company names connect with customers on an emotional level with an “edge” expected of an innovative start-up and the “gravitas” of an established, powerhouse firm.

It’s important to remember that a company name is a central component of a firm’s brand identity. A great company name can do some heavy lifting for start-ups by leverage their marketing budgets.

BusinessInterviews.com: What advice would you give to a company searching for a name? What are some key components that they should keep in mind during their search?

John: There are a few essential rules when searching for a great start-up name. The best names are transcendent. They evoke a positive powerful feeling or emotion that captures the soul of a company and connects with customers on an emotional level. The name should be short in length, easy-to-spell and easy-to pronounce.

We advise that start-ups search for a name that stands out and differentiates their firm from others in their market. The last thing you want is what we call a “me too” name. That’s a name that looks and feels like every other name in a niche or industry.
Importantly, start-ups today simply must own the dot-com domain extension that exactly matches the company name. For example, you would expect to find Brandings at Brandings.com. It’s just assumed that you’ll find a company online by adding dot-com to their company name.

We’ve found that ownership of a dot-com domain has become a de facto name registration. Companies that can’t secure the dot-com move on to another name.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you elaborate on how your Starter Website service helps encourage a seamless transition to a new name or brand?

John: The team at Brandings has been involved with thousands of start-ups. We know what it takes to launch a new venture successfully. We’ve tried to make the process easy by putting the key tools together for our clients. We call it our “brand-in-a-box.” Clients get a great name, matching dot-com domain name, customizable brand logo, and starter website. We help our clients go from concept to reality in a matter of hours, not weeks or months.

BusinessInterviews.com: What’s the biggest risk that you’ve ever taken and how did it turn out?

John: We made a bold move away from search and online advertising as our primary lead and sales source and it has paid off. We’ve developed a network of partners around the world. We’ve changed our thinking and restructured our operations to be much more collaborative. This new approach has taken more time and effort but has increased our reach and effectiveness. It’s also mitigated the impact of search engine volatility.

BusinessInterviews.com: What are some branding trends that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?

John: We’ve see a huge increase in sales of invented names and away from descriptive names. Names like Synstart, Maxry, Intellacor, and Codeum are all highly brandable names. They evoke a good feeling and are a great foundation to build a major business around. In contract, a descriptive name or a dictionary word name is an uninspired choice and often fails to generate excitement about the company or brand.

Another big change in the domain side of the business is the introduction of “dot-whatever” domain extensions. The market will soon be flooded with domains that end in .geo, .movie, .car, .guru, .estate, .gallery, .today and thousands more. There’s going to be a good deal of customer confusion making the dot-com domain extension more important than ever.

BusinessInterviews.com: Can you expand on your plans for international growth and how that will influence the direction and vision of the company?

John: We’re a global company with over 70% of our sales coming from outside the United States. We’ve seen exponential growth in sales from China, Japan, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, as well as emerging markets. We’ve increased our presence and sales network in these regions and have seen spectacular results.

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