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Naming Tools with Anthony Shore – DNW Podcast #227

Learn about great tools and processes to find names.

dnw-podcastWant to seriously up your domain investing game? My guest this week has the tools to help you. Anthony Shore of Operative Words is a product and company namer. On today’s show, he explains the exact tools he uses to come up with great names. This can easily be applied to coming up with great domain names, too.

Also: Executive appointments, a Mormon church rebrand, expensive chocolate and more.

Mentioned in this podcast: NYT Magazine article, research on domains vs. search

This week’s sponsor: Name.com.

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Reader Interactions


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  1. Don M says

    Great show. I do like the tools Anthony uses and the way he finds different names is very educational and very smart. Much to learn here.

    I will disagree with .com vs everything else. When using a domain name people also use print advertising, digital ads, radio and voice search. When you hear the name on the radio you cannot use anything other than .com same goes for voice search.

    Example: ever listen to the radio show coasttocoastam or any radio show. The advertisers on these shows have some of the worst domains ever. Hard to spell and they have different extensions. Probably losing 25% of the intended traffic. Yet they spend probably 100k a month on radio ads. That is leakage at it’s worst.

    Then you have email leakage if your at 2-3% email leakage your losing clients and or consumers are sending private info to someone else or competitor. Think of sensitive information like hippa,leads,lawyers, ss,credit card info etc.

    I believe if your a company and don’t care about the leakage of traffic and emails at 10%-15% then going with a cheaper version of different extension is fine. But knowing this why would a large company allow this to happen even if the name was very expensive. Your buying an asset to the company for life and not a ad billboard or a google ads.

    “The major leakage will happen outside of google search not inside” But I do get if a small company does not have the budget, the larger ones have no excuse. Tesla bought because can now pivot anyway they please not just motors but they can go into any area of electric bikes, cars, solar, airplanes, boats, roofs, drones, you name it!

  2. Adam says

    I wonder as a naming service if it’s more about the pitch and getting clients to love a name through a good story (and to be paid) . . . . . “No, don’t worry about getting that name in an exact match .com ”

    Anthony, I suspect knows that domain name is going to be expensive, or a pain in the butt to acquire, so just tell the client to put that aside. “Don’t let that sway you from picking this cool word combo (that tells a great story). Domains really don’t matter any more.”

    The story and how you came up with the name concept is great. You can definitely pitch a client with his “Draper-esque” style discovery talking about grep searches and corpus linguistics but there’s other factors in a name too besides the feel or the story, no ?

    I found AmpleForth clever because it came from a character that the client can relate to their mission and has 2 positive words combined but I also found it a bad choice as well. It would seem to be a difficult pronunciation for non-English speakers (many who are crypto users are international) , it can be heard as different names AppleFort etc, and part of the brand is a homonym. (Let’s see how long it takes another domainer to grab the homonym version)

    And btw Google search for “Glint” shows 2 listings/companies before the specific “glint” company that he’s talking about . . . if search is how to get to a brand why would you push a name with that level of competition in search? ugh.

    Been hearing the argument and analogies of #800 numbers for years.

    Anyway, thanks for the perspectives even if I don’t fully agree. I appreciate the “giving away all the secrets” part . Anthony seems like a very intelligent and interesting naming guy and I like a good name too. 🙂

    • Andrew Allemann says

      I had a longer discussion about the domain name question with Anthony after we finished recording. I think he agrees that it’s ideal to have the matching domain, but he wouldn’t want someone to choose a horrible name just because the .com is available. He was open to my point of view, and frankly I’m open to his as well.

  3. TheBrandable.com says

    Thanks for adding the last comment Andrew.

    Anthony seemed like an interesting person to listen to, but when it came to the .com not being so important part.. geeez.. I was cringing hearing parts of what he said he tells clients. What if the client’s company started falling off the top listings when people search for them. then what… “what was it, .inc, .org, xyz….”. Client lost. Besides a whole plethora of other issues you would run into which you mentioned some.

    The way he finds the name is interesting, but it feels a lot that he is catering to the clients’ “inner preferences” which is great on one hand as the client needs to feel great about the name, but there’s also the commercial appeal that needs to be taken into consideration. By delving so much into deep obscure-ish meanings, it’s impressive, but it almost feels a bit too esoteric.
    And yes some of these products are great sellers, but it also has to do with the company that is behind it.

    That being said, if it’s working so far, then wish him continued success.

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