Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Squidoo and Buzzoodle - Buzz Brand Names

When it comes to Buzz, naming can be a very important. A lot of business consultants will council against naming something with an unusual name. When I came up with the name Buzzoodle, I believe the absolute best comment from my staff was, "I will give it some time. It might grow on me." Now they love it. With the recent attention being paid to Seth Godin's Squidoo, I am reminded of the risk we took with the Buzzoodle name. When choosing a brand name, what are the positive and negative things to consider for naming something with an unusual name? Negative Aspects: Hard to Spell If you go to, or you will be forwarded to because we knew people would misspell it. I noticed that is also already reserved by the same person in charge of Smart move on their part. Doesn't Sound Professional If I was going to start a financial services company, Buzzoodle or Squidoo would not be a very professional name. People do not want their financial planners to have fun, after all. For a cool, cutting edge company, they still run the risk of having someone say "From Where!" when they have never heard of you before. That is not bad in the end, because they remember it and after hearing the company name from multiple sources they feel like they are in the know. Think about how silly some big names sounded before anyone one had heard of them (Google, Yahoo, Dogpile, Technorati) Positive Aspects: Memorable You might think it is a bit silly the first time you hear it, but you do remember it. It begs the question, "What is that?" Own the Internet If you have created a unique word, almost every reference to your name will really be about you. I know that before Buzzoodle was launched it was not to be found on search engines. I am guessing Squidoo is much the same. Become a Household Name A memorable, unique name is more likely to stand out and become a household name if the product lives up to the promise of the fun, unique name. It is just easier to make an impression if you do not get lost in the crowd. If you are hearing about Squidoo and Buzzoodle, there is a good chance you are hearing about tomorrow's cool brands that will be part of a well known landscape of innovation. Version one is not the end, it is the beginning, if it captures people's imagination and is sticky like peanut butter.