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Business Naming Trends Study Report

October 22, 2015

A study of 700 companies found more recent startups are more likely to use creative names - and therefore, domain names.

Research by Clutch found three quarters of companies founded before 2012 had primarily descriptive or 'experiential' names.

An experiential name connects the experience of using a product or a service, or to what a company does, or to an aspect of human experience.

In the pre-2012 company set, just 17 percent had invented names and only 7 percent had evocative names. 

In startups founded after 2012, 41 percent had invented names and 17 percent had evocative names. 

88 percent of the recent startups have a dot-com domain extension and 76 percent have an exact match dot-com domain name.

Aside from attempting to establish a memorable name and other marketing factors, one of the reasons for the substantial spike in more creative names in recent years may be due to trademark and domain name limitations.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to find available domain names that are short and descriptive - it's a big problem with extensions such as .COM and is already starting to show signs of becoming more of a challenging when attempting to register .COM.AU names.

The creative names may used combinations of real words that have no connection to each other, taking parts of words to create a new word, using a word or words from a foreign language or inventing a new word altogether.

This approach certainly seemed to have worked for companies such as Google; which based its name on the misspelling of "googol", the number represented by a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros. 

While a little odd-sounding, Google was no doubt a better choice than its previous name, which was BackRub. In fact, the term "google" is so widely used that it was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2006.

Another domain name trend noted by Clutch is the addition of verb before the brand name; for example, 'join' or 'get'.

You can read more of Clutch's study here.

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