Branding: Too Many Settle For Too Little

Wandering on X, I have witnessed the greatest and the worst brand names out there. Sometimes I am sitting behind my desk and facepalm a dozen times over why they want to pick that as a brand name.

My Opinion

This comes from my own opinion, and you do not need to agree on it. But hear me out:


If you have your eyes set on building an actual business and want to build a brand around it then you cannot just go with ‘mynotetakingapp.tools’ or whatever the fuck people always do.


That indicates to me that the project is either going to be short-lived or the creator has no intention to scale it.

I have a hard time accepting or committing my wallet to ‘brands’ like these because they settled for less than a unique brand name. It tells me the following:

  • They rushed through the branding part
  • They go with the ship fast mentality
  • They underestimate the storytelling in marketing
  • They underestimate the power of branding
  • They simply do not care and are just in for the green


On some level, I can still somehow accept the ship-fast mentality. Because execution nowadays is done with initial low-code or no-code tooling. But shipping fast is NOT the same as carefully think through your actual future brand positioning.


It’s one of the many reasons I see so many fail to make their first dollars.

It’s Difficult

Yes. It’s not an easy task. Some members in LaunchPad who started their own business with no brand name yet were tasked by me to come up with finding a brand name.

They all admitted that this is one of the hardest parts when starting out. But I told them not to settle. Just keep digging.

I need to remind them that not taking your time finding the right name has serious implications down the line if you decide to bet big on it. Once I pointed that out, they kept digging until they could come up with something that is:

  • Brandable
  • Relatable
  • Easy to spell
  • Easy to remember
  • Not 203030 characters long


Implications

Not taking your time figuring out a brand name you stand 100% behind it will have eventually severe implications.

Picking the wrong name will be hard to obtain brand equity in a bigger market.

It’s a mistake to think that your small circle on X is the only one to entertain with your progress.

  • A strong brand name is leverage.
  • It helps craft an ongoing timeline and story for the future.
  • It helps strengthen the DNA of your business
  • It will project trust to an unknown audience
  • It can help users associate

Associations

Whether you are pioneering or battling in a competitive space, associations are undervalued.

One of the most obvious examples is in the travel industry.

  • Airbnb is associated with travel and experience
  • Consumers who want to book a trip will flock to booking.com or TripAdvisor
  • When one talks about project management tools, they will list Notion, Monday, ClickUp (but ClickUp is a dumpster fire so I would never list em anyway), and so on.

Associations work both ways, and they help you position that brand a lot better. By going with some random names out of laziness or EMD domains with a new gen extension you will end up on the forget it exists list.

Those brands want to be associated with strong terms used by everyone around the world.


Know The Difference

There are differences. If you intend to launch a simple project that isn’t meant to scale then sure you can use anything. If you plan to build an actual startup, you better take your time.

Some people on X are a bit too loose with their labeling. Calling everything a startup when it’s merely a side project they worked on for 2 days on top of the other 12 MVPs they launched that month.


Domain Hacks

Think those are still fine when it’s very relevant to one of your core features.

Momo.coach is a prime example of that. The brand is MOMO. But Momo is a tool for freelancers to help, assist, or coach them with their taxes.

Currently, we are working on the positioning, but domain hacks like these still get a free pass, until they can move up the ladder to acquire a premium .com name that would position MOMO even stronger.

Close

I don’t want to go too deep into this subject.

Because I added most of my branding insights in my book. But one thing should be clear. Proper brand strategy will help you execute better. It will help you to pitch your business with a lot more confidence and it certainly helps to build associations in the vertical you want to be recognized with.

Too many see this from the sell side only and rarely consider the buy side.

Ask yourself this: Would you rather use Notion than ‘mynotetakingapp.xxxx’? How are you perceiving both?