What domain name should I get?

I didn't asked my last question the right way. Here's what the situation is: I have a product named "Melissa". The product is a voice-controlled home automation system. In order to control the system, you should refer to Melissa as in example: "Melissa, make me some coffee". I want to buy a domain but is already taken and the owner is not willing to sell it. Do you have any suggestions what the domain should be? Old domain: Keywords: Melissa(!), home automation, smart home


Choosing the right domain is what I do for a living. If you'd like to schedule a call, I'll give the matter some thought ahead of time. We should be able to figure things out by phone in 15 minutes or less.

Answered 11 years ago

Best solution would be to come up with a new brand (in your case also brand persona) name that you can truly own. Sounds like a few steps back, but everything else is just patching up the problem, which will increase as your company grows and it would save you lots of headaches and money in the future while enabling your customers to find you...and yourself to own a unique brand.

Answered 11 years ago

You have a couple of good options:

1. Choose an extension other than .com. Dot-co and dot-biz are obvious choices. You might also get more creative: how about, which uses the Iceland country code and gives you an instant sentence? ("Melissa is ... efficient." "Melissa is ... convenient.")

2. Add a word (preferably a verb) to "Melissa" to create an available domain-- for example,

Happy to talk if you want more information -- I have 20+ years of experience in name development.


Answered 11 years ago

Here are a few tips from my practice (I've been branding, naming and working on strategic communications for over 25 years).

The right domain depends on a couple of key factors:

(1) Who is your audience and what are you wanting them to do? If it's ecommerce, e.g., or can potentially make sense (note: I'm using these as examples, not verifying their availability). If it's a way to get them to go to a store, you could even say "" because, after all, it is voice-controlled. You also have to consider the benefits -- "Melissa" may be the answer, but the ultimate benefit might be the equivalent of "" (that's way too long and I wouldn't recommend it to a client -- again, it's simply illustrative).

(2) Your brand. Naming has two essential elements: a) linguistic: phonology, memorability, distinctiveness, semantics, etc.; and b) brand-based: embodying the key attributes of the brand; naturalistic and metaphorical value in marketing and advertising campaigns, etc.

So I've give you some examples. I can't give you an a definitive answer because that requires understanding and analysis of the factors described above. It also requires a sensitivity to potential IP (i.e., trademark) issues; domain availability; negotiation of domain prices; and the like. On top of that, I'd have to ask why your product is named Melissa. It's friendly, but a bit of an old-fashioned name. Does that really conjure of advanced home automation? Possibly if friendly automation is what you're about. But if it's efficient or technologically advanced, probably not.

Last, as for the possibility of using extensions other than .com, one fast answer: don't. You lose in SEO; you lose in confusion; you risk IP and trademark issues depending on who is using the .com and why; and it simply isn't needed when there are plenty of killer .coms that you can use.

Should you like to discuss, feel free to contact me.


Answered 11 years ago

Or, add a word after Melissa that advances your brand -, for example.

Answered 11 years ago

This reminds me of when Steve Jobs named his computer Apple Lisa -

If the domain represents the product, it needs to be marketed so that everyone knows what Melissa is ( ) which is available.

This way you can educate and provide an introduction of your product. Again you would really need to market that brand persona so there is no confusion that "meeting" Melissa is your home automation system.

Answered 11 years ago

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