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Global branding: Power of generic names

By: Naseem Javed | 25 Jun 2012 08:57
Based on the rules of naming and corporate nomenclature, ABC Namebank has applied its Name Evaluation Process to the entire list of 1930 proposed ICANN gTLD names. The finding on the 540 English Dictionary-based Generic Names, like dot rice or dot motel, the most volatile and contested section of the entire list has been released.
This individual name-by-name evaluation process involves 10 key steps. Such as assessing a name's ease of use and recall based on its inherited alpha-structure, or its marketability, if the name emulates single or multiple messages. Longevity assesses if the name appears to have brandable values and also entices ownership by end users. Stretchability assesses, if the name appears to have elasticity to arch into other markets. Registrability issues, although generic names are not trademark-able but some are even more diluted in varied terms causing communication difficulties. Such stringent analysis and reviews can predict the performance and longevity of a name.

The 542 Generic names were evaluated in each separate multi-layered processes and the findings are grouped indicating their name trajectory in the three key areas:

Safe Journey: Highly-Suitable Names; where the name appears capable of delivering a clear message associated with the purpose, easy to work with and posses stretchability into expanding markets. 323 Names or 60%
Bumpy Roads: Moderately Suitable Names; where the name appears as only capable to deliver its objective to a limited market and may impose series of limitations. 49 Names or 9%

Lost In the Jungle: Not-Suitable Names: is where the name appears to lack clarity and requires constant explanation to avoid confusion with other issues. 168 Names or 30%

Chart Source: ABC Namebank
click to enlarge

The results of any single gTLD name evaluations were not made public.

Not all proposed names will be successful, as always the case. Naming for success of any idea of any size, anywhere in the world has become a very intricate manoeuvre. Despite all the technical brilliance behind the Internet and communication archery behind the gTLDs, at the end of the day, a gTLD is a 'name'. To the 2 billion end users and growing it's simply a name, something worth remembering, typing, referring, chit-chatting or yelling. Any gTLD of any size, type or style anywhere in the world will only be struggling to climb the 'tower of names' will always hungry for visibility and therefore, always subjected to corporate nomenclature and rules of naming. Hence it's the alpha-structure that will decide its trajectory under a required protection umbrella. As all names are not created equal, therefore the winners and losers are found lined up in different queues.

The ICANN gTLD naming topic is already very complex and when aligned with marketing domination via name identity, it immediately creates fire. It's also very naïve to see all this from a single vantage point of view and unless one forms circles of highly qualified and multidisciplinary teams with passion and empathy, the topic will become stuck in rhetoric and the entanglements of half knowledge.

The bottom line, the domain name expansion is unstoppable, the global hunger for brand name visibility is irresistible and the clash of the two is now inevitable. We are at a serious crossroads and must discover the 'tower of names' along with the global naming complexities while peeking at the upper stratosphere of super name identities. The right generic-name gTLDs are poised to do very well.

About Naseem Javed

Naseem Javed, recognised as a world authority on corporate image and global name identities, is a harsh critic of casual and accidental naming. He is a dynamic speaker on corporate image and branding issues, and is also the author of Naming for Power and Domination, the GTLD Name Game. He founded ABC Namebank International (, an image and branding consultancy over 25 years ago. Email him at .
Read more: ICANN, gtld, Naseem Javed