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Case Study: What’s in a (Yummy)Name?

April 8, 2013

How a rebranded company found its name by starting with a domain search

Atom Agency Yummy NamesOne thing you probably don’t know about me is that I’m a bit of a domain name geek hog. I own 24, most of which aren’t in current use. So, when I heard about how the newly rebranded Atom Agency (formerly known as Sequentia Environics and the consulting arm of Sequentia Communications Inc.) got its new name, not only did it appeal to my geeky side, I thought it was also pretty darn smart.

 
How many companies do you know that decide on a name and maybe go as far registering it, only to find the domain name is already in use by another company and/or costs a small fortune to obtain? Probably most of them today as domain names using commonly used words are scarce and in high demand. 
 
Leona Hobbs

Leona Hobbs, Head of Agency Services at Sequentia, had one month to find a “memorable” new name for the social and digital agency, and secure the .com domain name on a budget. She’s a smart cookie and a former employee of Tucows. So she called upon her former colleague, Bill Sweetman, General Manager at YummyNames, a domain name consulting service from Tucows that helps customers find domain names for their new business or product.

 
Bill Sweetman

In mid-December, they held a meeting to discuss their approach and best practices.  The project kick-off was two weeks later. Parties agreed to goals, scope, and timing and Sequentia provided a creative brief to YummyNames.

 
According to Hobbs, “The best practices strategy was as follows: rather than brainstorming company names and then seeing if the .com domain name was available, we worked in reverse, choosing the new brand name from a list of available .com domain names. And by available we mean domains that may already have been registered but were available for purchase from the secondary market.” 
 
The following week, YummyNames had a list of 8,000+ domain names meeting Sequentia’s criteria then reviewed half the list and shortened it down to 188 choices within budget before presenting them to Sequentia on January 11, 2013. YummyNames didn’t want price to influence the decision so prices were excluded from the list. The next day, Sequentia provided feedback and started making a shortlist. On January 16, after reviewing the other half of the original list, YummyNames produced another 100 names to review and Sequentia gave same-day feedback.

Whittling down the list

By January 24, the shortlist was down to nine names! But the possibilities didn’t stop there. YummyNames identified another 21 names to review based on newly available or potentially available names and client feedback. Sequentia was able to distill the list down to 11 names and began their due diligence, which included checking the availability of matching social media account names, trademark searches, and more.
 
The final shortlist
On January 29, YummyNames sent Sequentia an updated and further shortened list of nine domains along with availability, pricing details and the likelihood of acquiring each of the domains within budget and the necessary timeframe.
 
“Interestingly, most of the final candidates were available for instant purchase under $5,000. One of the domains was available for new registration and we registered the domain anonymously for safekeeping in case Sequentia ended up choosing it,” said Sweetman.
 
In early February, Sequentia did its due diligence and held one last brainstorm to come up with its final short list, followed by a “safety check” by YummyNames to confirm final availability and pricing.
 
On February 6, Sequentia chose its new name: Atom Agency and its new domain name atomagents.com. Coincidently, atomagents.com was the domain name YummyNames registered the week before. Guess what? The cost to acquire the domain was only $10!
 
The following week, in keeping with domain name best practices, YummyNames secured the most common typo versions and alternative top level domain variations of the atomagents.com domain including: atom-agents.com, atomagents.net, theatomagency.com, atomagents.ca, etc.

Why Atom Agency vs. Atom Agents? 

Here’s what Hobbs had to say, “We opted to call the company Atom Agency and to use atomagents.com as our primary domain. Our employees are called Atom Agents, so that domain worked for us and is shorter than “theatomagency.com” which was our next best choice. With Bill’s counsel and support we registered a number of variations of the name.”
We have lift off
Approximately one month later, on March 15, 2013, Sequentia officially relaunched as Atom Agency with www.atomagents.com as its primary domain.
 
In Hobbs’s own words, “Mission accomplished … on time and under budget.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. Congratulations!
 
What tips do you have when choosing a name for your company or blog? Have you thought of starting with a domain name consultant first?




3 comments
Anonymous
Anonymous

Why would they name the company different from the domain name though? While I understand the concept, it doesn't seem to make much sense without owning AtomAgency.com as well.

Melanie Ching
Melanie Ching

As soon as you told us about it, I was hoping that the domain was the new registration. Great post and great story!