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2010 - 2020 a Decade in Domains part 4 - Descriptive names
By SmartBranding Team access_time 8 min read

Startups choosing simple words that describe their businesses

Descriptive brand names are those that clearly describe the product or service the company offers – think of Pizza Hut or SkillShare for example. Descriptive names can be great for SEO and make communicating what you do so much quicker. Let’s see what businesses picked descriptive names for their brands.

Mystification is simple; clarity is the hardest thing of all.

Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot –

In June 2019, AllMyLinks, a service that helps followers find all of your social media accounts, upgraded its domain name from to the shorter and simpler domain name

The name was acquired via Sedo for the fixed price of €700,000 (around $800,000 USD at the time), making it Sedo’s highest fixed price sale up to date. Links have kept the AllMyLinks logo and branding. –

Teamwork is founded by Peter Coppinger and Dan Mackey in 2007. In October 2007, they launched Teamwork Project Manager, nicknamed TeamworkPM. In March 2015, they rebranded to Teamwork Projects.

When it came time to pick a domain name, unfortunately the guy who owned wanted $10 million, which was a little bit outside our $100 budget. So, in the end, we went with a terrible domain name – “”. Could it be worse?

Peter Coppinger

In 2014, after two years of negotiations, Teamwork bought the domain name ‘Teamwork’ for US$675,000 (€500,000). It was one of the most expensive domain names ever purchased by an Irish company.

The company recouped its investment in a month and a half, and it makes customers think Teamwork is a huge multinational.

Donal Cahalane, VP of Growth and Marketing –

ButcherBox was founded in 2015 with a mission to change the way consumers shop for and purchase high-quality, humanely raised protein. The company upgraded its domain name from to the exact brand match a year after launch. –

ROOM is a startup making room for people in the modern workplace through flexible and affordable solutions. Launched in May 2018 by serial entrepreneurs Brian Chen and Morten Meisner-Jensen, ROOM is backed by Slow Ventures, a leading venture capital firm that was one of the original investors in Casper.

The company launched on and later on upgraded to the exact brand match

Brian Chen, co-founder and CEO of Room, said that the domain name was acquired using a 5- year payment plan. In July 2019, domain investor Michael Castello shared the sales price – $1,500,000 USD in an interview with DNJournal, and added: will give them the kind of unforgettable one-word .com brand that so many growing companies are looking for today.

Duolingo, a free language education platform, was founded in 2011. According to Duolingo, the word Duolingo, “duo” means “two” and “lingo” means “languages”. Two languages are fitting because when you’re learning a language on Duolingo, you’re practicing (and learning) two languages: your native language (common grammar mistakes you might make) and your target language (the language you want to learn, the basic foundations).

The company runs on the exact brand match domain name and, according to Wikipedia, the app has over 300 million registered users across the world. –

Sailo is a web and mobile marketplace that connects people who want to rent boats to charter companies and boat owners. Founded by former entrepreneurs and engineers from Silicon Valley, Sailo was the #1 boat rental and yacht charter platform.

From playing around with sailing and sailor, “Sailo” was the winner as a friendly and memorable brand name…We all feel, and our customers confirmed that it’s a great name, easy to recall and connect to, just like our team and our mission.

Adrian Gradinaru, Founder and CEO of Sailo

The company upgraded its domain name from to

At the time of our official launch, was not available. The domain was parked (it was bought, but it wasn’t used) and my plan was to keep an eye on it and buy it as soon as it becomes available. The .com extension gives the brand more credibility and it’s easier for people to remember so we started with and after about 1 year we acquired

Adrian Gradinaru, Founder and CEO of Sailo –

Founded in 2017, Neighbor is a peer-to-peer storage company that connects homeowners online with people who need storage space.

Essentially, the name comes from the fact that users on store their items with their neighbors. We’ve always wanted to place the focus on the people that make up our community rather than the services. People naturally trust their neighbors; they strive to be good neighbors to each other.

Joseph Woodbury, CEO and Founder

In 2018, the startup upgraded its domain name from to the exact brand match

Our company has always been called “Neighbor, ” so people would naturally type in assuming we owned the domain. All of that direct traffic was lost. Making the switch eliminated that problem…The domain has also allowed us to more confidently put resources behind SEO. And there is certainly a higher degree of user trust. Each of these and more factors compound to increase traffic and decrease acquisition costs.

Joseph Woodbury –

In 2015, frustrated with a lack of options at big box retail and existing online delivery options, Bill Wilkins and Dustin McAdams realized dog parents deserved more. So they started their own company called PupJoy.

My partner Bill and I wanted a brand name that highlighted what we stood for — creating happiness for dogs and their parents — and one that provided us with a broad umbrella with which to grow and expand the business. In the early days, we spend a lot of time exploring potential names. We always came back to the concept of “joy”… it just fit our fabric.

The company used the domain name prior to upgrading to the exact brand match domain

Most of our consumer-customers buy directly from our website and our commercial customers often engage with us online as well. Lots of our customers find us through referrals; however, a good SEO structure and content is very important to make it easy for folks to find us through search.

Dustin McAdams, Founder and CEO of PupJoy

When the opportunity came about to acquire, they quickly fell aside. We knew we had a perfect brand.

Blain Reinkensmeyer, Managing Director at RMG is a consumer advocacy project launched in 2018 with the belief that transparency can help Americans make better decisions about who manages their wealth.

We were already respected in the domain industry before due to past acquisitions such as (2011, $185,000) and (2016, $150,000). That said, yes, certainly had a positive effect on our reputation in the industry, especially given it was our most significant acquisition to date, by far.

Blain Reinkensmeyer, Managing Director at RMG – –

Launched in 2014 by industry veterans, Packet empowers developer-driven companies to deploy physical infrastructure at global scale.

We considered a lot of not very good names, but finally landed on Packet for a few reasons: it’s easy to spell, easy to remember, and it is tied to the one thing you have to buy from a cloud provider (network services). In networking, data is transmitted in small packages called “packets”.

Jacob Smith, Co-founder and CMO at Packet

The startup started (very briefly) with the domain name and then acquired, which was its primary domain until 2018, when Packed acquired the exact brand match domain In 2020 the business was acquired by Equinix.

It certainly erases the negative impression that Enterprise users had when they tried to visit before we owned it.

Jacob Smith

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Thank you for reading this far. We hope the above will help you in the process of creating and growing a successful brand. See you in Part 5, where we will look at brands who chose personal names as brands.

How does your brand name match your company vision? What new horizons can a better name open? Get in touch if you feel your brand deserves a better name, we are always happy to help.