Over the last few years, a number of startups across a range of industries have named themselves relatively common human names — Casper, Oscar, Lola and Albert, to name a few.
The reason behind this trend is to build proximity and intimacy with consumers. In other words, these brands want to sound friendly and human and the shortest, simplest way to do that is with a human name.
Giving it some grand name that made it sound like it’s been around for 500 years would make people feel more confident that they could put their money there.Catchword co-founder Laurel Sutton
Amazon Alexa, known simply as Alexa, is a virtual assistant AI technology developed by Amazon. Amazon developers chose the name Alexa because it has a hard consonant with the X, which helps it be recognized with higher precision. They have said the name is reminiscent of the Library of Alexandria, which is also used by Amazon Alexa Internet for the same reason. In 2015, the year after Amazon Alexa debuted, Alexa was the 32nd most popular female baby name in the US, bestowed upon 6,052 newborns that year, according to Social Security Administration data.
Amazon also controls the name commercially, having acquired Alexa Internet (operating on alexa.com), which ranks websites by traffic and provides marketing tools, in 1999, and which was also named to honor the Egyptian library, an important storehouse of knowledge in the ancient world.
Alexa.com was retired on May 1, 2022, after more than two decades of web traffic analysis. At present there is a note on the page about that and we can’t tell if the name will ever be used for the virtual assistant but it will surely affect a lot of businesses relying on Alexa’s Global Rank to measure the popularity of a website.
Founded in 2012, Oscar is a health insurance company that employs technology, design, and data to humanize health care. The company has the domain name HiOscar.com while their exact brand match Oscar.com belongs to the official website for the Oscars.
TryDave.com – Dave.com
Founded in 2016, Dave is the highest-ranked personal financial management app in America and the fastest-growing challenger bank.
We settled on TryDave.com but as the launch became closer, we knew we could do better.Jason Wilk – Co-Founder and CEO of Dave
The fintech startup managed to acquire the ultra-premium Dave.com domain name for their company in 2017, the same year they secured $3M in funding and got backed by Mark Cuban.
Most people turn to friends for financial help, especially when it’s a small amount of money. Additionally, friends are supposed to be there to caution you if you are about to do something wrong. We wanted Dave to be seen as the person to turn to for help.Jason Wilk – Co-Founder and CEO of Dave
Founded in 2015, Albert is a financial service startup that offers a simple way to track your finances as well as personalized recommendations aimed at boosting your overall financial standing. The company acquired the exact brand match domain name Albert.com.
Up until October 2016, the domain name was registered to a French company called Go Albert FR, so we can speculate it was acquired by its current owners after that date, though it shows as « site not installed » on archive.org up to February 2018!
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 6, where we will look at Generation Alpha of 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.
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