2020 has been challenging to say the least. With the world being focused online more than ever, many entrepreneurs are asking themselves what to do in order to improve their position and chances for success. Since technology is ruling the world, setting trends, and let’s face it, turning a lot of cash, we decided to look at the top ten tech companies, ranked by market value. What are their choices on brand and domain names?
Microsoft was founded on April 4, 1975, by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They were doing business as Micro-Soft at first. Paul Allen, one of the founders of this company, was the original creator of the Microsoft brand. In this interview for Forbes from 1995, Microsoft co-founders explained how they came up with the name as well as their previous ideas. Some of the ideas were also Outcorporated Inc. and Unlimited Ltd. Before Microsoft as a brand name, Gates and Allen were developing MICROcomputer, or MICROprocessor, SOFTware. So the name founders agreed on was a logical choice. Microsoft Corporation has over 288,847 domain names. They obtained Microsoft.com on May 2, 1991. Later they added .net, .co.uk, .nl, .co, .org and other domain extensions to their domains portfolio. Also, the company registered names of their products with many extensions as part of their domain strategy.
Apple was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in April 1976. The company’s name was the idea of Steve Jobs, inspired by his visit to an apple farm while on a fruitarian diet. Jobs explained that he thought the name “Apple” was “fun, spirited and not intimidating”. Even Apple’s first logo depicted Sir Isaac Newton sitting under an apple tree based on gravity invention. They started with the name Apple Computers. Later on, the company expanded its offering products beyond computers so they changed the name to Apple Inc. The company owns over 25,000 domains. Apple.com was secured on February 19th, 1987, as a top-level domain. Just like other big brands, they also registered names of their products, names with an added word, dashes, typos, and a lot of country extensions for their country-specific operations.
Amazon is an American multinational technology company based in Seattle founded by Jeff Bezos in Bellevue, Washington, on July 5th, 1994. There are so many names that this company had, so let’s look at them chronologically. The first name Bezos came up with was Cadabra Inc. derived as a mashed up version of “abracadabra“. Since the name was easily misheard, Bezos rebranded to Relentless.com (a domain name he still owns, it leads to Amazon homepage), as well as some other name ideas, like browse.com and awake.com. Just like Apple, Amazon also wanted to have the name on top of the alphabet so another name choice was Aard. In the end, Bezos got Amazon, also on top of the alphabet, and indicating that it will be huge just like the Amazon river, according to Mashable. The founder registered the URL Amazon.com in November 1994. Now, Amazon Technologies Inc. has over 152,000 domains, including top-level domains, different extensions, added words, product names, marketing campaigns, and more.
Alphabet Inc. was created through a restructuring of Google on October 2nd, 2015, and became the parent company of Google and a number of smaller companies. This allowed Google to expand into domains outside of internet search. Google LLC owns over 73,000 domain names. Besides top-level domain Google.com, they have other top-level extensions, names of their services and products, browsers, Gmail, names with added words, and less famous extensions. Larry Page and Sergey Brin, founders of Google, named it after a googol – the name for the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. According to ThoughtCo, the name represents the immense amount of information that a search engine has to sift through.
Alibaba is a Chinese multinational technology company with interests in e-commerce, cloud computing, web portals, and payment processing services. The name of this company is of Indian origin evoking the meaning of a great leader. The company’s founder and CEO, Jack Ma came up with this name when he was in a coffee shop in San Francisco. In this interview, he told the story of how he asked the waiter about Alibaba’s name.
“I said, ‘What do you know about Alibaba?’ and she said ‘Open Sesame.’ And I said, ‘Yes, this is the name!'”
Alibaba has over 10,000 domain names, including many extensions like .com, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .link, .ogr.uk, as well as some new TLDs like .party, .bargains, .tokyo, .financial, .dance, .aero, etc.
Tencent Holdings Ltd specializes in various Internet-related services and products, entertainment, artificial intelligence, and technology globally. According to Wbur, the brand derives its name from a fusion of the “Chinese characters Teng and Xun which means something like ‘galloping fast information”. Tencent Technology seems to own 65 domain names. Besides Tencent.com most of their domains are names of products with top-level domain extensions.
Mark Zuckerberg originally created Facebook as a social network for the students at Harvard where he was studying at that time. Facebooks are directories of people in an organization with a photograph of the person in each entry. Naming Zuckerberg’s website by those books was a logical step. The site was launched originally as TheFacebook when on February 4th, 2004. The name of the website was changed from TheFacebook to just Facebook after purchasing the domain name facebook.com in 2005 for $200,000. Later on, the name was even further simplified to what many users were already using to refer to the brand – FB.COM. The domain name was acquired for $8.5 Million from The American Farm Bureau Federation in 2011. Facebook Inc. now owns over 39,000 domains which include all variations and extensions for a brand name. Those domains also include Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus VR, Onavo, Beluga, Giphy, and other companies acquired by Facebook, as well as their product domains.
Samsung is a South Korean multinational conglomerate with numerous affiliated businesses under the Samsung brand. When you translate this company’s name from Korean to English, it means ‘three stars’. Samsung founder, Lee Byung-chull, named the brand with the idea that it will be strong and last forever like stars in the sky. The symbol of three stars is, in Korean culture, called a “hanja”, the significance of this symbol within Korean culture means “big, powerful, and numerous”. Samsung Electronics CO., Ltd has presently over 3,000 domain names, most are top-level domains like .com and .net. They obtained all exact name match domains for brands and products by Samsung, as well as some variations like added words, abbreviations, misspelled words, and country extensions.
TSMC is an Abbreviation for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company. It was founded in Taiwan in 1987 by Morris Chang. They choose the name that fits their industry, it clearly states what the brand is about. TSMC owns 12 domains, including their exact brand match domain name and some other .com, .biz, .net, .info and .co extensions.
AT&T is the world’s largest telecommunications company based in Whitacre Tower in Downtown Dallas, Texas. The name is an abbreviation for American Telephone and Telegraph. According to Wikipedia, AT&T started as Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, a subsidiary of the Bell Telephone Company. The Bell Telephone Company became the American Telephone and Telegraph Company in 1885 and was later rebranded as AT&T Corporation. In 2005, SBC purchased its former parent AT&T Corporation, took on its branding, and renamed it to AT&T Inc. The brand is now associated with innovation in communications. AT&T Services, Inc. now owns over 17,000 domains. Just like previously listed brands, they obtained domains for their brand and products with original names, variations, and different extensions. They operate on their exact brand match three-letter domain name att.com.