Back in 1994, Chris Clark registered the domain name “pizza.com”, hoping that he might land consulting work with a pizza company. This was the year when Mozilla/Netscape, the first web browser, was released, unleashing the commercialization of the Internet.
He has now sold the name…….for $2.6 million.
Are these domain names worth that kind of money? Maybe. But if you run a Google search for “pizza”, the first result is Pizza Hut, obviously because the company paid for a high placement. More likely, consumers will search for “pizza” in a specific area, looking for someplace to buy pizza.
Your practice has a name, of course. Many are known by their business name, which was developed with the consumer in mind. Others have very formal corporate names, or are a list of the names of the partners, much like a law firm. Many times, patients only know the name of their physician, and wouldn’t know the practice’s formal name unless prompted – and even then.
You can have a formal name for corporate purposes, and a “doing business as”, or “DBA” name that is used for the public. The latter is the one that needs to be easily remembered, and around which a “brand” can be built. The other test is whether the URL is available that will fit the DBA name. This is getting to be more difficult as companies grab domain names, and people register names with the explicit intent of selling the name for a substantial profit (the pizza.com story is highly unusual).
As part of the work of a marketing consultant, naming can be a service offered. At the very least, ask for your staff for advice, and even patients (offer a prize – a restaurant gift certificate, for example). Names should generally be short, or have a “short” name. It should be easy to remember, easy to pronounce and easy to spell. It should not sound overly formal or technical.
Try it out – does it sound right? Can a consumer understand what you do? Do you have to spell it out? Can people pronounce it? Is a closely related domain available as “.com”? Try a Google search and see what the results are – will you be found? Or will you need to pay for a higher search ranking (there is an art to search engine optimization, or SEO, but that’s a much longer story). You also need to avoid existing trademarks, and your attorney can handle registering your selected name.
So your name won’t be worth $2.6 million, but a good name is an asset in building your practice.