Best practices in corporate/product branding and domain names

Subject: Best practices in corporate/product branding and domain names
From: Anonymous <anonymous -at- techwhirl -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 11:21:02 -0500

Please post all responses to the following anonymous post to the list, as
direct replies will not be forwarded.

I'm hoping you can offer advice about the current best practices in
corporate/product branding as it relates to Web domain names.

Background: Successful startup with a primary software product, which we'll
call "Orange Software" or just "Orange." The product name is what we want
to build the brand around because it's flexible, succinct, memorable, and
more; ideally, we'd be able to acquire the domain, but its
not available. As a result, we seem to have two camps about how to
approach this
branding-domain issue:

One camp suggests that we build the brand around "Orange" but that we focus
the domain name on what the product does, as in<>.
The issue here is that the brand will be "Orange," yet the Web site domain
says something else. We could address this with a tag line, as in
"CorrectColor…makers of Orange Software." Not an ideal use of the tagline,
but it would help bridge the gap. The question is: How do users respond to
going to the "Orange Software" Web site but seeing the Web address as
something different? Do they perceive a disconnect between the brand and
the domain? Or is this sort of disconnect becoming part of the norm because
of limited domain name choices?

Another camp suggests that we go with an available domain that has Orange
in it: <> and get
the brand in the domain name. The issue or question here is: How are
hyphens in domain names perceived by Web users today? How might the
hyphen affect
users and usability of accessing the Web site?

Would appreciate your wisdom and thoughts. Thank you!

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