A lot of startups want to brand around a single word. From a branding standpoint it makes sense, a single word can be powerful and carry a lot of meaning and authority. At the same time, there really isn’t a “normal” paths that startups follow when their exact-match .COM is either taken.
What I think we’ve seen happen more and more lately is startups gravitating towards non .COM extensions like .CO, .IO and more context-specific options like .TECH and .FINANCE. At the same time, some startups decide to get creative and try adding a word like “get” to the beginning of their name or “HQ” to the end.
Today I found a startup that took a path I haven’t ever seen before, it’s a company called Frank and they’re branding on WithFrank.org.
It’s clear the somewhat quirky domain choice hasn’t seem to have impacted their business or funding as the company has raised over $20M so far from a solid list of VCs.
Out of curiosity I went to Frank.com and saw that it’s owned by Microstrategy a company with over 2,000 employees that does over $500M in year in business. It looks like Microstrategy is actually selling a handful of solid one-word .COMs:
I wonder if Frank has reached out to them yet or if that’s something they’re thinking of later down the road. This is the first startup I’ve seen add the word “with” in front of their name and add it to a .ORG. Funny enough, the company also owns WithFrank.com but they forward it to their .ORG name 🤷♂️
It’s going to be interesting to see how things change over the next 5-10 years. Will startups gravitate more towards sticking with the word they want in another TLD or will we end up with a lot of companies that have domains that start with “with” and “get” or end in “HQ” – only time will tell.