Have you tried to dream up a brand name recently? It’s harder than ever. Not only is there domain name availability to contend with, but you also need to bag the appropriate user profiles on the main social platforms.

I have been trying for some considerable time to brainstorm a domain name for a new side project, and having identified one I’ve had second thoughts (it contains the word ‘freak’ in the title, which might be perceived negatively by some people).

As such, I wanted to change it prior to the launch, and I’ve unearthed some new (at least to me) domain name tools that are proving rather useful. I thought I’d share them with you.

Before I do so, let’s remind ourselves of the 25 characteristics of a ‘good’ domain / brand name. The main ones are:

  • Meaningful (brand-building may be easier if it does what it says on the tin) 
  • Unique (to avoid confusion / ownership issues) 
  • Short (the shorter the better, for all kinds of reasons. The fewer syllables the better, I think) 
  • Easy to type (if you hear it on the radio could you spell it?)
  • Memorable (what use is a brand name if you forget it?)

And now, here are six useful domain brainstorming tools…

Impossibility

This is probably the tool that I’ve used the most over the past week or so. Impossibility allows you to choose from four, five or six letter advjectives, verbs, or nouns, and will add words to make new domain names that are available. 

Namemesh

Namemesh takes your domain name idea and suggests various alternatives, and does a lookup for international domain extensions. 

Lean Domain Search

This tool add popular words to beginning or end of your preferred keyword.

Panabee

A brainstorming tool that suggests dozens of domain name variants, and displays the availability of these names within the results.

Nametumbler

Choose from a list of word types to append / prepend words to your main term.

Dotomator

This tool mashes up word combinations suggested from its topic-themed library. Use the dropdowns to find prefixes and suffixes.

And finally, here is a seventh tool that you should probably use before buying a domain name…

Namechk

I’ve mentioned this one before: it allows you to see if user names are available on the main social platforms. A real timesaver.

Finally, here are a few other domain name tools that I have previously used.

Do leave a comment below if you have any pointers for choosing a brand name, or if you’ve spotted a new tool to help people minimise the time invoilved in brainstorming and research.