Are Brandable Domains An Option?Mike Sullivan
I love the generic keyword domains and that’s where I like to focus my time, attention and energy. But, in order to be balanced, I thought it would be good to get the perspective of some brandable end users. There are plenty of successful sites using newly invented words as their primary domain such as Twitter, Flickr, Squidoo and others. This is the start of a series where I will be sprinkling in some interviews with brandable domain owners and end users. I hope to gain some perspective and share some new information with you along the way. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these names, so please feel free to comment with your reactions.
My first brandable interview is with Cynthia Typaldos, the founder of Kachingle.com. Cynthia shares her thoughts around domains, brandables and her business.
Mike: Tell me a little bit about yourself and about kachingle.com.
Cynthia: I’m the founder of Kachingle. Our service is an offering in the new market space of “social payments” – easy-to-use systems for people to make voluntary micropayments to online content and services that they value.
So if I as a Kachingler go to the Mama-is blog every day, and the Boston Sports Media Watch blog every other day, then Mama-is receives 2/3 of my $5 and the Boston Sports Media Watch blog receives 1/3 of my $5 (minus combined PayPal and Kachingle transaction fees – 85% of the $5 flows to the blogs). But of course the Kachingler doesn’t have to figure any of this out…it happens automatically and hassle-free.
Most importantly at the same time, the Kachingler is creating a visible social persona based on the digital stuff they love that they can then push out to their social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. For example, here’s my kachingling persona: Cynthia’s kachingling.
Mike: What made you decide to choose a brandable name over a generic?
Cynthia: I wanted a name that was easy to find in a search, and that was unique and memorable. I had noticed that when companies choose generic names searching for them results in an enormous amount of irrelevant stuff. I’ve been fortunate in having a personal name that is unique to me, and it’s invaluable. So I wanted the same thing for my company. I also wanted a name that meant something. And I rejected names that are missing vowels…I find these names annoying and hard to spell. And to top it off, I wanted a name that sounded like “fun”, that wasn’t serious or heavy — a name that makes young people giggle when they hear it!
Mike: What does “kachingle” actually mean?
Cynthia: The word is a combination of the sounds ka-ching and jingle. In our FAQ section we answer this and provide the audio inspiration…look for “What does Kachingle mean?”
Mike: Have you owned or do you own other domain names? If so, which ones?
Cynthia: Well, I’ve founded several companies before – GolfWeb and RealCommunities. Obviously those names are a lot different than Kachingle as they are two English words stuck together. That was the style before; now it seems archaic and boring. With Kachingle we have also registered all of the domain names in key foreign countries, and many of the possible misspellings too.
Mike: Are you willing to share your visitation statistics so far?
Cynthia: Kachingle is not a destination site, it’s a service that runs in the background. So visitation numbers are not relevant. Our Medallion (the widget that resides on participating sites and blogs) is served up 1M times per day though…that’s the most relevant statistic. Kachingle Medallion views exceed 1,000,000 per day!
Mike: What type of marketing are you doing to promote the site? Any online such as seo or ppc? Any offline advertising?
Cynthia: We are primarily using our participating sites and blogs and applications to promote Kachingle, along with our Medallion being present on every page of their site/blog/application. We will be rolling out a news snazzier Medallion overlay in the next few months. And we have received quite a bit of press (see our blog) which helps. This week we are launching our Twitter application which will enable our users to tweet their kachingling. Reaching out into our users’ social networks is key. And we are developing a Facebook application too. We will also be featured in some online advertising with one of our partners, PayPal, around their PayPal X service and October conference, that will greatly help us in reaching the application community.