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Donuts goes with bland, forgettable, for new company name [rant]

Kevin Murphy, June 22, 2022, 14:53:25 (UTC), Domain Registries

What is it with domain name companies and their terrible brands?

Donuts is now Identity Digital Inc, the company said today, with the Donuts and Afilias brands being retired.

The new name was chosen “to reflect better the commitment to helping customers find, grow and protect their authentic digital identities” the company said in a press release. I also get the vibe that the company may be expanding further outside of domains in future. Blockchain stuff, maybe?

It appears that the company has adopted a practice-what-you-preach approach to branding — it’s advocating that businesses register domains with strong keywords to the left and right of the dot, so that’s what Identity Digital will also do.

That’s fair enough, I guess.

It’s using identity.digital as its new domain, which is just as well, because the company seems to have just made itself search-proof.

If you couldn’t tell already, I don’t like the name. It strikes me as the kind of name a company might pick if it wanted to keep a low profile.

It sounds like a two-man SEO startup operating in a room above a vape shop in a northern English market town.

The name “Donuts” had been picked when the company formed in 2010 to reflect the fact that the founders were nuts about domains. Afilias was named as such because it was a joint venture of over a dozen registrars.

These were great, memorable brands!

GoDaddy, Tucows, Porkbun… all examples of strong, colorful, novel brands in the domain space. When I read about these companies, I know immediately who I’m reading about, and they don’t have any keywords in their names.

Even after 12 years writing this blog, I still have to remind myself which registrar is Name.com and which is Domain.com. Now, I’m going to be constantly reminding myself which company used to be Endurance and which used to be Donuts. Meh.

Perhaps I’m just irritated that I’m going to have to spend the next year writing “Identity Digital, formerly Donuts”.

Still, at least it’s better than “TrueName”.

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Comments (2)

  1. I agree, The Brain Factory would be a more interesting name. Their issue is too many words to the left and right of the dot which creates confusion in itself as a business model. Less is more. More is less.

    They are playing with so many words that it starts to become redundant and banal. At some point the brain just shuts down.

    Think: Pet Rock

  2. Incredibly unfortunate. While naming is important, it’s equally important to have fun with it. What a stodgy sounding name for a company, makes it sound more like a faceless corporation.

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