Trending: Cute Short Brand Names in Serious Enterprise Markets

I saw an article earlier today that made me laugh and then along with another article inspired this topic. The title of the first article is probably enough to get my point across: LinkedIn Opens DataFu: A Library for Working with Hadoop and Pig.

Now let’s just say Joe Blow was in a coma for 8 years, came out of it and saw this article title. What would he think these companies/services do? He probably wouldn’t come up with anything anywhere close to what they actually do (except maybe LinkedIn obviously). Names like DataFu, Hadoop and Pig do not sound like enterprise service-related brands (“working with Hadoop and Pig” almost makes those sound like people’s nicknames!). That’s however what they are.

Later in the day, I saw the article Enterprise Data Software Company Splunk Files For $125M IPO. At that point, it seemed evident that something was going on. These cutesy names that have generally been used for social media or non-business apps are now finding their way into the business realm.

These kinds of names are likely seeing popularity based on their memorability and ability to become “household names”, even if they aren’t targeting the “household”. The easier it is for a service to be remembered and spread through word of mouth the better. I believe an additional reason for getting these names may be the intrigue they give.

I had heard of Hadoop before and had looked up to see more information about it. Admittedly I’ve managed to stave off looking up what exactly “Pig” does until right now. What is Apache Pig?

Apache Pig is a platform for analyzing large data sets that consists of a high-level language for expressing data analysis programs, coupled with infrastructure for evaluating these programs. The salient property of Pig programs is that their structure is amenable to substantial parallelization, which in turns enables them to handle very large data sets.

Yikes! Simple name, not a simple service. I think that may be a theme moving forward for a lot more of these kinds of services. Having said that, the use of “Splunk” for an enterprise-targeted business mystifies me, yet it seems to be working for them.

Is this a good idea? I’m not too sure yet. Granted Hadoop and Pig are product names which is somewhat different than Splunk, an actual company’s name, but overall this seemed like a strange enough trend to blog about.

Will it spread into other areas? Will we see ultra serious areas like law and financial services start using names like Swoosh and Cow? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure: Short brandable domains are quite popular these days.

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3 Comments on “Trending: Cute Short Brand Names in Serious Enterprise Markets”

  1. Abdu says:

    There’s also an Oink.com. Oink-Oink!

    • Steve Jones says:

      Haha, I remember that coming out too – Kevin Rose’s app company Milk put that out. Those are examples too, but there’s both the app and social elements at play there so it was not too surprising. I’m just thoroughly shocked that a company would name themselves “Splunk” for a serious enterprise-related company, or name an enterprise data solution “Pig”.

      It would seem to indicate that the social media trend of those kinds of names is influencing other industries as well. It could be that a lot of these huge data companies/solutions are working mostly with social media sites. It’s hard to say, but an interesting development either way.

  2. [...] my article on cute brandable names being used by enterprise-targeted companies, I did some mindless lookups of many relevant enterprise-targeted terms. I wound up coming across [...]


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