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December 7, 2007

Dim Name for a Bright Idea

Dimdim.gifThere are times when a name can fit all your criteria and still be the wrong name for the product or service. Dimdim, a free web meeting tool aiming to compete with the likes of LiveMeeting, WebEx and GoToMeeting, is a prime example. According to founder D. D. Ganguly:

    We sat down with 18,000 domain names and promised ourselves that we would not leave without naming our company. We set 5 simple rules:
  • The dotcom domain name must be available
  • The name must have high recall
  • The name must be international
  • The sound of the name must translate without ambiguity to its spelling
  • The spelling must translate to unambiguously to its pronunciation

  • Five hours later we named the company Dimdim.

Eighteen thousand domain names and they picked Dimdim? Sure, it meets all their criteria: it's phonetic and the sounds are common to most languages. It may outdo the Wii in that department.

Like "Wii," "Dimdim" is a name that's just asking to be made fun of. And the Wii, at least, is for gamers. Dimdim is a business service. "Wii" also has Nintendo's marketing budget behind it.

Of course, lots of Web 2.0 products have silly names, and that doesn't stop them from succeeding. But "Flickr," "Twitter," and "Jaiku" all have names that relate to what their service does. Even ooVoo, which scores very high on the silliness scale, looks like "you view."

I can hear the slogans now: "Dim meetings for dim people."

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Posted by Diane Prange at December 7, 2007 8:57 AM
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Thanks for the post. As they say, there's nothing called bad publicity :)

As far the slogans go ("I can hear the slogans now: "Dim meetings for dim people.") - consider some other brand names - Coke, Kinko's, the Dummies series of books, Idiot's guide to ...

CEO World's Free and Open Source Web Meeting

I'm not sure I get you..are you saying that you LIKE the fact that you are calling the target market "dim"? I'm not sure this works in this space. Also, I must politely say that I was reminded of "dim sum." I really think that this kind of naming is essentially over. Dimdim is just not a business friendly name. It sounds like baby talk. Imagine some new PA has to choose between advising some tough business person to use either "WebEx" or "dimdim"...

I'm with ooVoo. At first I couldn't make sense the name too. But then I took a look at it. You're right. ooVoo sounds like "you view". And the two o's together twice come off like eyes.

I'm finding that it's giving us a lot of positive attention too. From ZDNet:

Both PC and Mac Beta versions are ready.

What would your take be on TIAA-CREF? Gotta love that one.

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