How do you guys feel about a domain name using a number (in numbers)? Imagine 43folders, or 37signals... (I always get those 2 confused and have to do a quick Google search oftentimes putting "37 folders" or "43 signals").
In my opinion, I think it helps with brand recall, if you can communicate clearly why the number is important. What are some of your opinions on this?
Check out 1-800 Flowers. The numbers fit right in with their brand. Note they own both 1800flowers.com and 800flowers.com - so the customer doesn't have to think, "Do I need the leading 1?".
I think numbers, when appropriate are just fine.
Difficult to do without looking cheap. It can come across like '[email protected]' unless the number really makes sense. Also it seems to look better if the number is first, as in the examples you cite, or 30boxes etc.
I was on that path recently in a months-long branding exercise. In the end we found a name without a number and I'm glad we did.
I have used domains with numbers (in my private / hobby life), and people have consistently responded negatively to them. Also, they're pretty hard to read out loud to someone over the telephone, most people are not used to mixing letters and numbers in domains.
Having said that, if the number is part of an overall branding strategy that ties to things people recognize from off-line life, as in Gary E's excellent example, then I guess they can work very well. But "43Folders" and "37Signals" are just hard to remember and read to someone, without any significant benefit.
Finding free .com domains for new companies is getting quite hard, so I understand the temptation to name a company or service something with a number. But I think it's better to use a prefix or suffix that has some meaning to the target audience. Examples could be "software", "net", "cloud" (only if specific to cloud computing); geographical names (city / state / region), etc.
As always, one should avoid naming a company or product in the currently fashionable style without good reason. For example, above I mentioned "cloud", but if cloud computing turns out to be a fad that burns out, then having "cloud" in your company name can send all the wrong signals real fast.
Domain names with a number will give almost the same effect as vanity numbers does. They can create image and are easy to remember.