I'm thinking about naming my company (financial services) with a name which ends with "Land". E.g. if I was selling books it would be bookland or aqualand if I sold bottled water. My friend says it would remind customers of Legoland and won't be treated seriously. Is it really a no-go? Are there reputable companies which are named the same way?
I'd personally say no because it sounds cheap, kind of like a 'pile them high, sell them low' philosophy as used in budget stores. I'm not sure that is what you would want to aim for in financial services where something that inspires confidence and wealth would be more appropriate.
Here in the UK we have chains of shops called 'Poundland' (were everything costs £1), this is probably where my point of view comes from.
I think there is too much unknown here to answer the question properly. To me, it depends on the specific service you are offering, the segment you are targeting your offerings to, the messaging that would surround the name, and the prefix that comes before 'land' - and probably some other things. In other words, I wouldn't say 'land' by itself is necessarily bad or fatal to a name and you haven't provided us with enough information to offer more than gut reactions to a general concept.
For instance, a name like moneyland is going to be a killer name for certain situations. mortgageland, too.
littleadv already pointed out Disneyland. On a much smaller scale, there's Petland.
Is your friend a Marketing exec / otherwise qualified that his/her opinion carries so much weight?
Having your kid say that flashing text on a website is a great idea and accepting that since (s)he is online all the time doesn't automatically make it objective / actionable info.
If you have concerns, register the name (sub $15 insurance) and run an opinion campaign on mechanical turk / etc. to get enough responses to form a statistically valid opinion.
I agree with what's been answered: ending your branding with "-land" sounds cheap for a financial services company. How about instead of "land", you go for "point". EquityLand vs EquityPoint or MortgageLand vs MortgagePoint. In any case, check if the internet name is available; I think that's very important.