Are voice assistants the new “radio test” for domain names?

Are Voice Assistants the New “Radio Test” for Domain Names?

Catching up reading a few Forbes articles, I stumbled upon a guest post from the CEO of, Will Burns.

Burns shared an article written by one of his resident naming experts, Alexandra Watkins, about the challenges of naming a company.

In the article, Alexandra provides 3 insights to operate by when naming a company:

  • Settle on your brand name first, then domain name second
  • Avoid spelling-challenged names
  • Think about the company’s future when naming

The article is a good read for marketing professionals from beginning to the end. Watkins includes a number of examples outlining the good, the bad, and ugly when naming a company and choosing a domain as the primary digital presence.

What intrigued me the most about the article was the mentioning of using Siri to test the clarity of a brand or domain name. Burns explains:

“In her book, Alexandra suggests a great litmus test to avoid nonintuitive names and it’s right in your pocket. Use the ’Siri Test’ and see if Siri (or other voice recognition bot) spells it correctly from just hearing you say it. Does it get garbled? Does autocorrect suggest an absurdly wrong word? If so, keep thinking of more names.”

Burns and Watkins scratch the surface of the radio test for domain names.  Domain investors and brokers are familiar with the commonly used phrased “radio test” for domain names.

However, there is more to the story, as outlined in the tests below I often recommend:

  • Watch for number and word collisions (aka homonyms)
  • Do not include dashes/hyphens and underscores
  • Think twice about abbreviations, slang, acronyms, and weird spellings
  • Going crazy or hacking with non .com extensions

These thoughts coupled with the use of voice assistants should greatly improve everyone — serial entrepreneur, executive, family business, marketing or IT professional, domain investor, domain broker, or anyone else — searching for a memorable brand to build on.

Much like domain investors likely asking a group of peers prior to purchasing a domain name, linguistic and naming advisors coach persons in search of a brand to test names with focus groups.

Enter the clever use of voice assistants to help prudently navigate naming a company, product, service, solution, and brand.

Elliot Silver — internet entrepreneur and publisher of — also wrote about how using Siri to test brand and domain clarity is becoming the new norm a few years back.

I’ve personally not ever considered using a voice assistant to qualify potential domain name investments, but will likely use one or more of the following voice assistants to test names:

  • Apple Siri
  • Amazon Alexa
  • Google Assistant
  • Samsung Bixby
  • Microsoft Cortana

I encourage you to do the same, whether domain investing or naming your next business or project. If you’re not familiar with voice assistants, I recommend reading a comparison article summing up the best voice assistants.

After all, if a voice assistant likely struggles with the spelling or pronunciation of a name you’ve fallen head over heals in love with, then it’s highly likely humans may struggle too.

What do you think about voice assistants becoming the new “radio test”?

Written by Alvin Brown
He's an experienced and passionate serial entrepreneur, founder and publisher of Kickstart Commerce. Alvin possesses a great love for startups dominating their market using profitable digital strategies for greater commerce.