I've been asked to build a "landing page" for a local branch of an international corporation. While the corporation has a well-established domain name, the local office wants to use a unique, separate url that will be easy for them to relay to clients. However, the corporation is considered a category leader, so the local office is also concerned about the importance to carrying over the company's brand to the URL.
Questions that have arisen:
From an SEO perspective, is there a benefit to including the brand name
in the URL?
Would it be more beneficial to buy a domain that relates generically to the INDUSTRY as opposed to the specific brand name?
Would the benefits of an easy-to-remember, short domain outweigh any SEO benefits that might be gained by a longer, brand-specific domain?
Also remember that it's not necessarily an 'either/or' decision. You could register both domains, build the site on the longer one with the better SEO value and redirect the shorter human-friendly domain to it.
This is more a business strategy decision than an SEO decision.
Will the local office leverage the
brand as a major part of the
Is the industry closely associated
with the brand, i.e. Kleenex?
Does the local office want or need to
differentiate itself from the parent
Will the local office compete with
the parent brand in any way?
Does the local office have any other objective business reasons for having a separate URL other than making it easy to share?
Answering some of those questions should help bring more clarity to the issue. From what you've written in your question, though, this is a case where I would seriously consider using a subdomain, http://local.example.com.
Another option is to use a little trick to make your URL more memorable.
If you were creating a URL and wanted to take advantage of your corporate domain, which might be IBM, but couldn't get corporate to approve or act upon creating the subdomain, you could buy the domain you wanted, say SuperProduct.com and then add IBM as the host, or subdomain.