When It Comes to Domain Names You Must Realize That a URL Is Not a Brand Name

October 1, 2012 by  Filed under: SEO 

The other day, I was talking to an online startup company that had some decent funding. They were interested in a little bit of consulting expertise from me and had inquired about the proper domain name strategies to help catapult their business. They immediately started looking at potential domain names which were for sale, and they were willing to spend quite a bit of money. Indeed, I’m not sure if that makes a lot of sense.

In fact, the domain name may not be as important as you think, and certainly not for the same reasons. You see, there’s a difference between a hot property, or an easily memorable domain name and what is needed to capture brand name recognition from the online consumer. Okay so let’s talk about this for second shall we because it is a decent question.

First, before I get into this I’d like to recommend a very good book to read which actually has a chapter on this topic. The name of the book that I’d like to recommend to you is;

“Deep Branding On The Internet – Applying Heat and Pressure Online to Ensure a Lasting Brand,” by Marc Braunstein and Edward H. Levine, Prima Ventures Publishing, Roseville CA, 200, 380 pages, ISBN: 0-7615-2532-7.

In Chapter II titled; “A URL Is Not a Brand” the authors make some rather interesting comments, which really makes you think, that is if you are a branding and marketing person. The authors suggest that just because you cyber-squatted a great URL, doesn’t mean that any company should buy it and assume that this will suffice for proper branding. Although some of these cyber squatted names did sell for millions of dollars such as “Business (dot) com” which was one example used by the authors, it doesn’t mean that is a brand name, just as owning a domain name such as “sports cars (dot) com” is not a brand name.

Now this doesn’t mean those aren’t great “internet real estate” properties to own, they definitely are, but there is much more to it than that. After all, what is a Google, Yahoo, or Zynga, etc.? Today, those are great brand names. The reality is those domain names probably didn’t cost much of anything, perhaps the owners or founders of those companies thought up a good name for a company, or something unique, and then registered those domain names for a very low price. They didn’t spend millions of dollars to buy them. You see my point?

Far too often startup entrepreneurs believe that they need a specialized domain and can therefore make the business work. Some actually believe that if others have already taken such a domain name then there is too much competition out there and they will never be able to make any money. That’s just not the case, that’s not how works. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Internet Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank; http://www.worldthinktank.net

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