Reasons for Getting the Best Domain Name
Creating a recognized brand is a dream for every entrepreneur. This is true whatever the product or service may be – a unicorn, an ice cream parlor, or a fashion line – because a brand including its name and images are more than just your financial statements. Your brand represents your corporate culture and your way of connecting with customers, as well as the means by which your customers, suppliers and stakeholders, even your employees, refer to your company. For this reason, the perfect domain name is a critical aspect of your brand building efforts.
It is among the most crucial elements that many founders and CMOs fail to acknowledge until it’s too late and the damage too expensive and too extensive. But there are also times when even a solid brand needs an upgrade or an update. This is true for every brand even for the likes of Twitter, Instagram, Uber, and Anker because every brand has to mature – and with maturity comes the importance of acquiring the right domain name.
Paul Graham, a co-founder of Y Combinator and among the most prominent venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, once stated in an August 2915 article that getting the right .com domain name was more about showing strength and less about acquiring users.
According to him, “The problem with not having the .com of your name is that it signals weakness”. He further emphasized that, “Sometimes founders know it’s a problem that they don’t have the .com of their name, but delusion strikes a step later in the belief that they’ll be able to buy it despite having no evidence it’s for sale. Don’t believe a domain is for sale unless the owner has already told you an asking price.”
A great example of the headaches that come with another entity owning a name the same or similar to yours is Nissan.com. Nissan, the well-known Japanese carmaker, has filed multiple lawsuits to obtain the domain name already owned by Uzi Nissan and yet failed despite its battery of lawyers. This isn’t surprising as Uzi Nissan rightfully considers “Nissan” as his family heritage so he has the right to own it, regardless of the carmaker’s insistence otherwise.
from UberCab.com to Uber.com
There was no chance for UberCan to become a verb.
The company needed the domain as a representation and reflection of their increasing market authority and consumer popularity. The term “uber” by itself already did so when your brand becomes a verb, you know that it’s working. Uber being a technology company, the “cab” wasn’t a perfect fit, too, just as AmazonBooks for Amazon.com wasn’t.
From twttr.com to Twitter.com
The Twitter co-founders enjoyed a true bargain when they acquired their preferred domain name early on even before they know the success of their service and its brand.
from ianker.com to anker.com
When you first look at ianker.com, you will likely be confused about the brand’s identity, even the way it’s pronounced – is it “I Anker” or “I An Ker”? The upgrade removed the confusion so these were dollars spent well on getting to the next level.
from Bit.ly to Bitly.com
By changing from .by to Bitly.com rather than the bit.ly domain hack, Bitly has established its authority that every successful technology company must possess. In the process, it has also removed the idea that it’s just a one-trick pony.
from squareup.com to Square.com
Square is widely referred to as simply Square in both traditional and digital media so the acquisition of square.com was a logical move. We guess that thousands of people made the mistake of emailing their contacts @square.com in their belief that they were emailing squareup.com but they weren’t, far from it. For a payments processing company, the email vulnerability alone was a sufficient reason to pay top dollars for the square.com domain.
from getdropbox.com to DropBox.com
The DropBox story is a perfect example of the crucial differences between acquiring the perfect domain and a satisfactory domain. At the time of its launch, getdropbox.com was a satisfactory choice for the company, especially as it needed to launch its business and product. But once its product became a success and word-of-mouth started to spread, most of the potential customers assumed the dropbox.com was its official site. The company’s need to acquire the dropbox.com domain was then mandatory.
from thefacebook.com to Facebook.com
When a company drops “the” from its domain name, it becomes a market authority. You, after all, don’t want to be known as just another company in a sea of companies.
Just imagine the difference in our contemporary society had the world-famous brands used “the” in their names, such as thecocacola.com, thetwitter.com, or thefedex.com.
from instagr.am to Instagram.com
While domain hacks have a certain cool factor about them, these should also be secondary URLs. Take the case of instgr.am that its users called Instagram instead of pronouncing it as instgr.am – and there’s not even a uniform way of saying it. You should always try to get the domain name that your customers, employees and stakeholders can pronounce easily and quickly, if not by default.
from playfoursquare.com to Foursquare.com
When “play” was removed from its original domain name, Foursquare began showing its target users that it meant serious business regardless of their initial start, no matter how briefly, as a gaming company. The company then let its original domain name expire in March 2010.
What do these examples show?
It’s simple – there’s no one-size-fits- all proven method in making the right choice in a domain name.
We live in a world where employees, consumers and stakeholders embrace the short versions, which are often the most memorable and natural, of domain names. The companies we set as examples, as well as thousands more of others, have invested time, effort and money into getting the perfect domain names.
Upgrade your domain name now!
You will find that it’s better to work with human nature than go against it.