Your Domain Name Is Your Brand Online
As the old adage goes - You only get one chance to make a first impression! That certainly rings true in today’s digital world as well. So many growing companies are making moves and upgrading to their exact brand matching .COM. It is almost daily that I see announcements of domain name acquisitions from businesses themselves or others researching these trends. For example, just this week there were two huge domain upgrades shared on Twitter.
The first one is Discord.com, a leading chat app for communities and friends. From @Discord on Twitter:
Another big domain name upgrade that was uncovered this week was SurpriseHR.com moving to Surprise.com.
The sale prices paid for Discord.com and Surprise.com were not announced publicly, but it is safe to say that the companies paid a pretty penny to acquire such premium one word .coms. If they are both already successful businesses, many folks may ask why did they feel the need to spend so much just to acquire the one word .COM? There are many answers to this question. Ultimately though, it comes down to branding, long term vision and authority.
If you look at the top 100 brands in the world today, how many do you see using a prefix or suffix like ‘get’ or ‘app’ in their domain? That’s right…ZERO. If you have aspirations for your company to become a huge brand, you need to have your online business built on the best possible domain name. Can you imagine a company like Nike using WearNike.com instead of Nike.com or Nestle going with EatNestle.com for their main web presence? When a company utilizes a one words .com that exactly matches their brand name, this signals to their clients, competitors and the rest of the world that they are in it for the long haul and are an authority in their industry or niche. It is not to say that these brands should only own one premium domain name. For example, Disney who operates many brands also owns several generic one word domains like Family.com and Video.com which redirect to specific pages on their website that relate to those keywords.
Of course, not every small business with big goals have the capital to go out and acquire a one word .com domain at this very moment. So, naturally businesses will need a web presence and have to launch and grow on two word variations, an acronym or maybe on a different extension like a .net, .org or .co, etc. However, it should be addressed very early on if and when a business will consider going for the upgrade. Here’s a great interview with an entrepreneur who negotiated for almost 7 years to get the domain name he and his company really wanted and why he ultimately paid $1.5M for the domain. It started out with a $50k offer and years later they finally landed the domain. It is a long interview but really goes in depth on the negotiation and why he is so happy with the acquisition.
Noah explains in the DomainSherpa interview that their brand is Sumo, not SumoMe which was the domain they were using. He and his cofounder felt it necessary to be THE Sumo online, so in his eyes they absolutely had to secure Sumo.com. They wanted to go big and there was no other alternative. Since the acquisition, Sumo has grown substantially and now does annual revenue over $70M/year. This is just one of many examples out there demonstrating how upgrading to the brand matching one word .com turned out to be the best and most important investments for their company and brand.