PALM BEACH, FL – While I periodically entertain alternatives and still hold and use a few, I remain a big believer in the “.com” domain name extension over any other available alternative in nearly any scenario.
There are only a few cases where an alternative makes sense and looks good, but remains vulnerable.
I have always based this very simple and what should be obvious logic to what has taken place for general marketing in the past with the “1-800” business which can be easily seen and understood by just about anyone analyzing it.
The toll-free numbers business began many decades ago, and the ”1-800” exchange remains the premium, most effective and most desirable of all toll-free phone numbers over any and all other possible alternatives such as “888” or “877” – and domains will be no different in consumer psyche.
In fact, a handful of times I have predicted that it will likely take fifty years, to get a return on investment on premium nGTLDs or for alternative names to become mainstream, and I have said this year after year, after year, and that time frame has not been cut any shorter at this point; it still looks as if it will take another fifty.
I wrote about this several times, one of which being five years ago, in “New gTLD? Not So Fast; History Suggests New ‘Right of the Dots’ Could = Total Failure” where I highlighted the total and absolute train-wreck experience Overstock.com had when they attempted their rebranding with “o.co” – The article received a slew of comments, some from new GTLD advocates, but nearly nothing has changed in the last five years. It has only become even more important now, then it was then, to have your “.com” domain name, which can be gleaned by this great list by Hilco Digital Assets of recent acquisitions of exact match .com domain names.
Two on that list which jump right out at you are “Spade.dev” which acquired “Spade.com” and “Bubble.io” which acquired “Bubble.com”–
If their alternative was so fantastic, they would not have acquired their “.com” name.
All the companies on the list have moved aggressively to secure a shorter or better “.com” domain name, even if they already held the exact match two word as needed, such as Illusive Networks Inc. “IllusiveNetworks.com” acquiring “Illusive.com” and Wrap Technologies, Inc. “WRAPTechnologies.com” acquiring the “Wrap.com” domain name. They desired an even better, shorter, more dominant place in their market and accomplished this by securing a shorter, better, more valuable “.com” foundation.
I discovered the list from Hilco Digital Assets after it was highlighted in Forbes’ August 27, “Internet Domain Names: The Most Valuable Real Estate For Your Business” article which was published by a Contributor. Although I’ve lost some faith in Forbes contributor stories over the last few years since they now allow a pay-to-play inclusion program for screened authors through Forbes Councils, this story was a very good one. Spot on in fact.
What I believe is a critical highlight in the story is the point being made, that domains, specifically “.com” domains, are true assets which become part of a portfolio of utilities a company holds and that the time, effort, and expense underscores a certain market position like no other and is additionally a resalable asset that appears on a balance sheet.
Consider the “Super Bowl” analogy. Some businesses can spend $8 million dollars or more for one 30-second Super Bowl commercial, which is over and measured quickly. If it works, there is a return on investment, and if not, it is a significant hit to that company’s profit and loss statement.
For a similar cost, if they had purchased their exact match or category .com domain name, they would have a balance sheet asset that is an appreciating, amortizable, resalable investment, while adding exponential enterprise value and utility to the business. The same executives and investors who shun a seven-figure domain acquisition are probably spending P&L money to advertise their forgettable, non-matching domain name all over the internet.
The story also pointed out that non-.com domain names were another strategy or tactic to use, but that at the end of the day, a company may still need to acquire the “.com” domain name anyway, while being in a “precarious negotiating position.”
About The Author: John Colascione is Chief Executive Officer of Internet Marketing Services Inc. He specializes in Website Monetization, is a Google AdWords Certified Professional, authored a ‘how to’ book called ”Mastering Your Website‘, and is a key player in several Internet related businesses through his search engine strategy brand Searchen Networks®