Generic Domain Names Bolster Strong Brands | DomainInvesting.com
101 Domain

Generic Domain Names Bolster Strong Brands

14

Quick… without taking much time to think, what brand of toothpaste do you use in the morning? What brand of pasta do you use when you make your penne a la vodka?  There are many products and services we use every day without even realizing the brand we use, and this is why generic domain names are important for companies of every size to do their best to acquire.

From my experience in corporate America on the advertising agency side and the client side, I think companies focus far too much on their individual brands and corporate image rather than on how consumers generally remember them. Large corporations have brand managers, whose role it is to manage a particular brand within the company. They have a set budget, and they spend their money frugally on a large variety of strategic tactics. They don’t usually have the knowledge about domain names and their usefulness.

Companies need to worry a little less about their branding and embrace the fact that consumers don’t necessarily know who they are, but they do know what they are, especially in the case of products that can be easily purchased and researched online. Some national brands fully understand that a generic domain name doesn’t need to be used in lieu of its standard branding, and they wouldn’t sell their domain names as they wouldn’t allow another company to use their brands.

A generic domain name can compliment a company’s brand, as demonstrated by Rum.com, Scotch.com, Toothpaste.com, Pasta.com, and many other companies who are using generic domain names to help support their brand.  Whether a consumer looks for rum via Rum.com or Captain Morgan, Diageo is covered. Getting companies to realize the value of generic in assisting their brand is the difficult part, and as domain investors, we need to teach others about the high value of industry and category defining generic domain names.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


Reach out to Elliot: Twitter | | Facebook | Email

Comments (14)

    David J Castello

    Procter & Gamble, Diageo and Torino seem to understand the strategy of reinforcing their Internet market share via pointing generic domains at their brands. My question is, “Who had at each of these companies had the foresight to acquire these mega-generics and what were their reasons at the time?”

    That’s an interview that could prove enlightening.

    As domainers we know the reasons why they should do it, but their reasons may be quite different. Case in point: When we closed a large exclusive real estate Geo-marketing deal I don’t think the CEO really understood the concept. His biggest concern seemed to be simply not letting his chief competitor have it.

    January 14th, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Frankie

    Elliot,
    the problem with your line of argument is that for the average domainer, there is little incentive to spread the generic gospel because most of these generics are in the hands of very few big domain players

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    Two things…
    1) If big brands pay $xxx,xxx for generics from the biggest domain owners (who are domainers), the money will eventually trickle down.

    2) It doesn’t necessarily have to be the biggest brands buying the biggest domain names. There are tons of medium sized businesses who have second tier products, where the domains are owned by domain investors. I previously owned DisposableInsulinPump(s).com, which would have been a good name (IMO) for a company that produced this type of medical device.

    January 14th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Duane

    Why spend x.xxx , xxx.xxxx or x.xxx.xxx of Dollars when you can register a .com for 7 bucks?

    It’s the address, the location the future value, it starts with your own 4 walls.

    Location and future Value?
    Why buy a 3 bedroom house in Hilton Head for 1 Million if you can get a 5 Bedroom House in Daisy, Arkansas for 50 thousand?

    Why buy Toothpaste.com for xx.xxx or xxx.xxx dollars,
    when “ToothpasteFor BrightWhiteTeeth.com” is available for 7 dollars registration fee.

    Well if you buy Toothpaste.com for xxx.xxx dollars then you don’t get the benefit of being able to put up a marketing team to start burning money for branding. Also you don’t get to sign the million dollar checks for TV, Newspaper and Billboard advertisement.

    Advertisement means trying to get a message across. What to choose, what to buy or who to vote for.

    Owning a generic domain like toothpaste.com which is probably looked up thousands or tens of thousands of times every day takes all the fun out of competition.

    On top of that! Later down the road I will probably be able to sell the domain for 2, 3 or 4 times more than what I paid for.

    I think Managers and CEO’S should play it smart. The huge corporations should keep spending billions on branding a product. After all they are the ones that fly around with private jets begging for money and they get it because they are the smart, intelligent, know it all top Managers which really have the insight in running there business on top of the taxpayers shoulders.

    I will end this comment with a question.
    How should these so called leaders have the smarts to “ get it “?

    January 14th, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    Duane

    Why spend x.xxx , xxx.xxxx or x.xxx.xxx of Dollars when you can register a .com for 7 bucks?
    It’s the address, the location the future value, it starts with your own 4 walls.

    Location and future Value?
    Why buy a 3 bedroom house in Hilton Head for 1 Million if you can get a 5 Bedroom House in Daisy, Arkansas for 50 thousand?

    Why buy Toothpaste.com for xx.xxx or xxx.xxx dollars,
    when “ToothpasteFor BrightWhiteTeeth.com” is available for 7 dollars registration fee.

    Well if you buy Toothpaste.com for xxx.xxx dollars then you don’t get the benefit of being able to put up a marketing team to start burning money for branding. Also you don’t get to sign the million dollar checks for TV, Newspaper and Billboard advertisement.
    Advertisement means trying to get a message across. What to choose, what to buy or who to vote for.

    Owning a generic domain like toothpaste.com which is probably looked up thousands or tens of thousands of times every day takes all the fun out of competition.
    On top of that! Later down the road I will probably be able to sell the domain for 2, 3 or 4 times more than what I paid for.

    I think Managers and CEO’S should play it smart. The huge corporations should keep spending billions on branding a product. After all they are the ones that fly around with private jets begging for money and they get it because they are the smart, intelligent, know it all top Managers which really have the insight in running there business on top of the taxpayers shoulders.

    I will end this comment with a question.
    How should these so called leaders have the smarts to “get it “ ?

    January 14th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    Gordon

    GSK is one company who got it early on. They own some of the best medical names out there depression.com, asthma.com, diabetes.com

    January 14th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Geoffrey Gonzalez

    Elliot,

    perhaps one should point out the value and correlated weight for generic domains to new brands / new category entrants. Geoffrey

    January 14th, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    M. Menius

    A related point are the companies that bought into the generic premium domain as THE BRAND: Hotels.com, Apartments.com, Homes.com, Cars.com, Nashville.com or Martin-Dale Hubble (not an everyday name) branding their company with Lawyers.com and Attorneys.com. As stated, someone with smarts went this route early on and arrived on the mountain top well before the slow-witted.

    Wonder how much any one of those names were purchased for? Now that would be fun to know.

    Loans.com, purchased by Bank of America., is another good example that fits Elliot’s above article, i.e. a premium generic being utilized to support the company’s brand.

    January 14th, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    WannaDevelop.com

    Domainers with lots of domains need to shift their focus from just trying to sell them for ridiculous and made up amounts to the “big brands” and giant companies to small businesses. That is really where the money is.

    http://www.score.org/small_biz_stats.html

    Small Business Survival Rates

    Small Business Openings & Closings in 2007:

    *

    There were 637,100 new businesses, 560,300 business closures and 28,322 bankruptcies.
    *

    Two-thirds of new employer firms survive at least two years, 44 percent survive at least four years, and 31 percent survive at least seven years.
    *

    Findings do not differ greatly across industry sectors.

    Sources: U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, September 2008
    Survival and Longevity in the Business Employment Dynamics Database, Monthly Labor Review, May 2005. Redefining Business Success: Distinguishing Between Closure and Failure, Small Business Economics, August 2003.

    It is very hard to sell a generic domain name to a fortune 500 company or one that has thousands of employees. I don’t think most people realize the amount of work that is involved. That is why you don’t hear too many reports of generic keyword domains getting sold… Only a handful of them do every so often.

    Good luck trying to actually get a response from somebody at a larger company such as a Bank or Insurer… And even if you do, the next challenge is to explain to them why they need your domain name!!

    It’s really not that simple.. There are so many challenges.

    You won’t even be able to give away a generic domain name, with the perceived value of $xx,xxx or even $xxx,xxx by most domainers for FREE to one of the bigger corporate companies.

    They don’t need it. If they really needed it, wouldn’t they already have it? You bet your ass they would :)

    They are not dumb… They know what they need and don’t need.

    You don’t believe me? Try it… Go ahead and try to contact any of the Fortune 500 companies and offer them your generic domain name for FREE. See if you can get a response or anybody to take you up on your offer.. LOL 😉

    Mike

    http://www.wannadevelop.com

    January 15th, 2009 at 5:00 am

    WannaDevelop.com

    Domainers with lots of domains need to shift their focus from just trying to sell them for ridiculous and made up amounts to the “big brands” and giant companies to small businesses. That is really where the money is.

    http://www.score.org/small_biz_stats.html

    Small Business Survival Rates

    Small Business Openings & Closings in 2007:

    * There were 637,100 new businesses, 560,300 business closures and 28,322 bankruptcies.
    * Two-thirds of new employer firms survive at least two years, 44 percent survive at least four years, and 31 percent survive at least seven years.
    * Findings do not differ greatly across industry sectors.

    Sources: U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy, September 2008
    Survival and Longevity in the Business Employment Dynamics Database, Monthly Labor Review, May 2005. Redefining Business Success: Distinguishing Between Closure and Failure, Small Business Economics, August 2003.

    It is very hard to sell a generic domain name to a fortune 500 company or one that has thousands of employees. I don’t think most people realize the amount of work that is involved. That is why you don’t hear too many reports of generic keyword domains getting sold… Only a handful of them do every so often.

    Good luck trying to actually get a response from somebody at a larger company such as a Bank or Insurer… And even if you do, the next challenge is to explain to them why they need your domain name!!

    It’s really not that simple.. There are so many challenges.

    You won’t even be able to give away a generic domain name, with the perceived value of $xx,xxx or even $xxx,xxx by most domainers for FREE to one of the bigger corporate companies.

    They don’t need it. If they really needed it, wouldn’t they already have it? You bet your ass they would :)

    They are not dumb… They know what they need and don’t need.

    You don’t believe me? Try it… Go ahead and try to contact any of the Fortune 500 companies and offer them your generic domain name for FREE. See if you can get a response or anybody to take you up on your offer.. LOL 😉

    Mike

    http://www.wannadevelop.com

    January 15th, 2009 at 5:01 am

    The G. Man

    Hey Elliot, did you just steal this topic from me. I could have sworn I made the same comment about generic domains and their power here the other day in regards to another matter. Don’t tell me one of my favorite Domainer’s is taking my thunder. LOL. I will have to tell your wife about this if it is so.

    I agree with David’s comments above. That has generally been our experienced with companies and CEOs in this regard, since the early 90s.

    Sincerely,
    The G. Man
    President of NexMillenia
    “An Internet Pioneer & Digital Media Firm into the NexMillenia!”

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    LOL.. I think I mentioned it a year ago, too – with different examples…. did you steal my thunder?? HA HA….

    See you in LA, right?

    January 15th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    The G. Man

    Can’t make it. Wife has given me a Hall Pass for that event. LOL!!!

    ***UPDATED BY ELLIOT***

    What’s her number? I’m gonna give her a call…

    January 15th, 2009 at 9:44 am

    The G. Man

    Yeah, that’s what I really need. I need her to start getting calls from Superstars and Celebrities like yourself and David. That’s OK, appreciate the assistance, but I will have to pass on this one. Thanks anway. LMAO 😀

    The G. Man

    January 15th, 2009 at 9:48 am

    The G. Man

    While I have your attention though, here is a matter that we may really need to think on? We’ve all been blessed in this industry one way or another, but how do we help the less fortunate. I was approached recently about helping a 3 year old who has a very rare form of leukemia. Like everyone else my first thoughts where to give a donation and try to help the cause, but the more I thought about it the more I wonder how my skills and abilities in domaining could help on a longer term. Yes we have done the auctions at the various shows for raising funds for worthy causes, but in this down economy that has become hard, but we’ve still been blessed and have skills that can do more.

    I was given a picture of the little girl and she had a hat on that said, “Cancer Fears Me!” I immediately thought of my successful motiviational wear and decided to buy that domain.

    My idea is to create some personalized items for her cause, but then it struck me that this could be useful for others and many times over. I don’t think anyone lives without knowing or being affected by this disease. So I like the direction I am headed in. I don’t have time to design what I have in mind for her right now, but I have gotten the domain, http://www.CancerFears.me and redirected it to my motivational stuff online. I will have her designs there shortly and donate all the proceeds to her. Maybe this is what we all can do and more of. It would show are skills in a positive like for sure. Thanks for your time and listening to me today.

    Sincerely,
    The G. Man

    January 15th, 2009 at 10:15 am

    broadband hdtvs

    whats interesting is this , i just acquired broadbandhdtv and the sister domain broadbandhdtvs.com. The curious thing is that lg is going to introduce their “broadband hdtvs” in the next couple of months and havent even bothered acquire their sister domains.
    I guess i am lucky but at the same time i disgress. It seems the internet will always be an after thought. This generation will never get how much domains are worth and domainers will always face an uphill task at trying to explain the value of domains. Sure you will hear one or two 10million dollar domain sales here and there, but faced with the simple fact that you can register goshiforgottoregisterbroadbandhdtvs.com for 8 bucks and “brand the domain” it becomes an interesting battle.
    Then again – that doesnt mean i will delete my domain any time soon. :)
    If you are interested in buying my domain let me know. :)

    >.< Nick

    January 16th, 2009 at 8:04 am

Leave a Reply

Name *

Mail *

Website