Successful companies understand how multiple domains create value to their branding and marketing messages. As companies take market share and grow sales, marketing budgets and campaigns become more complex. On any given week I will reach out to over 300 businesses to start conversations on their domain strategies.
Over time we have noticed a trend in how companies view domains which typically corresponds to where they are at in their business’s growth cycle. A startup will use resources in a different way than a market leader. Domains play a foundation part of branding and marketing campaigns for every step in the business lifecycle. If a domain is acquired correctly, they become a foundational element that maximized positioning and return on marketing investment.
When is the correct time to upgrade your domain and acquire new domains?
Understanding the business lifecycle. Domain strategies fall into several key buckets which correlate very closely to the business lifecycle. Entrepreneur.com describes the five stages of the business lifecycle:
- Seed & development
- Growth and establish
How quickly a company moves between these stages will be dependent upon their product, positioning, and ability to utilize their resources. As the world moves online acquiring the correct domains at each of these stages, become crucial to the success of branding and marketing campaigns.
Domain portfolio – what is the objective? For simplicity sake, we break down how domains are utilized into three key buckets.
Brandable domains: Used to support and become the leading site for a
- Example: Trunk.com, Uber.com, Walmart.com, Honest.com
Marketing campaign domains: Used as a secondary location to support a marketing campaign
- Example: FiveHourMarkeitngMakeover.com
Information domains: Used more for education, positioning, and information.
- Example: Gingivitis.com, kidneyfailure.com, motionsickness.com
Domains are acquired based on the marketing objective and typically mirror the business lifecycle. A startup needs a brand that will capture consumer intent, allow them to go viral and be easily remembered. This should be their first focus for their domain portfolio. Companies in the growth stage have established brands, however, need domains to support their marketing efforts. The power in a premium domain is that it can be utilized for all three buckets. For example, Author.com could be used for all three buckets. However the strength of Author.com is in how it can become an authoritative brand.
Here are examples of how successful companies use their domain portfolios in marketing
This list only scratches the surface for these businesses domain portfolios however provides examples as a reference. I also tried to pick a few different companies. StoryBrand StoryBrand.com is an amazing marketing company that talks about the importance of “Clarifying your message so people engage.” Their main website is StoryBrand.com. They also utilize two domains for marketing to get people to join and their funnel.
- StoryBrand.com (main site)
- BuildingAStoryBrand.com (blog)
- FiveMinuteMarketingMakeover.com (lead gen)
- 5MinuteMarketingMakeover.com (lead gen)
If you get a second check out this site. The three-part video series is well worth watching. Planet Art The PlanetArt companies provide consumers and small businesses with the tools, content and services to create quality personalized products that are both innovative and affordable. This is a good example of a smaller company using multiple brands to attract and create simplicity for their customers.
- com is their main website and company brand
They also operate these other sites:
Product Launch Formula
One of the benefits of being a domain broker is that I view hundreds of companies every week. Jeff Walker has been in the business for a while and knows a few things about marketing and positioning. I am sure he has several more domains, however, these three show how he segments his product to create clarity in marketing.
Getty Images Getty Images is a stock photo agency and supplier of stock images for business and consumers. They target three markets—creative professionals, the media and corporate accounts. Here is an example of how a larger company uses domains to create multiple brands.
Expensive versus valuable There is a great quote I heard over the weekend that free advice is sometimes the most expensive advice you will ever hear. In the domain world, there is a difference between an expensive domain and a valuable domain. Premium domains may have a high price tag however they are valuable because of they reduce the distance needed for a brand to connect and position themselves.
Building a company on a set of domains that on the surface are cheap may be the most expensive mistake a company can make because more marketing dollars are needed to achieve the same result – if it can even be achieved.
Here is a framework to help you evaluate your domain decision
At Media Options, we also have a checklist to help define the essence of a great domain. A domain should connect with your brand and create synergies at each of these key points
- P = positioning to create authority
- R = reinforce your brand
- O = opportunity to pivot
- F = easy to find and remember
- I = capture consumer intent
- T = trademark availability
- S = create simplicity
You can also see our CONVERT checklist here.
The business lifecycle will typically dictate when and why a company acquires a domain. Domains are used in different ways to support branding and marketing. The power of a premium domain is that it can be used at any step in the business lifecycle.
The examples above illustrate how companies utilize multiple domains to create value, positioning and drive revenue. The internet has forever changed the way business go to market.
A single domain location is no longer sufficient and could put a business at risk of being overwhelmed by competing brands and domains. Here are a few domains that Media Options is brokering that will make great brands: Heart.com, Adaptable.com, StoreMore.com, MyCraft.com & many more. If you are looking to acquire a domain, let’s talk.
Media Options has access to the largest portfolio or public and private domains. If you’d like to start conversation on domain acquisitions or brokering, just send an email to: Chris@MediaOptions.com
Media Options: Media Options is an industry-leading domain name broker, specializing in domain acquisitions and domain sales. As a thought leader in domain name valuation, domain investment and online media strategy we provide consulting services to everyone from Startups looking for a brand to Fortune 500 companies looking to launch a new product or service. We also have tremendous experience and knowledge in the entire naming process.