The Power of Premium Domains for Positioning
The sale of Jet.com to Walmart in early August is a great example to the branding and domain community on the importance of premium domain positioning. When Marc Lore founded Jet.com, he could have chosen many different paths for branding his new startup.
Fresh from success with Diapers.com, Soap.com, and BeautyBar.com, Marc understood the power of branding and the role a premium domain plays into the valuation and success of a company. Each of these prior startups included brilliant positioning with domain name strategy.
This sale is another key indicator that the internet is king and the future for retailers.
Would Jet.com have been as valuable with a different domain?
Great branding is often unappreciated because the simplicity and power seem obvious when looking in hindsight. I often say in conversations that branding and domains are impossible to separate. The role of the domain should be to reinforce the brand message in an effortless manner.
It should almost go unnoticed because of how it blends and interacts with the brand message. Jet.com is an excellent example of creating simplicity in the branding process.
If Jet had positioned itself via a different URL such as JetPack.com or JetFuel.com, would it have the same impact and simplicity of Jet.com? If you look at Marc’s track record, the answer is no.
He understood the power of branding and the role of the domain: being the first interaction with customers. Diapers.com, Soap.com, and BeautyBar.com sold to Amazon for $545 million dollars in 2010.
It is very hard to argue with his track record of creating and selling companies in a relatively short timeframe.
Would Walmart have acquired Jet.com if it had a more complex domain?
Walmart also had to evaluate the brand Jet.com very carefully to see if it synergizes with the Walmart brand messaging. The Walmart brand is established as the number one brick and mortar retailer in the USA. Any acquisition that could create confusion or impact the Walmart brand negatively would not make it past the first brainstorming session.
Any potential acquisition is vetted in context of how its positioning could affect the primary brand. With Jet.com, this was especially relevant given the price tag of $3 billion dollars and potential impact to the global Walmart brand. The power of Jet.com is in the simplicity, shortness and ability to connect with consumers. As a startup, the premium domain positioning
- Minimized marketing spend
- Grew brand loyalty & repeat business
- Enabled massive social sharing
- Positioned it to be acquired by an established brand, even a global brand
This may seem obvious, but positioning your brand on a premium domain is a foundational decision that has a lasting impact on the success of a startup.
The internet is the playground for future growth.
The acquisition of Jet.com also sends another very powerful message that the internet is the future for growth. With this acquisition, Walmart is acknowledging that they needed to look outside their organization for a groundbreaking company that would help them compete in the new retail space. Walmart has been struggling with their online position, and this $3 billion investment has a specific outcome in the domain community.
Premium domains that elevate and reinforce great brands will be even more sought after while the supply is still limited based on how we process language. Companies that understand the power a domain brings to their brand will have a massive advantage in positioning for their vertical. Domains will increase in value and be a tremendous asset on the books.
Here is a framework to help you evaluate your domain decision:
If you are at the point of deciding on a domain for you brand, use this simple checklist to assess your decision. Or, learn here how Startups can Shine Like a Unicorn with 10% of the Initial Investment! A domain should connect with your brand at each of these points
- C = Capture consumer intent
- O = One word or simplicity in messaging.
- N = Nimble
- V = Viral & Verb
- E = Elevate your brand to a position of authority
- R = Radio test
- T = Trademark availability
Nobody will dispute the power branding plays in positioning a brand for success: whether a startup or a global brand. The acquisition of Jet.com by Walmart sends many signals to the internet community. If a major brand like Walmart is willing to look beyond their core brand for growth, then it shows the limitless opportunity that is available online.
Premium domains are the new real estate and are becoming more important that a company’s physical address. Choosing the correct domain is a foundational decision that has a lasting impact on the success of any brand.
If you are evaluating your domain decision, 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 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.