Why build on a domain that doesn't match your brand name?

CrowdFunding.com was recently acquired for a reported $170,000 by GoFundMe.com, who have stated they have no plans to rebrand. Veterinary Pet Insurance Company, the oldest and largest pet insurer in the US, is very well known as VPI. However, their entire online presence is built on premium domain PetInsurance.com. Companies build on a domain name that doesn’t match their brand name? Yes! Some entities build their primary site on a domain name that is not their brand name.

This may be done with exact match domains to maximize search engine ranking, as our previous article explains. This can also be a savvy proactive move, establishing the exact match domain owner as the definitive resource in that field. Owning the exact match domain exudes instant credibility, automatically defends against a competitor utilizing that domain, and provides long term SEO and marketing savings. But companies seek other premium domains for development, too.  In some situations, major brand names reach new market segments via exact match domains or premium domains. Let’s take a look at Baby.com, acquired by Johnson and Johnson. This premium generic can capture a new audience and provide extensive insight into their target consumer habits.

The same concept could also produce solid lead generation. Companies with multiple facets, particularly both local and a larger online presence, also benefit from building on a domain that is not the brand name. A local North Carolina wholesale tire company, Kluttz Tire, recently acquired DiscountTireSale.com. It’s an ideal exact match domain name for their larger wholesale business, while they continue to maintain their existing branded website for local clients. In their situation, they divided their local branded website business from their national online business. In another situation, a local company is not running an online enterprise, but still built on a domain other than their brand name.

Local whimsical French eatery, Coup des Tartes, has a fantastic brand that reflects their panache. A brand that is easily passed by word of mouth is valuable in the restaurant industry. Online, however, there must have been some recognition of spelling difficulties and search challenges. Yet they didn’t opt for an exact match domain like FineFrenchDiningPhoenix.com. In keeping with their fun charisma, their online component is located at NiceTartes.com, with CoupDesTartes.com permanently forwarding there. Whether big or small, brand and SEO strategies thrive when choosing domain acquisitions with these varied uses in mind. It’s obvious that GoFundMe.com understands this value, to the tune of $170,000.

They have not yet revealed their primary motivations for investing or plans for usage. Was it to keep their current #1 page rank? Did Donald Trump’s May 8 entry as a competitor factor into their acquisition? Will they build out an informational site for crowd funding newcomers? Our curiosity underlines the variety of choices the domain presents… It also highlights the options for pivoting midstream and additional exit value that a premium domain brings to the table. What additional options would a premium or exact match domain bring to your business?