How valuable is your brand name?
You may think you’re not a gambling person, but if you don’t own all your brand’s top level domain names, you’re sitting at the table, and throwing away all your aces. You could take a bit of advice from The Gambler
If you’re gonna play the game, boy
You gotta learn to play it right
Value can be fixed based on transactions, visits to your website and sales history. But a brand has value which extends beyond mere monetary transactions.
When you purchase your domain name for your brand, did you purchase every variable for it? If you only purchased one variant of it, you may be “out of aces” and leaving your business vulnerable to brand exploitation. As an example, no one would be better one than Ted Cruz*.
Don’t let your brand name be hijacked
Ted Cruz announced that he is running for President as a Republican candidate. His conservative stance upsets many on the left and in the middle. Opponents of his candidacy took advantage of available domain names related to the candidate’s brand/name. And It didn’t take them long to get busy with mischief. Because the Cruz campaign didn’t purchase these domains, there is now a bit of PR kerfuffle for the team to pay attention to when they probably would rather be working on other aspects of their candidate’s campaign.
The mischief makers redirected the domains they purchased (which should have been purchased by Cruz and his campaign long ago) to websites which are antithetical to Cruz’s platform and stated views.
- readyforcruz.org is redirected to plannedparenthood.org
- tedcruz.com has a message in support of President Obama
- tedcruzforamerica.com is redirected to healthecare.gov
Anyone can purchase a domain name.
Back in the height of the housing bubble in 2006, homeowners who were disgusted with their homes constructed by a major national volume homebuilder, purchased a domain that was negative towards that homebuilder. They posted a website at that domain declaring for all the world how much they hated their homes and the builder. Even today,
- www.kb-homesucks.com is still proclaiming for all to see how much these homeowners hate the builder.
- www.kbhomesleak.com obviously states certain owner’s dissatisfaction.
Go beyond .com
When you purchase your brand’s domain name, purchase all available variants of it that you can afford. Include .com, .net, .org, .biz, .us and more. While you may never use these domain names to refer to a website, you don’t want to leave yourself vulnerable to pranksters or even competitors who decide to hijack your good brand and use it for their benefit.
As Kenny Rogers sang, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em.”
*We are not stating any partisanship nor support for any candidate by authoring this post. We are merely using this situation as a teachable moment for all business owners.