Displaying posts under "We Get It"
Austin company scores big investment.
It’s always nice when you see someone who “gets” domain names that also understands affiliate marketing and web site development. One of those people is Austinite Steve Schaffer, who created Offers.com.
Offers.com just closed on a $7 million growth equity investment from Susquehanna Growth Equity, LLLP. It’s a minority investment, which should give you some idea of the value Schaffer has created from Offers.com. The company plans to hire 20 more employees over the coming year.
I last saw Schaffer at the DOMAINfest event in New York City. You might call him a domainer, but he’s someone who sees the big picture better than most domainers. If you need more proof that he gets it, consider this: he also bought the singular version of Offers.com — Offer.com — for $180,000 back in 2008.
Produce company promotes Fruits.com on bananas.
This past weekend I was at the grocery store and found myself taken aback while picking up some bananas: staring at me was a little fruit sticker with an advertisement for Fruits.com.
“Buy a bunch, lose a bunch – Fruits.com” read the sticker, with a graphic of a scale.
It turns out Fruits.com is owned by product company Del Monte. On the site you’ll find fruit recipes, a link to Del Monte’s iPhone app, and more reasons you should stock up on fruit. The company has operated the site for years, but this is the first I’ve heard of it.
Fruits.com is a great use of a generic domain name. Would Fruit.com be better? Perhaps, but that’s owned by another multinational company: apparel giant Fruit of the Loom.
DNS company gets marketing kick with DNS.com.
Last month at HostingCon I met with Cloud.com to learn how their great domain name has propelled their business. I also got to spend time with domain industry show regular Sean Stafford, who’s latest venture DNS.com is off to the races. He proudly wore his DNS.com t-shirt throughout the show.
Over tacos at lunch, Sean said that the DNS.com domain name has done wonders for his business. I caught up with him after the show to find out more.
DNW: You were previously named Comwired.com. What were the challenges of using this name?
Stafford: We began with the Comwired name and we still actively use it. It was a domain from the portfolio of one of our founders and was selected as a brandable, pronounceable tech name to represent our company. Initially Comwired.com was used for our geodirectional DNS system and authoritative DNS network. As our platform matured, we developed two distinct products serving two markets with very different needs. We continued development on Comwired.com, our geodirectional DNS system, but we also found that many users and prospects were interested in authoritative DNS services outside of the domainer context.
What resulted was a pair of related but unique software products using the same domain name. This was starting to cause some market confusion between the two offerings. We began looking for fresh input and a newlook. That’s when we came across the opportunity to use DNS.com. Now Comwired is more of a specialty geodirectional service and DNS.com is the mass market brand.
DNW: When did you first start thinking about acquiring a better name, and was DNS.com your first choice?
A few months before we acquired the DNS.com name we knew that a change needed to take place. Our technology was rock solid, our UI was miles ahead of existing solutions, and we had everything we needed to be successful. However, I think our Comwired.com was somewhat obscure and did not effectively relay what we did as a company. While larger companies can afford massive branding and advertising to firebrand
their name into the consumer’s psyche, that wasn’t an option for us launching our new service.
We did, however, have a fantastic alternative for advertising, and that was the DNS.com premium generic domain name. Instead of spending millions and millions trying to brand an inferior name, we saw the
opportunity to invest the same resources into an asset that invokes automatic trust. While there were many other choices available as pertaining to domain names, there was only one name that truly caught our eye. We now own it.
DNW: What benefits are you realizing from using the better name?
Actually, we’ve seen numerous benefits since using DNS.com. In a matter of 6 months we’ve seen our rankings climb like crazy in Google, much owing to our site being the exact match keyword for “DNS”. This
domain also affords us the unique opportunity to offer premium vanity nameservers to our partners and customers.
Aside from the highly qualified leads we receive from type-ins, we also enjoy instant brand appeal. When walking on a tradeshow floor, people immediately know we are a DNS provider. The domain is not only easier
for people to spell and remember, but attaches a premium, trusted, and familiar quality to our brand, which is extremely challenging to build independently. We believe this is in part to thank for the unsolicited
leads we have received from major brands, including Fortune 500 companies, who now recognize DNS.com as a major player in our industry.
Cloud computing company gets more marketing punch with good domain name.
Cloud.com VP of Business Development Shannon Williams admits that he wasn’t a huge believer in the power of a generic domain name for marketing. But when the opportunity for his company to purchase Cloud.com was discussed internally, he finally came around. Now he is a believer.
I caught up with Williams during HostingCon this week in Austin. He explained some of the benefits of having the company named Cloud.com:
-When Williams meets people and mentions his company, people think they’ve already heard of the company because of its good domain
-People think the company is bigger than it is
-Value for Search Engine Optimization
Putting on his corporate sales hat, Williams says that the domain itself doesn’t add value without a good underlying product. Their product was already selling, and they were doing well because of the product, but he says the domain is like putting some extra gas on a good fire.
It’s certainly more memorable than the company’s old name, VMOps.
Checking in on MLB domain names.
Major League Baseball is back, and that means I’m spending lots of time getting the latest scores and highlights online. While watching the Cardinals play on TV, I noticed they made a nice off-season pick up that I wasn’t aware of: Cardinals.com.
Previously, you had to type in StlCardinals.com to get to the team’s web site. But in October last year Major League Baseball acquired the Cardinals.com domain name. So I’ll save myself a few keystrokes.
That got me curious about other teams and if they own their “names”. With many teams named after generic things like birds and fish, getting these domains isn’t easy. Just ask the Angels. Nevertheless, MLB has managed to get most of its team names:
As for the domains it does not yet own, some will be more challenging that others:
Giants.com – owned by NFL football team
Rays.com – owned by Ray’s restaurant in Seattle. (Been there, loved the view.)
Rangers.com – owned by Future Media Architects, which never sells domain names
Angels.com – as mentioned earlier, lost UDRP case against owner – UPDATE now owned by MLB
Rockies.com – information about Rocky Mountains – UPDATE now owned by MLB
Twins.com – owned by California company. So many uses, it could be expensive
Athletics.com – login page for Selliquest – UPDATE now owned by MLB
Of these domains, it would seem that Rockies.com might be the most obtainable. Rays.com would take a hefty check to convince Ray’s to change its domain. Angels.com can be bought, albeit for a much higher price than before the UDRP was filed. But there are really only two domains I’d rule out: Giants.com and Rangers.com.
It’s worth noting that all of the domains forward to a subdomain on MLB.com. So the league is truly using the domains just for their direct navigation and ease-of-recall.