Knee-jerk reaction doesn’t make sense and leaves companies vulnerable.
I’m not a fan of .sucks business model. I’m not a fan of charging big brands a premium to protect their brands with the veiled threat of someone creating a gripe site against the company.
At the same time, I’m a bit flummoxed at the knee-jerk reaction some companies are taking with .sucks compared to other domains. They’re paying thousands of dollars to protect their brand.sucks domain name, but leaving many other potential “bad” domains unregistered.
As I started to research which brands are doing this, I saw that Konstantinos Zournas at OnlineDomain.com has already run some analysis. He found that about half of the domains registered in .sucks sunrise are available as brandsucks.com.
Why would Ocean Spray pay so much for OceanSpray.sucks and not register OceanSpraySucks.com? If you’re worried about gripe sites, the extra $10 is worth it.
Any why are companies paying for .sucks when they skipped .gripe and .exposed?
I suppose it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given how companies are defensively registering domains in new TLDs. Companies seem to be taking three approaches.
1. Register ridiculous domains to cover bases – TD Ameritrade comes to mind. The company is registering TDAmeritrade in basically everything. Is TDAmeritrade.pluming really necessary? (And why did it skip Ameritrade.pluming, then?).
2. Register only relevant names – this is the smart approach. Someone like Ameritrade should certainly take a look at financial TLDs.
3. Register nothing – some companies are throwing in the towel and using measures like URS and UDRP when necessary.
I’m not sure of all of the economic motives at play here, but I don’t think brand protection registrars are doing a great job with advice…or the brand owners aren’t listening.