What If Your Name Was White Male?

Jul 04 2010

While I absolutely understand the value of generic domains I also realize there is other value and opportunity in domains.  A company that owns the premium generic in their category will have an added advantage over its competitors.  A consumer always assumes that the people behind a major name must be a major player.  In the old days in the local arena you did this by having the largest phone book ad or nationally you advertised on the biggest television events.  But what about branding?  What about all the millions of other companies that are forced to take lesser names?

There is a reason why people have names.  To differentiate themselves from everyone else around them.  We don’t give each other numbers.  Nobody goes by “blonde girl” or  “brown eyes”  because we “brand” our children.  Give them something that will differentiate them from other people.  Some give names of other past family members, others try and be creative.  The result is millions of different names. Businesses have that same need to differentiate and stand out.

Companies brand for the same reason.  You certainly can brand a company using a domain name,  but at what point does a generic become too generic?  In my opinion it is better to establish a memorable company name that represents and stands out.  A name that will never be confused.  We all know Apple.  Would it be as cool of a company with the name Computer.com?  I don’t think so.  Apple would certainly benefit from owning computer.com but to me it works better as an add on.  So where am I heading with this?

There IS a market for people looking for new brands.   I feel I know what types of names would make solid names for these businesses.  Is it gambling?  Yes, it involves a risk reward formula that is much higher than generics but I feel I have more ability to choose names than most people in this industry.  I always tell others that most of what is being registered in the 5L market is complete junk but at the same time if you look on NameJet, Sedo, and the monthly sales charts you’re noticing an ever increasing number of $XXXX sales.   Just today there are two names Cimco and carto that may each reach $3000 and above.  To contrast this I realize my real money is still made on “generics”.

If you’ve read more than one post you know I buy plant related domains.  I actually pass on “too generic” I can only use so many “plantsforsale” type domains  I prefer specifics such as actual plants.  Things people are looking for more information about.  I build them out, sit on them, or sell them to other people in the industry.  If I buy any generics outside this niche I really am gambling.  I know nothing about stopcreditcarddebt.com and if I bought it would most likely do a terrible job monetizing it and wouldn’t know the where to go to sell it.  Plant names, 4L and 5L?  These are easy money for me.  I can make more money from a $1000 plant name than a $50,000 name in another niche.  I have things to sell, I know the product, I know the industry, I KNOW how to monetize it.

In summary, know your business.   I know marketing and branding and feel I understand what kind of name a new company would benefit from having.  To just buy random names is foolish.  We all know that nobody is ever going to brand a company called Evrlb but they may call it Sello.  There is very liquid market for 3, 4, and 5 letter domains.  They are not as glamorous as these big generics but you know what?  I didn’t get in in 1995.  I don’t have $200K to buy domains.  I am building my bankroll and doing it a little at a time. That little is getting bigger every year and anyone who thinks less of me because I am not buying only large value generics is a friend of mine.  Why?  Because it’s just one less person I have to compete with when buying my “brandables”

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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2 comments

  1. John A.

    A brandable domain sounds nice but it’s not as valuable to the business owner as a generic term.

    If you moved to a new city, which is not uncommon for Americans, what term would you type in to look for a carpet cleaning service? Most likely carpet cleaning, carpet cleaners or city name carpet cleaners. They are not going to type in your unique name because they don’t know it exists.


    1. Post author
      ShaneCultra

      I was referring to start up companies. More and more, people are creating company names based on what is available to register. I agree you own carpetcleaning.com and it is a great to have no matter what your name is.

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