Last week, a NamePros member with the username Maple Dots wrote about how a company called Jane switched urls from JaneApp.com to Jane.App for its website. There was quite a bit of discussion about the domain name change and the company’s branding that followed. In my opinion, the domain name change is totally acceptable and maybe even more memorable; it’s the Jane branding that could use some work.
Before reading the NamePros thread, I had never heard of this company before. I did a search of Archive.org to confirm that the company used JaneApp.com previously. In this archived record from 2016, it shows that JaneApp.com was being used by this practice management software company. Obviously, this was before .App domain names were introduced by Google in 2018. If you visit JaneApp.com today, you can see it forwards to Jane.App, where the company’s website is located.
I have no issues at all with this domain name change. Regardless of whether people know what .App is or not, the company owns the matching .com domain name. Visitors who navigate to the wrong domain name will be redirected seamlessly, and I can only presume emails sent to @janeapp.com email addresses will be correctly routed. I think there is/was very limited risk with the domain name change.
Where I would take issue is the branding. If you look at the logo and website, there is hardly a mention of the App or .App. The only place I notice anything about App is on the meta title and description that can be seen via search engine and on the top of my browser, where it says Jane App. I did a search on the home page, and beyond the meta page title, I don’t see anything about App or .App. In fact, here are some of the Jane references I noticed:
“A serious problem-solver. That’s Jane.”
“Being affordable matters to Jane.”
“Jane is lovingly made and supported by an enthusiastic (and growing) team in North Vancouver, BC.”
“JANE SOFTWARE INC. “
There are many more references to Jane on the home page, but you get the idea.
In my opinion, they should embrace the App branding if they are going to use the domain name and home page title. There is a totally different entity that uses Jane.com, so I think that can be a bit confusing. Without really knowing anything about the company, I might guess they want to move away from the potentially limiting “App” branding, but at the same time, they seem to embrace it with the new .App domain name usage.
My (unsolicited) opinion is that the domain name change and usage is fine, but they should embrace the App aspect more. Perhaps add .App or App to the logo or elsewhere. I am certainly not a branding expert, but I do think it can get a bit confusing when there are some mentions of Jane App, the usage of Jane.App, but I can’t seem to find anything visually on the website to remind me that it is Jane.App.