An article appeared on CNN today talking about a product called “Mingle Sticks,” which are very hot at big conferences and other gatherings. According the company that produces them (Mingle360), a MingleStick is “a small, inexpensive keychain device that allows people to exchange identity information with a simple click of a button.” Pretty cool device if you ask me.
What’s not cool is that this company, whose main product is now more well-known than the actual company name, doesn’t own the exact match domain name MingleSticks.com, although it does own the singular MingleStick.com. Since people are probably as likely or more likely to look for the plural rather than the singular, they dropped the ball on this. If you are wondering, MingleSticks.com was registered after the singular in 2008, and it’s now parked.
It’s my opinion that a company should register its main product domain names, both singular and plural, to protect its brand online (at the very least). Whether the company opts to use both or not is something that should be discussed with a search engine optimization expert and web developer, but it’s critical to at least control the domain names.
Instead of simply forwarding the plural domain name to the singular as they could have done if they bought it, the company will now end up paying Google or Yahoo to send them the visitors – a whole lot more than $8.00/year for the domain registration.