Overstock WILL Rebrand as O.CO

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Not to beat a dead horse about this, but it appears that Overstock will completely overhaul its company branding, and will be known throughout the world simply as O.CO.  It doesn’t look like the company will be called Overstock anymore, at least according to its O.CO FAQ page, which states:

The O.co web domain currently redirects traffic to Overstock.com. We are working toward migrating the site directly to the O.co. online domain for users. Right now, the O.co web address is used as a shortcut so customers can quickly access Overstock.com, especially when they’re short on time or using a mobile device to access the Internet.

This is a very risky maneuver for an established company. In the US, consumers know the brand as Overstock, so a change to O.CO might confuse loyal customers. They are presumably doing this because the company sells much more than just “overstock” goods, and the word “overstock” doesn’t translate well over multiple languages.

The re-branding effort is clearly forward-thinking though. Overstock is betting that in the next few years, consumers will recognize and embrace .CO, which will eliminate any confusion. Where the Overstock brand name doesn’t make sense internationally, a company known as O.CO does make sense across almost all languages.

I think it’s smart for Overstock to slowly introduce the new O.CO brand across its lines of business before changing it permanently. Customers will gradually become accustomed to visiting O.CO and hearing the name in marketing collateral, easing the transition.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Perhaps we’re all missing the boat and two years from now will lament the fact that .co has overtaken .com.

    Logically, what is the least likely scenario regarding the .co extension? Answer: That it overtakes .com to become the #1 extension. The contrarian in me is beginning to pay attention to this very real possibility. Hell, with the right marketing, .cc could overtake .co and .com because it’s the easiest extension to type-in (one-key). The rules-are-a-changin’, fella’s…

    – TBC

  2. Funy they mention that it is for users that have no time orare on “a mobile device”.

    I don’t know about everyone else but my iPhone only has a “.com” button in the keypad when using the browser, so I’d either need to actually type out all of o.co, (where I’m likely to type that extra “m” by habit, or I could hit the “.com” button followed by the backspace, which is what I usually do when I’m hunting .co new registrations now (I’ve got 6). For me .co is the “.com backspace extension”

  3. I can understand why Overstock may need to rebrand itself (given its financial results) at several levels: e.g. the name intrinsically has problems and the company has certainly created lots of customer relations problems for itself over the years. But, to go in this direction seems foolhardy. Causing branding and name confusion in this haphazard manner seems to go against all basic marketing basics.

    If they are setting things up to get the .com then it will be an interesting reverse hijacking case for the lawyers. If they are truly going to spend millions upon millions to rebrand, I hope their earnings are there to support the move.

    No matter what, they are on their own. .CO will simply develop as a brand that either redirects to a .com, parked pages, or cybersquatters waiting for the cease and desist order. It provides no value other than to the registrars who are simply blackmailing .com owners to register the name or hoodwinking the public into registering yet another economically worthless tld.

  4. The rebranding efforts as mentioned above sound like a necessary move, given the past history of the name OverStock.com. However, it does sound risky.

    However, I think David’s comment is the ultimate goal. Unfortunately, I think the domain name will go to auction and it is quite possible that Oprah will own O.com.

  5. This is an awesome move by Overstock, this move alone enables them to actually become a competitor to Amazon.com and even surpass amazon.com if they keep the O.CO going.

    full disclosure: i own some .co domains i might have used biased language in the above subject manner, viewer discration advised but it is optional all the way

    I believe i actually once thought about what overstock could do with O.CO name that they bought for $350k about many months ago, and i did suggest that trademarking the whole domain would enable them to make good use of the o.co domain name otherwise O is to generic and it would not work out well.

    – Sumer Kolcak

  6. This is a terrible move. If you have stock in the company get out now. .CO stands for Colombia and is considered a ccTLD or country-code top level domain. By re-branding with .co, Overstock is putting a lot of confidence in the country of Colombia who oversees these domain names. Not only that, but the extension is not relevant to Overstock and thus does not make sense. I’ve seen these “ccTLD” pushes come and go. This is a loser and a bad decision by company management.

  7. Hi Elliot,

    That is true, however I was just pointing out the fact that this is a country-code extension is a huge damper on the success of this move. It almost shows that they are obvious to that fact, and thus not educated on the basics of domain names.

    There is a reason that .TV isn’t ‘extremely’ successful. ccTLD domains are just not a good investment and a total re-branding of a well known site to a ccTLD is a bad move. Why not just forward the domain to Overstock.com – that makes a lot more sense. Branding it as O.COLOMBIA (essentially) seems illogical.

    I’ve been in the ccTLD market for years myself, owning a few one letter domains in this sector. I decided to get out because of the unreliability of the country’s control and influence of these names.

    I wonder who sold them on this terrible decision (other than that rampant marketing of the .co names in current domain advertising)

  8. If OVERSTOCK decides to drop the name ‘OVERSTOCK’ completely, and rebrand itself as O.CO and then makes a commercial within which O shows up from a traffic , a car’s wheel becomes an O on a logo, then a human’s eye, and then a planet and a galaxy, and the commercial ends with..

    Welcome to your Universe, welcome to ‘O’..

    their sales will surpass Amazon in 5 years , if they have sumer kolcak in their co management team.

    i have experience with the letter ‘O’ myself even my current company is all about O.

    and i work only for minimum wage.

    – Sumer Kolcak

  9. They’re seriously trying to convince me that it greatly enhances their brand value that I can now access their site by typing 8 fewer characters? Right. That’s why eBay has been killing Amazon all these years, since it is 2 letters shorter . . . oh, wait.

    Maybe I’m shortsighted, but I see no chance in heck that .co will ever overtake .com as a domain extension. The .com extension is far too established in consumers’ minds.

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