She’s a Bonehead!

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I apologize in advance because I can’t use the specific brand or domain name in this story, but I wanted to share a funny story with you about how some brand managers just don’t take domain names as seriously as they should.

After the party at the GeoDomain Expo, I went out to drinks with some friends at a Jazz restaurant in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego (which is a very cool area if you’ve never been). As we were wrapping up our drinks on the patio, a lady came over to the table and started talking to us, and my friend asked if she was attending the conference. She said she wasn’t, and that she worked for “XYZ Company,” which we all know is the the leading brand in the “ABC industry.”

Ironically, my friend happens to own the ABC industry’s category defining domain name, and he mentioned it to her. She was excited about that, and she said that she was a Marketing Manager for the company and they should definitely discuss how they can work together. As luck would have it, she just changed her purse and didn’t have business cards, but she wanted to give my friend her contact information.

My friend said that sounded great and we waited outside on the patio for a few minutes when she went in to the restaurant. After a couple of minutes, I went in and saw the woman dancing by the piano, clearly not even thinking about that category defining domain name that was just mentioned to her. This was a bonehead move and one that could cost them dearly, because it’s without a doubt the best category domain name in her industry.

33 COMMENTS

  1. The crazy world of domains! LOL

    Who knows….sounds like she maybe was too drunk or wacked out on crystal meth.

    How could she just forget what she had said moments before?

  2. i wonder which jazz club you found. I have been there many times and have a hard time finding jazz, altho Croce’s sometimes has it.

  3. E, bonehead?….she’ sounds like an airhead! 😛 Some people just don’t get it, but they will…when it’s too late.

  4. i had no idea this was going on. she came up to me and told me my dance moves were out of this world and wanted me to teach her the lambada. i apologize to the entire industry. if it’s any consolation i threw my back out.

    just kidding, im stuck in stl, watching the cardinals woop the cubs

  5. Last week I contacted the biggest company in the industry of a domain I am buying…almost an exact repeat of your story…I have the best name in their space and they emailed back that they don’t give dealerships to internet based companies.

    I bet many of their competitors will 🙂

  6. Yes it may be a bonehead move but if your friend found a contact for a company who may just be the perfect buyer for an industry defining name why did he not go back in and buy her a drink?

    We all know main street does not get it many times – As a domain owner … in fact, an investor of any product … when you find an opportunity to speak to an enduser who seems to be the perfect fit ans has already shown interest the most bonehead thing to do is actually leave them dancing with someone else.

    Great story but I see the bonehead as someone else 🙂

  7. I’m still going to say the bonehead was the other guy 🙂 .. they probably have no idea they need him more than he needs them. Difference between a salesperson and a passive investor (which many domainers are) … trust me, the boys from glengarry glenn ross would have had her up all night and sold the domain for a price worthy to brag about.

    Have fun at GeoFest.

  8. Alan…depends how many players there are in the business…maybe #2 #3 #4 would be more willing to buy the domain and knock off #1.

    In my example in my above post…#2 owns the singular, I will have the plural…#1 wont let me have a dealership…so it’s #3 #4 #5 where I will work it…or become #1 myself 🙂

  9. To be clear..I’m saying the players other than #1 may be more hungry than #1 and be more willing to make a deal…#1 may feel they can do no wrong and dont NEED anyone telling them their business.

  10. As a domainer since 1998, and living in San Diego and have been parting in the Gas Lamp for 15 years as well, I have met many women who act the same way down there like the one you mentioned. The chances of meeting a women in the Gas Lamp on a Friday night who really understands the value of domains is about as good as it will snow in San Diego:)

    Thanks, Jim

  11. Thankyou for our story today my friend. I went to go visit with this woman and she didn’t want to buy the mankini.com domain from me . I say to her she is the perfect person for the running of mankini and she just is how you said a boner head job.

  12. Poor woman! Maybe she just had too many drinks, was just dumped by her boyfriend/husband, and needed to get out her ya-yas on the dance floor…

    You said she seemed “excited” about the domain. This is why drinking and doing biz sometimes doesn’t mix. I think your friend with the domain should have followed up with her, pulling her aside and reminding her of the domain and exchanging contact info. There is such a thing as “aggressive marketing”. lol

    Wish I was there…

  13. He had an end user right there. Should have taken a step forward and politely reminded her about discussion which took place few minutes ago.

    He might have been laughing all the way to the Bank.

  14. She did not forget. She just used that excuse to walk away. Apparently what you guys were saying (domaining) sounded like bad Jazz to her and she really wanted to dance so she went for some real music.
    Most end users and expecially those they employ have no clue about the value of domain names yet.

  15. Welcome to the world of “corporate brand managers” – many ( did not say all) of them DO NOT get domains BUT they are more than willing to spend thousands on domain name enforcement but not spend it on domain name registrations or acquistions. The sad thing is these people get paid a ton to manage the company’s corporate domain names – its a just a job for them – not a passion like it is for us domainers. BTW – she sounds like a one head and air head all rolled into one!

  16. OK, I’ll finish the story since Elliot was kind enough not to mention my name. The girl worked for Chiquita and we own Banana.com. I did wait for her and she did give me her contact information. I know…. I can hear the jokes already.

  17. I am shocked that you were unable to sell the value of domain names at 11pm on a friday night in San Diego to a complete stranger who was already in “dancing on piano” mode.

    let me translate this story…

    A bunch of domain nerds were out in San Diego where there were a ton of hot girls. Somehow, we actually talked to one of them, and although she pretended to be interested, she couldn’t wait to get inside and dance with her friends on a piano.

    🙂

  18. The story could have been soooo much better if you went back in with a domain like that lol.

    Great laugh for a rough morning! Thanks

  19. It was funny to read about it here. I must remember when I sit with Elliot a story might be told. He is a professional blogger and I trust him to go the right thing.

    My intention is to possibly find a marketing solution for both Chiquita and Banana.com. If they don’t “get it” now, some new CEO will in the future. I have time. Likewise, David and I are heading to the TRAFFIC convention today and I would love to run into someone from Hormel since we also own Chili.com

    In my opinion, good situations come to those that wait. Likewise, we need to be ready to move into an opportunity one it presents itself.

  20. Reminds me of the time a few years back when I presented an excellent, perfect-fit service add-on to eBay.

    Their response? A form letter on corporate stationary saying they were sorry, but they didn’t accept unsolicited proposals.

    Guess they were too busy trying to figure out what to do with their overpriced, terrible-fit, “solicited purchase” Skype.

  21. Yes michael you pick up many ladies with your sex appeal “hello pretty lady. I have a banana.com in my pocket are you happy to see me?”

  22. Elliot,

    Lets be realistic, not everybody is into the truth about “the internet being a REAL media channel”

    Just an observation…. with all respect…. you wrote this post in an angry tone. Lighten up.

    Not everybody gets it.

    Geoff

    • @ Geoffrey
      I wrote the post following a great night at the Geo Expo – and I had nothing to gain from it anyway… I definitely wasn’t angry when I wrote it 🙂

  23. I know this is an old post but it reminded me of something happened today. I recently spotted on the droplist the name of a major politician, the exact match .com – most of this politician’s peers own their exactmatch .com , a few do not and unsuprisingly they are either parked or owned (and exploited) by their political detractors.
    Im not exactly a fan of this particular individual or their policies, but since they are currently in elected government I figured I could ‘do the right thing’ and buy it, and make moves to transfer the name to their office at no profit.
    I called their private and government office, both had somewhat rude and extremely unhelpful people answering the phone. I detailed them the situation, made sure they heard the fact this wasnt a sales call just a good turn.
    They told me in no uncertain terms that they were 100% not interested in it, and hung up.
    Obviously in this particular instance, Im pretty sure that once the actual politician gets wind of it via his gatekeepers or other channels they will want the name, and failing that maybe a national newspaper, but it got me thinking…
    IF you own one of those grey area names, that might just be a TM infringement but isnt clear cut – if you offer the name to potentially interested tm holders at no cost AND THEY ALL INDICATE THEY DONT WANT IT, does that support your future defence of good faith and fair use in any subsequent udrp ? Since you have taken the trouble to try and see if any potential tm holders had an issue, I dont see how they could subsequently make a claim after having previously overtly disclaimed any interest in it, even at no cost.
    Are there any test cases involving this?

  24. El,

    Just imagine if she remembers to search up info on “generic descriptive” power domains, and finds this article. Won’t she be embarrassed for not closing the deal that night with a card, info, and a promise to ‘educate’ her board members that instead of spending $100k on advertising that lasts for six weeks, and picking up a domain name that brings in eyeballs to their company’s website everyday, every hour — and that the next year’s budget for this incredible advertising advantage is: $10

    It amazes me how ignorant, STILL, people are about domain name “domination” (which means online domination, over their competitors.

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