I got together with some of my former colleagues a couple nights ago at a memorial party for a colleague who died suddenly last week. We were discussing the progress of my former group, and we started discussing the Internet strategy they have and where it’s headed.
They are in the process of launching a new stand alone product website (their first stand alone site), although they were only able to acquire domain names that are variations of the product’s name (for example MyProduct.com, ProductOnline.com, MyProductOnline.com…etc). I asked why they didn’t go out and buy the straight up Product name from its current owner, and they didn’t really have an answer other than the fact that it’s owned by someone else.
This got my mind turning. Here is a group at a huge company that has seen tremendous growth, are about to launch a serious Internet campaign/website, yet they don’t really understand the value of domain names and what it would mean to own the Product.com domain name. I assume many companies are in a similar position, and educating them is difficult.
I would imagine a numbers argument would be the way to educate them, showing that the Product.com domain gets a % of traffic (intended visitors) which could be lost if they don’t search to find the correct website. Figuring out the lost business as a result of not owning the domain name should be the amount of money they could/would pay to acquire it. However, once the site is launched, it’s unlikely that the owner would sell it, especially if he is fearful of a litigious response.
How do you educate people about the value of domain names?