I don’t get it. I was reading another article on TechCrunch yesterday about a startup company whose brand name is different than the domain name that is being used by the company. I understand that many “cool” domain names aren’t available in the .com, but in my opinion, the company should use another domain name that matches their brand, even if that means coming up with a unique name.
Take the payment company known as Square for example. Square.com has been registered for many years, so they had to use SquareUp.com. Why not just brand themselves as Square Up instead of causing consumer confusion. Should the company grow extensively, they can afford to spend the money to buy Square.com and then rebrand as Square. This way, there’s no confusion and they’ll control both domain names. Sure, customers who go to Square.com will realize they’re in the wrong place, but why would any company want to take a chance that they would lose a customer.
Yesterday I read about a startup called Lookout, and I visited Lookout.com to check them out. As you can probably tell by the title of the article, they aren’t using Lookout.com, which was registered many years ago. Instead, they are using MyLookout.com, which isn’t a bad domain name. I would think they could match it up and use My Lookout as their brand.
Assuming 15-30% of a start-up’s traffic is type-in traffic, it doesn’t make sense to add confusion to the market while increasing the value of the other .com that is parked and will earn more ppc revenue. As a result of this, the domain owner would be less likely to negotiate to sell the domain name, fearing that the company would try to entrap them by negotiating. Further, there is little reason to sell a domain name whose traffic and revenue consistently grows.
Many people will argue that the domain name isn’t as important as the product or service being offered, and I agree wholeheartedly. However, I think it’s silly to be known as one name but have a different domain name. Square and Lookout are just two of many start-up examples.