Domain Name Real Estate
All of the elite brands own their domain name without a question.
When discussing whether a name is worth the premium domain price to someone outside of the domain industry, it’s easy to make the comparison that domain names are like real estate. There are a lot of similarities between the two, such as how when the Internet first began people started buying space as an investment and setting up shop just like real estate, only online. Similar to real estate property, domain names are assets. A premium domain is like owning all of the railroad properties on the Monopoly board. The railroad properties are a cash cow which provides revenue to sustain your business for the rest of the game. Owning a premium domain name for your brand gives you a head start and a dominant position when it comes to online branding.
The real estate example only just scratches the surface of the value a domain name brings to a brand. Dozens of brands in different industries all call themselves that one-word generic name, but they are not all equal. Only one brand can claim that space online, leaving the other companies with a disconnect.
Have you ever heard of an elite company referring to themselves as something other than their name online because the domain is taken? You haven’t. You won’t see Apple using something like getapple.com as their main domain. All of the elite brands own their domain name without a question.
Unlike real estate, being one street over doesn’t make or break your brand. With real estate most people would say I already own a house, I’m not going to move. With domain names, even if you already have a domain you have been marketing your brand around, your marketing is going to become irrelevant if you pass over the opportunity to own your name as a domain name. The value a domain name brings to brands in search intent and connecting to customers, far exceeds the premium domain price. Whoever is willing to pay the premium domain price, owns the voice and communication of that keyword.
The comparison of domain names to real estate is a fairly good example, but the worth of a domain name goes way beyond the investment cost of a premium domain name. When you think of the word kayak, one brand comes to mind. Although the keyword kayak refers to the water sport, the travel site kayak.com has defined the new meaning of kayak around their branding.
When you search “kayak” into Google, kayak.com dominates the voice by ranking in the top positions with their website, Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, social media, conversations and review sites around their brand and more. A premium domain name that is an exact match search for an expensive PPC keyword builds the equity of the brand.
To put in into perspective, you can see how much a single word search for the term “kayak” produces around the kayak.com brand in yellow (above).
This clearly illustrates the value of paying the premium domain price to dominate the digital economy. Owning a premium domain name also has other benefits such as giving you the power to pivot. Companies often make the mistake of branding themselves to a very specific part of their business which creates a struggle later when they want to expand their brand into different products and markets. Purchasing or acquiring your name at a premium domain price is an investment in your brand that can’t be replicated with all of the marketing effort and budget in the world.