Point #1: The Essence of Domain Names is Very Simple
Domain name = Brand Equity. From this, my whole thesis derives, including my seven dimensions of a domain name, four domain strategies, five ways to acquire a domain name and Carol White’s tripartite steps to acquire a domain name (global View, World View and Self-View), and many other aspects of a well-chosen domain. As Jordan Belfort and Oren Klaff would say “what is the airtight and logical case for a domain name?”
Get this wrong and, guess what, you now have a branding problem.
Choosing a Top Level Domain is vital but be wary of new TLDs, such as .co and .news. Revolver.news works well because the extension helps define what the brand does, although they sacrifice some SEO by choosing this because .com was unavailable.
Point #2: Choosing Carelessly Causes Brand Confusion and Dilution
On the other hand, choosing a TLD extension simply because its affordable and available can cause brand confusion. It may be okay for a hobbyist site but not for a brand that aims to become a scaleable or buyable business.
For example, the choice of oncarrot.com made customers assume the start-up was called “On Carrot”.
To take another example, choosing a .co extension can cause email confusion. In one notable example, customers accidentally assume the email address affiliated with the brand was .com and thus their emails went unread and unreplied to.
Point #3: Repairing these branding problems can make things worse
The result of these confusions is a brand which seems unprofessional. A lot of companies still don’t accept the premise that domain name equals brand, which equals brand equity. This is a major mistake. Using a .co puts you at an automatic disadvantage, since the default in most customers’ minds is .com You have devalued your brand and the resale value of that domain name is diminished.
Untangling these confusions can seriously damage your brand. Explaining confusion around brand and domain name dilutes your message and is neither clear nor focused.
Choosing an appropriate domain name creates a smooth and efficient path to communication. It all comes down to one simple question: what really is your brand? To reiterate: your domain name = your brand = your brand equity.