Lessons From 2012: It’s All About Short And Brandable

I thought tonight I would take you all into a time machine with me so we can travel all the way back to 2012. I learned a lot of lessons in 2012 and you can bet I’ll be sharing many of them with all of you. One of the most valuable lessons I learned directly from my own personal sales and the prices I sold for was the incredibly value and liquidity of short brandable domains.

When I started-out in the Domaining world I was all about exact-match domains, two words, three words, four words, I didn’t care, I just wanted to exactly match terms with high search volume. While this turned-out to bode well for me on the development side, it didn’t do much on the sales side.

What I found is that a new company that builds cellphone apps wasn’t necessarily excited by a domain like CellphoneApps.com. Instead they wanted something short and brandable like Apperly or Appersize. More often than not they would opt for a brandable one-word domain, most of the time they wanted .COMs but if they didn’t have the budget for it I found .ME and .CO to be popular alternatives.

When I would present exact-match domains that described the category the company was in, I found that many companies still pushed for the one brandable that they had in mind. Of course I can’t speak for all buyers, I can just talk about the experiences I had.

The big lesson I learned is that we are entering a time where short, brandable domains are king. Yes, .COM is still king and short brandable .COMs will always fetch the highest prices. That being said there is a market for short brandable names in other extensions like .ME and .CO.

One final lesson within this lesson was that .NET and .ORG aren’t as cool as they used to be. I found end-users tended to prefer a .ME or a .CO to a .NET or .ORG. In fact, not a single end-user I worked with would consider a .ORG because they all didn’t want to be confused with a non-profit and thought they would have to constantly explain to people that even though they were a .ORG, they were not a non-profit.

I think Michael Berkens says it best in what was one of my all-time favorite posts:

In the world of 1,000 new gTLD and what we have already started to see is for domainers is going to be all about branding. It’s not about the domains or the extension but about brandable domains which would give an end user an memorable internet presence.” (TheDomains – It’s Domaining 6.0 & It’s Is All About Branding)

So while you might be excited about buying BuyElectronicTrumpet.com, know that the hottest electronic trumpet maker in the world might want something like Trumpetly or Trumpet.me, even if “buy electronic trumpet” get 10,000 exact-match searches. Remember, Domainers care about things like exact-match search volume, end users care about creating memorable brands.

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton