There are so many things to consider when starting a new business: Location, staffing, advertising, legal, office supplies, sales, accounting… And it all has to fit within the confines of a lean start-up budget. People usually stick to the bare essentials when starting a new business, and that often means forgoing investing in a domain name early-on. While this works out for some companies, it can be a costly mistake for others. As business continues to move toward the web and the establishment of an online presence becomes more important than ever, domain names have become one of the most valuable early assets a company can acquire. If you’re still not convinced, here are 5 reasons why buying a brandable business domain gives you a head start.
1. They Feel Right
If you want to establish yourself quickly and give your company a sense of legitimacy, purchasing the right brandable domain name makes your company look and sound the part. A name that is original, thoughtful, catchy, and unique helps your company pass the “sniff test” among your target audience. Settling for a domain name based solely upon what is available for free or cheap can leave you with a cumbersome name; one that needs further explaining or spelling out loud. Going cheap on a domain name can sometimes communicate the wrong message, allowing customers to fixate on the name itself and wonder why you didn’t choose a better one. A good domain name should make customers feel as though the company should already exist, exuding a sense of familiarity. It should fit like an old shoe, allowing customers to move on to your product and message.
2. They Help Avoid Confusion
Perhaps you’ve heard something like this on the TV or radio before: “Quikhomemortgages.net. That’s quik without the c. That’s q-u-i-k home mortgages…” The company may have a great product, great website, great prices, and great customer service, but now they’ve spent about a third of a 15-second spot repeating and spelling out their name and hoping that you’ll remember it hours later at your computer. A good brandable domain name should be clear and simple, helping audiences hear or see it right the first time and recall it when they need it. This is especially important for new companies starting with little to no familiarity or brand equity amongst its target audience as the potential for enhanced recall makes for a much more efficient and cost-effective marketing strategy.
3. They Help You Stand Out
A great domain name should be unique and clever enough to create a clear line of separation from your company and its competitors. Choosing a name solely based on your personal name, location, or some arbitrary combination of words means you’re losing out on the opportunity to communicate a clear line of delineation around your company and its unique approach to the delivery of products and services. For example, if you were starting a company which delivers bi-weekly protein powder and supplements and you happened to be located in Sarasota. You could choose a name like westfloridanutrition.com and find that it’s available, but you’re losing out on the opportunity to communicate what is unique about your company. You are in essence burying the lead. In this case you would do much better to choose a name which reflects the ease of your delivery service, the variety of products the customer will experience, or the unique subscription service approach that your company offers. This may require an invented name which evokes images of these qualities when heard or read. If such a name is available online, its worth considering the value of a unique, brandable name when considering the price.
4. They Will Create a Clarity, Focus, and Direction
Just like with branding in and of itself, a brandable domain name can allows your company to assume an identity and all of the clarity and focus that comes with it. In the early stages of a company, this identity can be extremely refreshing and liberating, as it allows the organization to coalesce around this new name and imagery. Knowing who you are helps the organization run more smoothly as it can provide a point of reference and guidance for day-to-day operations and decision-making. Once you’ve acquired your domain name and any logo and color scheme that may come with it, you are free to move on to other pressing tasks. Choosing a brandable domain and logo early-on allows you to quickly establish a brand presence, because your brand will be seen on all of your promotional materials, business cards, stationary, and email correspondence.
5. It Will Help You Avoid Legal Issues
Choosing a name that hasn’t been used in one facet or another by any other company in any similar industry, or which could be misconstrued as such can be a real pain. What’s especially painful is the legal ramifications of possible copyright infringement. While you may think the name you came up with sounds awesome, it’s likely that someone somewhere in the world thought the same thing. That’s why it’s so difficult now more than ever to choose a name which isn’t already in use. Rather than settle for a sub-par name or risk the enormous costs of rebranding later down the road after being served a cease and desist letter, purchasing a brandable domain name may be your best bet. After-all, someone has already done the work of sifting, sorting, and vetting these brand names to ensure their availability and originality. Branding a company starting with the domain name first typically ensures that the name is available across the board and is fair game. It also means you’ll likely have access to the corresponding social media handles as well.