Alan Hack does a beautiful job explaining – in the most simple of terms – how a generic domain name directly affects market share. We have yet to find any other video or article that so superbly explains this powerful phenomenon:
SINCE generic terms live in the minds of millions if not billions of people — because we think about them, we talk about them every day, whether it’s retirement, books, loans, cars, life insurance, etc. — these are things that we just know. And these topics – especially if they represent large categories – live in the minds of millions if not billions of people.
These words that make up these domain names have what we call MIND SHARE.
It just makes sense that if you are going to promote that domain name in marketing efforts, 1) people will more easily associate what that domain is with what products or services you are offering, and thus 2) it will require a lot less media impressions for them to make that association.
As a real-life example:
Back in 2011, Prudential Financial ran “Bring Your Challenges” video ads.
Let’s say you asked 100 people, “Do you know what retirement is?” 100 out of a 100, especially if they are adults, will say “Of course I know what retirement is.”
But what if you asked, “Do you know what “Bring Your Challenges” means?
They will probably have a wide variety of ideas or opinions about what it means – it could mean personal challenges, health challenges, and family challenges, your life challenges, business challenges, there’s so many things. Because there is NO association in that phrase, “Bring Your Challenges”, WITH the term or the theme or the industry of retirement.
Prudential finally purchased the domain name Retirement.com in 2016.
If you want to market your brand, your domain name, it will to take MANY more media impressions – the number of times a piece of content is viewed – and significantly MORE media dollars to associate “BringYourChallenges.com” with retirement than if you just used “Retirement.com“.
So it just makes sense that SINCE these domain names have mind share already, it will cost a lot LESS to turn that mind share into market share.
In addition, because generic domain names are memorable, intuitive, referable, and credible, they have the opportunity to go BEYOND the traditional marketing channels into viral marketing or word-of-mouth marketing.
If you asked me, “Hey I’m concerned about retirement, what are you doing?” I can just say to you, “Hey I just went to Retirement.com, it has great information, services, products. You should check it out.”
A couple of things will happen from that. 1) The odds of you remembering “Retirement.com” 30 minutes, an hour, maybe a day after our conversation, are going to be significantly higher than if I said, “Go to WhatsYourNumber.com”. You might not even remember that 5 minutes later.
And, you will probably associate, even if it’s unconsciously, expertise and credibility with the domain name “Retirement.com“. These people are retirement.com, they must know a lot about retirement.
The ability for these domain names to go viral — to be heard in a conversation, remembered, and then navigating to — makes them INCREDIBLY powerful when it comes to turning that already existing mind share into market share.
That is why these domain names are so valuable, because these words already live in the minds of millions, and sometimes hundreds of millions, and sometimes billions of people.