Mind Share Equals Market Share

Studies have shown that generic domain names have a huge advantage over non-generics in advertising, outperforming them by a whopping 42%.

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Alan Hack does a beautiful job explaining this powerful phenomenon:

Transcript (abbreviated, edited):

SINCE generic terms live in the minds of millions of people — because we think about them, we talk about them every day whether it’s retirement, books, loans, cars, life insurance — these are things that we just know. And these topics live in the minds of millions if not billions of people.

These words have what we call MIND SHAREone of the MAIN objectives of marketing and promotions.

If you are going to promote that domain name in marketing efforts, it will be easier for people to associate what that domain is with what products or services you offer, and it will take fewer media impressions to effectively capture that mind share.

The Holy Grail of Domain Names

Real-Life Example:

Let’s say you ask 100 people, “Do you know what retirement is?”  100 out of a 100, especially if they are adults, will say “Of course I do!”

But what if you ask, “Do you know what “Bring Your Challenges” means?”

See Prudential’s commercial:
Bring Your Challenges

They will probably have a wide variety of ideas – it could mean personal challenges, health challenges, family challenges, life challenges, business challenges. This is because there is NO association in that phrase, “Bring Your Challenges” – WITH the term or the theme or the industry of retirement.

It will take MANY more media impressions and SIGNIFICANTLY more media dollars to help your target audience to associate “BringYourChallenges.com” with retirement than if you just simply used Retirement.com.

Prudential learned a hard (and costly) lesson, finally acquiring Retirement.com in 2016.

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.

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Why Domain Names Matter

For all that is written about why generic, descriptive domain names are so valuable, what is often assumed but not stated clearly enough is that they enable you to make more money.

It’s just that simple.

Your domain name is the storefront of your business. If it can instantly express who you are, what you do, and what you offer, more customers will come to you. More customers means more money.

The Holy Grail of Domain Names

And there’s more.

In addition to attracting more customers, premium domain names have other indirect benefits, all of which ultimately –> make you more money:

Instant Trust & Credibility

  • People perceive premium domain names as the authority in their industries. More customers will buy from you, funding and partnerships are more attainable, press coverage increases, etc. because premium domains command trust and credibility.

Reduced Marketing Expenditures

  • If customers will already know what they will find on your website because your domain name is generic and descriptive – i.e. self-explanatory – you spend MUCH less marketing dollars to explain your business over and over again to help customers remember you.

Increased Word-of-Mouth Referrals

  • Word-of-mouth referrals increase when people can remember your domain name. Direct traffic to your website increases. And because your domain name matches what people use in searches, you further benefit from SEO, increased page ranking, and quality traffic.

So why do you want people to trust you? Why do you want to reduce your marketing expenses? And why does word-of-mouth matter?

So you can make more money.

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Value of a Premium Domain Name

In today’s world, meaningful, generic, descriptive domain names are of equal if not more value than the company brand names themselves.

Test it yourself – if ice cream comes to mind, will your first thought be “Dreyers”? Or might you instinctively check out IceCream.com instead?

“Premium domain names are expensive for the simple reason that the ease with which customers can remember and access them means that they help websites gain a critical advantage in today’s competitive marketplace.”

Michael Gargiulo
Forbes Councils Member
Forbes Technology Council

Frank Shilling and Jeffrey Gabriel offer one of the most compelling explanations of why generic, descriptive domain names are so valuable:

Partial Transcript:

“The Internet is growing profoundly. The population on this planet is swelling. All these people are going to want to have an identity online. There is only so much real estate… on the web, and there are only so many unique, meaningful identifiers for people to describe themselves. There are a finite number of search terms and there are a finite number of dictionary words. And there are certainly a finite number of compound phrases in the English language… “

“Valuable, generic domain names are so rare, there just aren’t enough good ones to go around for the billions of people who want to make an impression online… Everybody has those dreams, and the domain name is the most foundational asset of those dreams as it relates to things online.”

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