Most companies and entrepreneurs end up with poor quality domains for their business, mistakenly thinking they got something good. If you can at least get a quality domain, that’s half the battle towards building a strong brand and online presence.
We discuss a lot about how to evaluate domains in this blog. We always stress the importance of getting a good domain for your business. It really is the best bang for your buck as a business expense.
What can get lost sometimes is that a domain being good doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Domains and branding go hand in hand. A new business should look for the right domain first before naming themselves to ensure having a matching domain. That said, the domain search is really a branding process, limited based on what you can get within your budget.
Businesses with good domains can still fail for many reasons. A good domain does not guarantee success. Anyone saying anything different clearly hasn’t witnessed the past failures on domains such as Pets.com. Many different issues can cause a business to fail, and a good domain can’t always make up for those issues.
Failure on a domain like a Pets.com usually ties in with poor business operations in other areas. A good domain can be a poor brand, which can make success much more difficult.
A Bright Color, The Wrong Shade
A recent example of that is Color.com. The company Color is still operating but they are valued at much less than when they got a record amount of seed investment funds last year. People point to many reasons for their poor performance, one being that the brand Color was confusing for a photo-sharing app.
They had spent $350,000 on Color.com. Was that a bad purchase? No – like many other businesses, they branded as Color before getting the domain, so there was a certain need to get it. If their process was reversed and they bought the domain first, it would have been a bad purchase.
Their poor decision was the brand Color. It was far too ambiguous for their app and highlights a case where being too broad or lacking a defined meaning can hurt. Businesses can still succeed on those brands but the brand ends up hurting instead of helping.
Aren’t Good Domains Valuable Assets?
Even if a good domain isn’t the right domain for your business, it will still be an asset – as long as they could serve a use for another company. Even if your business doesn’t work out, there is value in the domain, so the money spent isn’t wasted.
That said, one of the issues if you do use a good domain and your business fails is that the domain will have history as a brand. Who would want to brand under it right after it was just known as being a different brand – especially if it had received a lot of attention?
One of the arguments put forth on the side of spending money on a good domain that isn’t exactly the best fit is that it represents an asset wherein even if the business fails, the domain still has value.
Remember when you are looking for the right domain for your business or website that coming across a good domain doesn’t mean your search ends. You should certainly make sure to get a good domain, but at the end of the day, the brand is what matters. Does the brand fit you? If not, even if it’s a wonderful domain, look for a better fit.