By Naseem Javed
Websites have just completed a full circle of a hard struggle, and somehow survived where other traditional marketing tools and old principals failed big time. Now the same sites and domain names must face harsher realities once again, all to ensure high visibility and exposure they so provide. Today without visibility, on e-commerce, websites are simply doomed. While billions of web pages poised for the right match, only clashing into billions of surfing customers are simply flooding each other. Millions of splashy logos with billions of expensive web pages are all deeply submerged in this ocean of e-commerce. Customers all over the world are only amused as they watch the websites struggle to gain attention at a zillion choices per second. Their mysterious behavior on search engines and the role of alpha-structures of each and every domain name is now a very big question. Why?
Boom time, a million domain names a day were registered. Those days, most unusual, silly and totally dysfunctional names were the sought after icons of get-rich-quick dreamers of the exuberant populace. 99% of such names failed. Exhausted or expired such names have now disappeared. While ICANN and the domain registrars wonder on the disappearance of continual registrations and renewals, the real question now is the fate of the remaining millions of business domain names in active use on global e-commerce today.
From its inception, when the genius founders doodled on a napkin and came up with the big five suffixes: .com, .net, .gov, .edu, .mil, and .org, and declared “www” as the one and only key to cyberspace, changing business forever. This weird and strange thing called a domain name costing pennies in comparison to a trademark registration, was often left to webmasters or junior staff to play with. Today, if a domain name issue is not being dealt at a senior boardroom level, then behold the quick demise of that corporation; from marketing to branding and just about everything else it does. A URL is the only key that opens the gate to a corporation, its products, images and identities. There is no other bypass to the URL to access a website. As the old-fashioned print-driven advertising and branding has taken the back seat, the marketing and survival strategies for these new cyber-branding issues are all on the forefronts.
You must be able to decipher how and why your business names are composed and structured and only then you can achieve your marketing goal? This process of fine tuned analysis is not a simple routine for English major or linguists, rather a science and a fine art. Names must go through a critical analysis under the Laws of Corporate Naming. One must determine the size, personality, and length plus the choices of alpha character as each emulates its own unique signals. Are names too short or too long, do they have the right number of letters, do they fit the personality of your company? Do your customer recognize your desired message in that name? This skill is a must for all marketing and branding teams, and is essential for corporate image management. Complexities of e-commerce and massive duplication of similar and identical names on the web have made this a tactical exercise. General branding exercises are not naming analysis. Establish a review and get all your names properly analyzed, this in not expensive at all compared to what is at stake. Use professionally designed training available via webinars and executive workshops
You can check your name’s visibility in a second by entering it on Google in “quotes”. It makes a huge difference where you are on a search page. Are your names popping up on the first page, somewhere after 10 pages or nowhere to be found? Study search-engine-optimization in great detail. It’s now a brand new frontier. Either your customers can find you easily or you’re simply lost. No amount of money can create a bounce to your expensive websites or your big budget branding in these times, except your alpha-structure of your URLs. Only an in-depth analysis will point to the problems and show methods to fix them.
How many domain names do you have and why? The art of cyber-branding now demands sharper skills on domain registrations and their website management. Multiple domain names create multiple problems in multiple markets. There are rules to be followed. The power of e-commerce is all hidden in its access via URL’s as there is no other way to get to a page of your site. Great opportunities are missed by not having a sophisticated naming system for global cyber branding. Have a proper system in place to manage global complexity. There are too many fancy services most are flaky, faceless and without references yet offering strange
global registrations and localization, so be aware.
Whatever you call a name in one country can mean something entirely different when it circumnavigates around the globe. How do you tackle such languages issues? Acquire skills and a deeper understanding of global communications. Even if you’re a regional player, your sites are still visible and exposed to the entire globe. Cyber branding is an extremely global phenomenon.
Mindshare is more important then marketshare. Customers must allow a name brand to settle in their minds before they give you cash. Market positioning is more critical then profit maximization. The human mind is gravitated towards good names those are end-user-friendly and trustworthy. With millions of silly and randomly structured names, the mind becomes overly tired. So, what are good, catchy names and how do you establish them? It becomes easy once you have the right expertise. Go online and bring in professional webinars within your entire corporations, this is the most cost effective way to make e-learning a possibility and this will also bring harmony in your branding while dramatically increasing your overall marketing performance.
Big branding has gone for a big sleep, no need to wake it up. Now the most cost effective way is to handle your cyber-image using new set of skills and new techniques to turbo-charge your overall cyber-marketing. The future will be pretty clear when planned today.
Naseem Javed author Naming for Power and also Domain Wars, recognized as world authority on global Name Identities and Domain Issues, introduced The Laws of Corporate Naming in the eighties and also founded ABC Namebank, a consultancy he established in New York & Toronto a quarter century ago. www.abcnamebank.com