Online branding starts with a quality domain name. End-users/companies are not necessarily more concerned about using a domain name to generate more sales, but rather using domain names as part of their branding strategy.
The main objective of any company is to maximise shareholders’ wealth. Sometimes to achieve this does not necessarily mean making more sales or profits. For me to explain this, I would have to divulge in very technical accounting and tax jargons. So lets keep it simple, and not get into that now.
If a company invests in a premium domain name by purchasing one on the domain aftermarket, the domain name is treated as an asset. This means that the domain name will help the company to reach its objective by helping to boost sales, enhance or build its brand, and/or be treated as a collectible item that will appreciate in value.
However, as a domain name is often used as the gateway to the company’s corporate or product website, then it is most likely that the company will plan to use the domain name as part of its branding strategy.
Let’s look closely at what a brand is. It is not just a logo. It is more of an experience. The keyword here is experience. This is the very reason why some “expert” domainers fail to grasp the concept of branding. You can’t brand a parking page. If a domainer is all about quick and easy money, then he will hate the word “branding” just like the devil hates holy water.
In a nutshell, every company strives to maximise revenue and minimise cost. A company that invests in premium domain names will have as its ultimate goal to gain an advantage in its marketplace. This advantage can be a bigger market share, or just to increase sales. But before a domain name can be used to generate sales, it either has to be branded or vigorously marketed.
Aggressive marketing and advertising can produce short-term success at a very expensive price. With very good branding strategies, a company can reap success from its efforts for years to come.
What is Branding?
A brand is a collection of symbols, experiences and associations connected with a product, a service, a person or any other artefact or entity.
With brands, people associate a name or image with something.
Almost every business has a trading name, from the smallest sole trader to the largest multi-national corporation. However, not all of them will have what could be classed as a “brand” or a “brand name”.
Simply speaking, a brand is a name or symbol that readily and easily identifies a company or its products and separates them from the competition.
The Nike brand name is recognisable all around the world. People who have never even bought a Nike product will either recognise the name or the logo/tick symbol.
What are the Benefits of Branding to a Business?
(1) Recognition and Brand Loyalty
The number one benefit of branding is that customers are much more likely to remember your business. A strong brand name and logo/image helps to keep your business and its products and services in the mind of your potential customers.
If your business sells products that people buy on impulse, you could end up making a sale to a customer just for the mere fact that they recognise your brand. If your business has a trusted brand, you could also easily market unfamiliar products, as you would possess a level of trust.
If a customer is happy with your products or services (experience), your brand will help to build customer loyalty across your business.
(2) Image of Size
A strong brand will give the impression of a well-established business to potential customers. Branding is often perceived to be synonymous with larger businesses that have the money to spend on advertising and promotion. By creating effective branding, you can elevate your business to another level.
The image of size and establishment can be especially important when a customer wants reassurance that the business will be around for the foreseeable future.
(3) Image of Quality
The strength of your brand is seen as an indication of the quality of your products and services. People normally tend to choose branded products over unbranded or unknown products.
(4) Image of Experience and Reliability
A strong brand creates the image of a business that is well established, and gives the impression that the business has been around for a long time. A branded business is more likely to be seen as having the required knowledge and experience in their products or services. This will result in being seen as more reliable and trustworthy than an unbranded business.
(5) Multiple Products
When you build a strong brand, it creates the freedom to market and sell different products and services. Associating your brand with other product and services will immediately give those products and services the acceptance and trust that your brand has earned.
Sony sells televisions, music equipment, consoles, camcorders, DVD players, video players, and etc all under the Sony brand name. I personally only use the Sony products throughout my home, and it is my first preference when looking for new products and upgrades. When I buy Sony, I am confident that I will like the product and will get value for money, although sometimes I really have to try hard not to be tempted by the very effective marketing campaigns of other brands.
Now, with domain names, this is what ebusinesses should try to achieve when they invest in a premium domain name. Obtain a domain name that can lower advertising costs, increase revenues, build customer loyalty and ensure repeat customers.
By effectively branding a domain name, a business will ensure continuous sales! It may be the ultimate marketing objective to generate sales, but in marketing, you have to have funnels through which to generate the sales. There is hardly any better funnel than a good branding strategy!