By Gene MarksSmall Business Expert
I need your help. And if you help me, I’ll give you a $50 Amazon Gift Card. Ready?
First, take a look at these two websites: Artof.fitness and Soul.camp. Then look at my website: MarksGroup.net. Notice any differences?
OK, my site is a little out of date (I’m in the middle of an upgrade). But that’s not it. And yes, my company is a heck of lot less fun and cool than getting fit or going to an adult sleep-away camp. But that’s not it either.
Here's the difference: It has to do with their brands. Their online identifications. Their names.
Both Art of Fitness and Soul Camp are taking advantage of new domain ending options. Notice? There’s no 'dot-com' (.com). Their company names are their website names. It is all one and the same. It’s cool, and it works.
“Our 'dot-fitness' [.fitness] website is unique,” says Ron Betta, the owner of Art of Fitness. “Because our business name is 'Art of Fitness,' having a creatively named website lends itself to the art theme we promote. It shows congruency and enhances the brand.”
And, according to Michelle Goldblum and Alison Leipzig, who co-founded Soul Camp, it’s a cool conversation to have, too: “Every time we tell someone to go to our website they say, "'Dot-camp' [.camp]?! How did you do that?" This leads to telling them more about Soul Camp. We thought it would look amazing on our collateral and was a sneaky way to have our website on everything because Soul.Camp looks just like the name of the company.”
These are two businesses that are taking advantage of a huge marketing opportunity. And now they’ve got me thinking ...
Betta, Goldblum and Leipzig get it. They see that this is where the Internet is going. They understand the marketing opportunity to create a unique space for themselves and brand their companies and their websites together. And they understand how easy and risk-free it all is.
According to a recent post by Google:
- "Domain names with new endings are shown in search just like any other domain name. For example, if you search for the business Coffee Club, you will find their URL coffee.club."
- As long as you follow the right steps to let Google know about your domain, it’ll work just like your old domain name.
- Once you properly set up your new domain name, you can redirect your old domain name to point to your new one. This ensures you won't lose any traffic from your customers if they use your old domain name instead of the new one.
I want my little company to be like the Art of Fitness and Soul Camp. But there’s a problem: When I look at the hundreds of new domain options available, I don't see 'dot-group' (.group). So I cannot create a website called Marks.group to position with the name of my company.
So what to do? Believe it or not, I think I may change the name of my company. Seriously.
But if I do that, I want it to encapsulate what we do (we help our clients be quicker, better and wiser using great customer relationship, financial and marketing technologies) and marry that with a good domain.
And that’s where you come in.
Any ideas for a good company name that is also a good company website, too? And no, there’s no 'dot-geek' (.geek) or 'dot-baldguy' (.baldguy) domains available ... so nice try. You’ll just have to be more creative than that.
Come up with an idea (here is a list of the domain name endings available), and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (gene<at>marksgroup<dot>net).
If I choose your idea I promise to send you a $50 Amazon Gift Card -- seriously.
Help me take advantage of this marketing opportunity. And help my firm move into the future.
Gene Marks is a small business expert who appears regularly on MSNBC, CNBC and FOX News. He also writes regularly for the Washington Post, Forbes, Entrepreneur and Inc. Magazine. In addition to authoring several books on business management and serving as a public speaker for the small business community, he owns Marks Group PC, a firm that provides technology and consulting services to businesses across the U.S.