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- How many customers confuse your domain name?
- How many employees get your domain name wrong?
- How many writers link to the wrong site?
- How many times do you spell out your domain name?
- How many people email firstname.lastname@example.org?
- How much do you really not like your current domain? — let’s be honest.
Even if you personally don’t get the whole internet thing many of your competitors, customers and employees do. Well, at least the natural ability to extract only words which matter from your brand name.
Employee confusion is real. Consumer confusion ever more so. Even those companies with really cool made up words almost never make consumers spell the wrong way.
If budget is the issue that’s fair. We all have to eat Mac N Cheese some days. However, one primary reason many companies do not have a better domain is simply the person/people making decisions.
Yep. Many times it’s just good old ego getting in the way of a better brand.
Below are 100 companies who understand brand. Some are your competition. Some you like better than your own. One thing is for sure.
Somebody WILL almost always buy the best one word .com version of your brand.
When that happens its likely off the market forever.
Why? Because the internet is the foundation of a global economy and .com is the pinnacle extension. Most common words no single company exclusively owns, even with a trademark.
100 Companies Who Understand Domain Names.
The point of this list is reference for those who say “we don’t need the domain” or “no one is going to pay that much”.
These examples prove how your competitors think different and are branding better than you. Almost every one of these domains sold for big bucks proving (once again) domain names have value. A few simply teach a lesson. Remember it’s supply and demand driving prices. Just ask the companies who lost a chance to acquire FireFly.com to another company called FireFly who paid the asking price last week, or well, you get the point.
Obviously not a complete list. There are hundreds of millions of domain names registered. These are just some good ones, all better than yours.
Peace and Love.
- Advance.com — Acquired by Advance Publications, Inc. The perfect domain name especially for such a huge company who owns titles such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Gentlemen’s Quarterly (GQ), Architectural Digest (AD), The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler, and Wired.
- Arrive.com — Acquired by ParkWhiz as a rebrand to Arrive. Love it when companies go from zero to hero. The ParkWhiz name does nothing for me. Arrive is awesome and you can bet more VC’s will now take their call based on name only. They have arrived.
- August.com — acquired by smart home company August. Fantastic branding with a word everybody knows. Think about it — for 30 days every year the entire world is saying your brand name. You brand on a word like this and losing is your fault.
- AWS.com — acquired by Amazon. Imagine the customer service emails from people saying they went to AWS.com and couldn’t find anything. Now they can. Time is money.
- Buffer.com — acquired by Buffer. Final upgrade from bfffr.com -> bufferapp.com -> buffer.com. Read the story here. It’s worth the font.
- Bungalow.com — acquired by Bungalow. A real estate company who upgraded from livebungalow.com. If you have to ask why just stop reading now.
- BTM.com — acquired by Bryn Mawr Trust. A 3 letter .com matching your brand can almost never lose. Upgrade from bmtc.com — sure it’s technically the Bryn Mawr Trust Corporation but no one cares if you are an inc, corp or llc. Match the brand you advertise, not the name on your bank account. Really good upgrade here.
- Cabbage.com — common sense acquisition by Kabbage. Proper spelling is always good to have except when you’re President. Then it doesn’t matter.
- Casper.com — acquired by Casper Mattress Company. Serious upgrade from caspersleep.com and now the coolest ghost around.
- Carrot.com — acquired by OnCarrot. What does On Carrot even mean? Great upgrade. Your customers, staff and Bugs Bunny should be proud!
- Chewy.com — acquired by Chewy. The killer startup PetSmart paid $3.35 Billion for.
- Chivalry.com — acquired by Chivalry, a company offering “Amazing Relationships Through Amazing Experiences”. Personally I would have rather seen a good scotch buy this one.
- Close.com — acquired by Close.io. They know how to close!
- Common.com — acquired by Common Living, a co-living company. “Private rooms and beautiful shared spaces in friendly homes.” Another great upgrade to the matching .com domain.
- Compass.com — acquired by real estate company Compass. Slogan is “Let us guide you home”. Is there a better real estate brand? The upgrade from domain doesn’t matter. Perfect. Just Perfect.
- Copper.com — acquired by ProsperWorks as a re-brand. I won’t explain why they re-branded, you can read it here. It’s everything a re-brand should be.
- CT.com — acquired by Cointelegraph, a leading provider of cryptocurrency news. Only 676 two letter .com’s exist. Go Bitcoin!
- DCC.com — acquired by Davies Collison Cave in 2017. Awesome upgrade, many typos of Davies and Collison is just a colossal cluster-fudge of a word. Money well spent.
- Doc.com — acquired by Docademic, say that three times.
- DropBox.com — acquired by Dropbox. Not a one word but a great upgrade from the getdropbox.com domain. Let’s put this very bluntly. If your domain name starts with “get” you almost always need the better one. It makes you look like an ad all day long. How many ads do you like?
- Duck.com — acquired by DuckDuckGo, even when you thought Duct Tape could win every time.
- DXL.com — acquired by Destination XL. Common sense upgrade for a public company especially when branded as DXL. Again, match the brand you advertise, not the name on your bank account. Awesome upgrade here.
- EEN.com — acquired by Eagle Eye Networks. The thing about this one for me is I would trust a company who owned EEN.com much more than a company who operates on some version of eagleeyenetworks.com or similar. The 3 letter tells me you are real. The long URL tells me I need to do some homework. Yes, you can buy trust with a domain. You can also question that trust with the wrong one.
- Enhance.com — acquired by a UK Hosting company. Looks like a small company (I think) but the new domain name makes them look HUGE. That’s a real ROI.
- Facebook.com — acquired by Facebook. Not a one word but Watch the movie — Justin Timberlake says it all.
- Fallout.com — acquired by Bethesda Softworks for their Fallout game which is much better than using Fallout4.com since the latest version is Fallout 76 and 15,987 more versions seem possible.
- FireFly.com — acquired by Firefly Space Systems. A much better domain name than FireFlySpace.com and one companies like this and this entirely missed the shuttle on.
- Fortnite.com — acquired by Epic Games in 2013. Great upgrade from the FortniteGame.com domain. Value today? Who knows, probably a Gatrillion V-bucks.
- Freedom.com — acquired by Freedom Mortgage. Not only does the domain match the brand but what better domain to sell the American dream on? Freedom is not free and neither was the domain name – $2,000,000.
- Handle.com — acquired by Debt Collection Company Handle. Automatically provides brand authority and class to a rather negative industry. I love this one. I mean who better to “handle” your debt receivables. And, even better, an upgrade from the (yucky) handle.us domain name.
- Ice.com — Intercontinental Exchange paid $3.5M for this domain name in 2018. It’s a whole lot cooler than TheIce.com
- Insider.com — great acquisition by Business Insider. They have multiple brands with the word “Insider” attached. If you are going to spend millions branding around a word take note — own the word.
- Instagram.com — acquired by Instagram. Not a word (real brand). Point is they started on instagr.am, don’t get me started on hacks.
- Invision.com — acquired by Invision which is only logical as an upgrade from Invisionapp.com. They are so much more than an app.
- Jump.com — acquired by JUMP Bikes. One of my favorite all time acquisitions and now they can Jump anything not just bikes.
- Knock.com — acquired by Knockaway, Inc. as an upgrade from Knockaway.com. Watch this company.
- LA.com — acquired by Tribune Publishing when they owned the Los Angeles Times. Unclear whether the domain name name went with the sale of the Times to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. WHOIS still shows Tribune as the owner and the domain has the same coming soon page on it. Time will tell.
- Ledger.com — acquired by Ledger SAS. Logical upgrade from ledgerwallet.com because again, they are more than just a wallet.
- Lola.com — acquired by Lola, a corporate travel company. When you are trying to compete with and/or secure giants the right name will help. Never underestimate how many doors a great domain can open.
- Magnolia.com — acquired by Magnolia Market. Fantastic domain. Great flowers are almost always great brands.
- Marcus.com — acquired by Marcus by Goldman Sachs. If Goldman is involved you pretty much can expect the best domain. Take lead from those who rule the world.
- Marshalls.com — acquired by The TJX Companies. Seller was UK Superbrand Marshalls Mono Ltd. Finally some good news for America. I mean really, who hasn’t visited Marshalls.com looking for the blue-light specials. Or maybe that’s K-mart. I have no idea.
- Mya.com — acquired by conversational ai company MYA Systems. Upgrade from hiremya.com. Not having Mya.com is almost like Apple not having Siri.com. If you are going to give your ai a personal name buy the exact domain!
- NWM.com — acquired by NatWest Markets. NatWest is owned by the RBS Group (Royal Bank of Scotland) who owns RBS.com so keeping with the family tradition this only makes sense.
- Onyx.com — acquired by Onyx Enterprises their slogan says it all. “We are Onyx”. Yep. You are not ONYXwhateveryouwerebefore.com. Why? That’s what you are telling everyone!
- Packet.com — acquired by Packet Networks. An upgrade from Packet.net thank be da heavens.
- Pitch.com — acquired by German startup Pitch. Homepage reads “The future of presenting starts here.” Says enough to me. Perfect domain name. After all, how less professional do gopitch or pitchapp or pitchworld sound? If you want to learn how to Pitch then Pitch sounds like THE expert. You can’t buy that kind of authority. Oh wait, you can — with the best domain name!
- Pilot.com — acquired by Pilot, a bookkeeping service. Who would you trust more with your bank statements? Someone with a super name like Pilot.com or someone with a second tier name. All things equal, a one word .com will likely win every time.
- Presto.com — acquired by Presto, a company who digitizes the dining room for restaurants. Great domain name.
- Prime.com — acquired by Amazon. Need I say more?
- Pro.com — acquired by a Home Services company. Seriously would you hire a contractor from Pro.com or Rocco123.com? The name gets them business. Rocco makes you consider insurance.
- Purple.com — acquired by Purple Innovation, LLC (the Purple Mattress Company). Upgrade from onpurple.com. With $1,000, $2,000 and $3,000 products you don’t want consumers typing in the most obvious domain version of your brand only to find competition. Secure the domain!! My guess is the ROI earned from owning this domain name has already returned the purchase price and more. Going forward the registration costs are $10 a year. Win-Win-Win.
- Sierra.com — another acquisition by TJX companies to match their exact brand names. An upgrade from SierraTradingPost.com. This Management team gets it.
- Sportsmans.com — acquired by Sportsmans Warehouse as an upgrade from SportsmanWarehouse.com. Warehouse always sounded cheap to me. I may even visit now. Who am I kidding? If there is no room service I’m not going.
- Rain.com — acquired by Rain Autonomics. Upgrade from Rainnet.com which is probably the worst suffix around. Is it Rainnet.com or Rain.net? Good news is they bought Rain.net also in the same deal.
- Rock.com — buyer still unknown. I hope it’s Dwayne Johnson but highly doubtful. He’s the only one who deserves this domain.
- Ring.com — acquired by smart home / doorbell company Ring. Founder Jamie Smirnoff paid $1M for the domain name, later estimating the name turned out to be worth between $30 million and $50 million to the company. He sold Ring for over $1B to Amazon, he would know.
- Snap.com — acquired by Snapchat. Perfect acquisition, especially when they define themselves as “a camera company” not a chat company. Think about what you do and want to do. If removing a word means also removing boxing your brand in then hey, it’s probably worth jumping on.
- Square.com — acquired by Square, one of the largest payment processing companies in the US. They still use squareup.com as the public site but we all know that will likely eventually change.
- Sandbox.com — acquired by a large full-service design agency this domain is perfect. High end design is killer competitive. Owning sandbox.com is already an ice breaker for pitches and sometimes it’s that ice-breaker which wins the account.
- Super.com — acquired by The Super! Fund. Solid acquisition and certainly the best domain for their brand.
- Surround.com — acquired by Bitfury Group Limited. All I know is they work with music and automatically I think they are pros. Any conference they attend people will now comment on this name. Can you do that with your brand? Probably not.
- Trailblazer.com — acquired by Salesforce. Trailblazer is a key word for Salesforce developers and partners. When almost 200,000 people come to your hometown every year for a conference built around Trailblazing you really should own the .com. If not for you, for them. Well done.
- Tesla.com — acquired by Tesla Motors. Even with rocket ships and gazillions it doesn’t mean you get your best domain. The word Tesla is actually a last name and many companies use Tesla in their company name. Some as homage to Nikola Tesla, the renowned Serbian inventor. Elon Musk finally acquired this for a reported $11M after 10 years of trying. Persistence pays. Wait, Musk just made another $11m since I started typing. What does money really matter anyway?
- TN.com — acquired by Tuft & Needle. Another player in the billion dollar mattress business. That’s three on this list.
- Triangle.com — acquired by Canadian Tire. Perfect addition for their Triangle Rewards program. Note that selling off a rewards program to a third party does happen and having such a great domain likely adds value if the time ever comes. Plus when companies like Square.com and Box.com have become a hit why not acquire a primary shape if you can.
- Tube.com — The fact that Amazon acquired this domain name instead of YouTube makes me question who is in charge of YouTube domains. This domain probably gets millions of natural visitors a year (people typing it in). At the very least, it’s a name you don’t want a competitor with gazillions to have. First world problems I know.
- Turbo.com — acquired by Intuit. Basically a financial planner system branded like TurboTax. Intuit owns TurboTax so this a great acquisition. However, the whole branding and lookalike logos make it pretty confusing. I would imagine many consumers think Turbo is TurboTax and TurboTax is Turbo. Whatever, they make billions every year and I’m not getting paid for these words. Rock on.
- Twitter.com — Acquired by Twitter. Upgrade from original domain name twttr.com. WTF was that? But hey, now they are billionaires and you (and I) are not. Who’s really winning?
- UI.com — acquired by Ubiquity Networks. Like you need a reason not to shorten Ubiquity. I’m not going to look at what they previously used. It sucked compared to UI.com. Well done.
- URW.com — acquired by Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. Why? Do I really need to explain the tsunami of typos with any other domain name option for these 3? I mean it’s bad enough employees have to say all of these but imagine the time wasted trying to spell email addresses? URW.com could have been a billion dollars. Worth every penny.
- User.com — Acquired by UserEngage as an upgrade from UserEngage.com
- Valley.com — acquired by Valley National Bank. Not only is this domain name one of the best around it’s also a great upgrade from the three word valleynationalbank.com domain. A real bonus is now those customers sending email@example.com loan documents may actually get them to the right place. Any financial services company should learn from this one. If you want to be the best get the best. New companies like RobinHood, n26, Simple and more are kicking butt at branding. Valley just got a lot cooler, you probably didn’t.
- View.com — Acquired by View as an upgrade from the viewglass.com domain. View has raised almost $2B in funding so far. Whatever they paid for view.com was worth securing their word on the net forever and not boxing the brand in to just glass.
- Visible.com — acquired by Visible, a phone service in an app. I don’t get this one nor the word’s connection to cellular service. Whatever, it’s short and sweet. Anytime in doubt just remember somebody pitched a script called Sharknado and today there is the original Sharknado movie, Sharknado 2: The Second One, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No!, Sharknado: The 4th Awakens, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming and The Last Sharknado: It’s About Time. Go Visible Go!
- Visor.com — acquired by an online personal tax advisor company, Visor. Previously used the myvisor.com domain. Great upgrade.
- Vivo.com — acquired by the China’s Vivo Mobile Communication Co. Monster sale at $2,100,000 by a monster company and a great upgrade from vivoglobal.com
- Walker.com — acquired by Walker Manufacturing. Big company with a whole lot of mowers. If you or your company name is Walker forget it, you are never getting this domain. You snooze you lose. Walker Manufacturing is the winner.
- Wing.com — acquired by WING, a Google Moonshot Company. With the money they have you can likely bet on something flying there. Awesome domain name and 100% relevant to secret Moonshot projects.
- WW.com — acquired by Weight Watchers for a re-brand. Love the “WW. Weight Watchers re-imagined.” slogan. Love the double-double two letter .com even more.
- WMP.com — acquired by West Monroe Partners. Another huge company acquiring the exact match 3 letter .com domain. Nothing screams authority like a perfect three letter .com, maybe only a two letter.
- Workplace.com — acquired by Facebook for their Workplace product. Smart acquisition. When you are likely investing hundreds of millions in a product you want to own the word. Facebook is very good at this. The unlimited budget doesn’t hurt either.
- Zoom.com — acquired by Zoom Video Communications. You know that worldwide video conferencing company using .us (yuck) forever. One of the top 10 upgrades in 2018 for sure.
- – 100. Insert pretty much any good one word.com here. I’m tired and need coffee.
These domain names represent not even a fracture, a sliver, or even a sliver of a sliver of upgrades which have happened.
If you think for a moment no one will buy the better one word .com version of your brand’s name THINK AGAIN.
IT HAPPENS ALL THE TIME.
Commerce today is global. Even with a trademark there are 100 plus countries to file a trademark in, and over 40 classes to register. At half this math there are still over 2,000 openings for someone else to acquire TM rights to the same brand name.
If you are on the fence then make a decision or possibly lose forever.
To those who still don’t get domain names: May your dreams be crushed by those who do. And I wish you luck — just to be balanced here.
Do I need to say more?
Follow Alan Dunn on Twitter All of these domain name movements are sourced from public information. Many sales are reported by multiple sources. My sources were: