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Why Not Brand for an Entire Century?
by Naseem Javed

 
   
 
   

Now a new routine emerges as savvy marketers enjoy Cyber-Branding using Network Solution’s latest offer of $1000 USD to secure a domain name for an entire century.

Wow, it’s a bargain of the century ... it’s only 3 cents per day. Right now, it’s the cheapest license in the world, providing the registration rights to your URL, the only gateway to your websites and the only key to your cyber-branding in this global e-commerce. Right now, the global cyber-branding is the only game in town when it comes to global marketing.

Is there a catch? Yes, right here. If you are only spending only three pennies a day on a URL but thousands on promotional branding each day, then the question is; how good is your domain name? How does it fit your marketing and PR strategy? How is it building your corporate image? Do you really know where you will end up on this long 100-year journey? Is there a plan, or just blind chasing blind? Is your team mentally prepared for this long marathon? In short, it shouldn’t be a wild goose chase, rather a proper road map.

For each penny spent, here is a million dollar set of questions:

First: Is the name structure good enough to invest a century of branding?

How is a URL composed? What does it convey? How is its alpha-structure and how is it helping its visibility on search engines? How easy or difficult is it to type, remember or talk about? Today, there are only less than 1% of domain names that could survive a five-star name quality test prescribed under the laws of corporate naming. See if your names can pass this:

A Five Star Standard of Business Naming

To qualify, a name must pass each of the five following criteria to get a star. If it fails at any point, then your name is in serious naming trouble. Anything less than five stars is really a liability wasting valuable branding. Is your name:

  1. Very distinct & very unique?
  2. Short, simple with attractive alpha-structure?
  3. Highly related to the business?
  4. Globally trademarked and protected?
  5. With an identical URL?

A large majority of domain names are too long, confusingly similar, often totally non-related,hastily composed or poorly alpha-structured. These domains are pushed as cyber identities while seriously hurting branding, marketing and reducing traffic to the websites.Many corporate domain names have too much extra luggage, consisting of dashes, slashes and numbers. This makes their daily use very difficult and hence they are often forgotten and changed.

“Corporations have difficulties in recognizing the immense powers of a true domain name, a high value URL is priceless and should not be tossed around like a string of letters,” says Champ Mitchell, CEO of Network Solutions." While finding globally workable names is another battle all together, ” He further adds. “ The future of domain registrations, despite big progress, is getting ever more complex ”.

How true, marketers MUST now acquire a comprehensive understanding of how alpha-structures work and how to assess the hidden powers or weaknesses of all URLs they use. Also seek advance knowledge on such matters. Today, webinars on naming and corporate image issues is a new way to get the best expertise at a super cost savings while getting internal teams involved without traveling.

Second: How do you measure the visibility of your websites for Cyber-Branding?

How long will the name match to your current branding model? Are you successfully projecting the right images? How are your customers reading your true strengths in your URLs? How and why do you need highly strategic, long-term name branding solutions? Right now, this very second, websites are tumbling into each other for lack of distinction and clarity. A large majority is modified, and names are changed for adjustments. The convergence of technology and mergers are often good enough reasons. Registration technology is also changing and so are the registrars. Your name along with a professionally structured URL must fit like a glove onto your total global image strategy. It’s easy to do; all you need is a master plan and right expertise.

Third: Now squatters too can get a 100 year lease, how are you protected?

Corporations are always frustrated with cyber-squatting of names. This issue can seriously hinder global expansion and international marketing. How do you cope, as now it becomes a 100-year problem?

What we need is a respectable registration system to recognize properly developed names, filed and registered along with renewable trademarks. When you own a globally trademarked name and a thoroughly researched identical and matching dotcom URL, you also inherit a powerful position against squatters and can easily get injunctions to stop these conflicts. Once again it’s all very easy to do if you have the right methodology. Naming is not a creative branding exercise; rather it’s the application of tactical rules of registrations, alpha-structures and global marketing issues. When following the strict Laws of Corporate Naming, names turn into proper icons with global protection, otherwise they are just simply names shared by the many others.

Corporations in Asia routinely plan a quarter century ahead while in the U.S, planning a year is considered too long. Centuries and millenniums are truly for philosophers and historians to worry about. Corporations are lucky if they can plan their branding past a few years. Now that a 100-year registration issue is on the table, it certainly forces the management to think long-term. Branding strategy for 2104 or halfway between sounds like a great start for CEO’s. It’s wise to acquire long life names, followed by long-term branding plans, definitely not in a reverse order. So let the naming start and let the journey begin.


     
   
     
   

The Author

Naseem Javed

Naseem Javed, recognized as a world authority on corporate image and global name identities, is a harsh critic of casual and accidental naming. He is a dynamic speaker on corporate image and branding issues, and is also the author of Naming for Power. He founded ABC Namebank International, an image and branding consultancy over 25 years ago. Visit www.abcnamebank.com for additional information.

     
   
     
   
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Copyright 2004 by Naseem Javed. All rights reserved.

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