Domain Brands: Would you Like to Buy a Vowel?


Brands are supported by matching domain names and there are several ways to locate these brand destinations on the internet.

First and foremost, by using direct navigation. Assuming that the brand operators are using a .com, that's the most common way to locate a brand's "home page" and interact with it.

Buying products and services related to a brand is risky when that exact match domain isn't secured. Many companies use an alternate variant without securing the matching .com domain, creating a problem that might go unnoticed at first: Brand dilution due to an influx of fake products.

Searching for a brand and its products, either via dedicated search engines such as Google and Bing, or on secondary platforms such as social media and the almighty Amazon, is another method of locating them.

This is where the issue of potential brand dilution manifests, as it's not always easy to tell the real brand's products and the fake ones apart.

We've all seen these promotions of cheap merchandise on social media: Graphic images of major brand clothing or apparel, sunglasses and purses, supposedly "discounted" by huge percentages—as long as you visit that odd-looking domain name that plays on the real brand's domain.

Blinded by "greed" and the concept of getting a good deal, many consumers fall for this fraudulent use of a brand's impact, without caring much for the domain they land on.

Part of the problem is the real brand's domain name, as it's often overly creative and less generic-sounding.

Quite often, brands miss vowels and switch others or use a pronunciation that reads and sounds differently. Twitter was Twttr at first, and those two missing vowels quickly gave its founders a much-needed epiphany to change the name and domain name.

Did you know VRBO is pronounced "verbo"—an example when the so-called radio test fails, which has probably led to lots of traffic to the matching .com that is spelled like that.

So what is the smart approach to naming brands?

When picking a brand name for your products or services, ensure that your future customer won't be looking to solve a puzzle, filling in vowels or trying to spell that consonant with an alternate letter. While it's fully understandable to come up with catchy names, the brand needs to pass the radio test—some 25+ years after the birth of the commercial internet that rule still applies.

Using a true generic, such as a dictionary word or two words combined, is also a great alternative. Uniregistry offers domain acquisition services that can help you get that perfect domain for your brand, without the risk of going for a domain name that fails to pass the radio test.

The information contained in this blog is provided for general informational purposes about domains. It is not specific advice tailored to your situation and should not be treated as such.

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