Online Business Advertising Brand Name Without “.com” a Mistake?

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I like to write about things that are based on real-life examples and today is no different. A few weeks back I traveled by car about 30 minutes south of our home and during the drive, I noticed at least 5 billboards advertising “Carvana”.

All the billboards I had seen displayed what appears to be a flat-bed type transportation vehicle, with a vehicle on it. This is followed by a catchy type message like: “Buy your next car from your couch.” Then the companies brand name is displayed: Carvana

  • No phone number
  • No domain name
  • No call to action

The last part is the problem! The domain name is the answer!

What kind of direction are you providing to the consumer to act? Many will be seeing “Carvana” for the first time. What is it? How do I find them?

I went to my couch, looked around and felt the need to say Carvana. No reply. I said it louder. Nothing. No car.

By advertising without the company’s direct destination, Carvana.com, the ads are leaving the navigation up to the user. It’s not scientific, but I would bet that most hit up a search engine like Google and search: Carvana after they tried my couch trick with no luck.

The results? It will likely be different locally for each individual but for myself, other car dealerships running ads for the Carvana keyword is what I found when I searched “Carvana” at Google. Instant competition for Carvana, created by Carvana!

I was forced to search for something I already knew what it was but I lacked the knowledge of where to go (without guessing). By adding the 4 simple characters, .com with the company’s brand name would remove those competitor ads and drive the web traffic DIRECT to you. It is and should always be the goal, direct navigation to your business and this can easily be communicated and achieved by displaying your domain name any chance you get.

Lay down the red carpet for your consumers and include your domain name! Tell the consumer where to go, without them needing to guess. This is very important when your business is web-based but also important when you have a specific location you want the consumer to land for specific marketing efforts.

Although Carvana has been around since 2012, IMO the brand is not well known enough to withhold the .com! Can large companies like Amazon and Google do it? Yes, if the goal is to send the consumers to the home page of their sites but often times the advertising effort is for something specific, so using a unique domain name to direct consumers to a specific location is also wise and easily done with a domain name, which is still done by massive brands like Amazon and Google.

It may be tempting and “clean” to simply display your companies logo or brand name without making it a domain name but IMO, advertising without it leaves a lot of room for competitors to take full advantage of your marketing budget and efforts at your expense. Direct navigation is very important, and it works when you display your domain name.


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