Domain name investing is not ruled by a single "school of thought" but the opposite is true for domain registrations and acquisitions for personal or business purposes.
With consumers, traditional business practices apply along with the use of common sense when it comes down to brand protection and other reasoning behind domain registrations.
In other words, domain investors—also known as "domainers"—and domain users represent two opposing poles that rarely intersect in their logic.
A domain consumer treats domain names as a digital vehicle that carries the brand to a wide audience. Small business owners and companies alike utilize domain names as a direct point of contact that can be as passive as an email address or as interactive as a blog and customer care chatroom.
There are several reasons to secure a domain name, even if your use of it is minimal.
Putting your domain name to use establishes your intentions for having registered the name and can reduce the risk of being challenged in a potential UDRP case. Whether you set up a one-page lander, a contact form page, or offer full-fledged content about your family's love of fine dining and international travel, one thing is certain: locking down a domain by registering and using it gives you an advantage over anyone else who might want it.
Pro tip: Register all your domain brands under the same secure registrar roof, such as at Uniregistry. This way you will be able to monitor, renew, and update the settings for all your domain assets, without chasing them around across different registrars.
Personal names are quite often neglected, and in some cases, even senior officers of companies forget to get that matching .com. LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook accounts are great to have, but a .com is much better, and a .com site can also provide links to social or professional networking sites.
Should a company employee, middle manager, or CEO roll out their full name .com as a live web site?
The answer to that is "maybe," but owning the domain is a resounding "yes." There is no doubt that some first name / last name combinations are common, but there is no excuse to simply ignore the opportunity to secure that domain, regardless.
Brands under development need to secure their .com, and perhaps additional TLDs, to lock down their future footprint. Once you have decided on an upcoming project, you need to get the domain that best represents the brand's functions, services, and targeted market.
Corporate mottos and trademarks are also as important as the brands they outline.
A long-tail domain that acts as the corporate emblem, is one such domain waiting to be snatched by the competition. Even stock market symbols are great to own — if the company can afford them. Just take a look at DNKN.com by Dunkin Donuts, which forwards to a portal describing the company's brands.
And now for a seeming paradox: Individuals and companies acquire domains on the secondary market, even paying top dollar for the purchase, and then do nothing else with the domain name.
It's not rare to not see anything developed on these domain names, for months and even years later. The reason: domain consumers aren't in a rush to display the domain's availability, unlike investors that rely on PPC monetization and availability as a sales promotion. End-user buyers consider these assets to be safely tucked away, just like stock certificates.
And that's a logic that domain investors and everyone else should be aware of and utilize.
Conclusion: Domain name registrations represent a secure "lockdown" of your name, brands, and other activities, even for projects that are not yet on the horizon. By securing these domains you are ahead of the game, outsmarting your potential competitors, and you can sleep better at night.