Questions

Hi! I'm the owner of wantdesign.co.uk and I'm going to take the next step by hiring full time help and setting up a limited company. I've got wantwebsite, wantseo, wantapp .co.uk domains and thinking about creating landings with focus on each service (wantdesign will be just for branding services and print design). Is this a good idea or should I find a new, more brandable, name and run everything under one name? Thank you.

You're definitely going the wrong direction. That's my opinion. But I'm right, and here's why:

Your domain strategy is hyper-extended.

You've got 4 domains in .CO.UK – hopefully 8 counting .UK rights. That's all well and good for a British audience. But you deliver work online; so why not appeal to a global audience? Here in the USA, ccTLDs (a.k.a. country codes) are not recognized.

Your business will look strange and be misremembered as .COM. That means your marketing will be inefficient; you'll leak traffic to Google, parked PPC pages, or even competitors who develop sites with the same brand name(s) in the same niche! Meanwhile you'll pay extra in ongoing advertising costs to compensate.

And you don't own the 4 corresponding .COM domains. I checked. They're owned by a pair of people / companies – both known to me already. To acquire these 4 matching domains, you'd need to spend about $10,000. That's based on the typical list prices these guys set, which you can verify, I'm sure.

On top of this, you'd face brand protection issues for at least 4 distinct names. That obligates you to further domain purchases or risks ... in proportion to the number of brand names you're attempting to operate. After all, WantApp is confusingly similar to WantApps; and WantWebsite resembles WantAWebsite. And let's not forget .DESIGN and .WEBSITE, which means your WantDesign.co.uk is competing against both WantDesign.com and Want.Design, while your WantWebsite.co.uk has to shout extra-loud to be heard above WantWebsite.com and Want.Website. Things get complicated fast!

You'd eventually face competitors with these names unless you bought them all. You might even get embroiled in trademark disputes, which are no fun.

For that amount of money ($10k upwards), you can buy a really great domain name and consolidate all your efforts on a single brand name with worldwide appeal and a single website.

In the long run, going the way you're going, you will pay thousands of pounds one way or another. Maybe you won't buy those other domains, but you will put extra cash, sweat, and time into marketing. You'd probably lose a few customers over the years as well, since they'd go somewhere other than your site and find other people to hire.

I also have concerns about branding with multiple domains, managing multiple websites, or asking customers to bounce around between several sites. But there's no space to go into that. The domain issues already sank your battleship, I'm afraid.

If you'd like help selecting a single unified brand name for all your services – which is what I recommend – let's talk. Naming and domain procurement are both areas I specialize in.


Answered 4 years ago

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