When Rick Schwartz made those comments on what would be his last post for awhile, he finally had validation of what he he had been saying all along, that only 1% of the industry or its players were actually in the business of domaining, while the others were in a casino playing a game called 'domaining." He argued that when Internet Traffic would separate the potent traffic from the garbage traffic, it would finally become clear- Domains have crossed the Rubicon. The 1% of the cream that rose to the top have now to do unto themselves what they give others the power to do: Rebrand. They are no longer domainers, they are brand builders. The #1 reason end users buy domains is to brand something new or fix a brand that's broken. Sale after sale for the highest return after return that we examined beneath the headlines on the DNS homepage ticker, prove the reason to buy is that simple.
In promoting the value of domains, we've talked about something called the radio test. I've been taking that to the next level with something I call the SIRI test. Ask SIRI for TUMLBR and see what she says? Could that be why they bellied up to the bar and went for Tumbler? Why Box.net suddenly had to be rebranded Box.com? Or why Meet.ME was worth $450K to MeetMe.com? Why when you ask SIRI for "New York Plumbers" she's not going to send you to a site named NYPlumbers? Could that have driven the mid-figure DNS sale of NewYorkPlumbers.com to NYPlumbers.com? Or driving another mid-five figure DNS November sale, East Rest is a luxury bedding product sold by direct response TV ads. The call-to-action had been MyEasyRest.com. They spent mid figures to upgrade to EasyRest.com. Smart. I reckon there are thousands of other sales made simply to truncate the name and drop the “my.”
The only reason it got registered to begin with is because when they went to Network Solutions to register EasyRest.com, they got a message that it was taken and a suggestion they register the MY alternative. The end user never was informed that there is an aftermarket where it still may be possible to own the exact one they want.
See a pattern here?
When you see a sign on a retail store that says Kids Dept. you hear "Kids Department" and that's what SIRI hears too. And SIRI is just the beginning of an entire sea change in how people surf, connect, and consume information. And from all the Google complaints, I'd have to assume 50% of the brands out there will not be conducive to voice search
Meanwhile in almost every case of an end-user sale, domainers claim they never had to show stats and no one cared about the traffic. People wonder why P&G buys all those domains and doesn't use them-- what a waste! It's because P&G doesn't sell toothpaste they formulate toothpaste wrapped under various brands and sell it through various channels of distribution.
According to the Wall Street Journal, "Tooth Paste is the biggest and steady traffic generator for supermarkets. Where else can you buy a $3 product and get $75 cash back without a fee? And find other items you need all in one stop. Today, toothpaste commands some of the strongest brand loyalty in stores. The application for a domain name is in solving the problem of loyal or in educating the value of brand-specific benefits."
As an example, Crest hit the market in 1955 and in 1960 became the first fluoride toothpaste to gain the American Dental Association's "seal of acceptance." Toothpaste was elevated from cosmetic to therapeutic status, and sales of Crest nearly tripled within the next two years. The 1980s brought tartar-control formulas, raising consumer expectations of what toothpaste could do. Ever since, companies have brought out benefits and ingredients, in search of the next game-changing upgrade.
Each new benefit is a chance for toothpaste makers to push prices upward and drive sales. With some 93% of U.S. adults using toothpaste, according to Mintel, there's little room to recruit new users. A domain promoted on or in the packing that can lead to a page raising consumer expectations of what toothpaste could do, is the one which will be sought.
Brands don't need traffic but they need a way to create a deeper relationship with the traffic they already have to keep it loyal.
btw, There was another reason for Box.net to Box.com. dotCOM is essential branding for Cloud Software. It's why Force.com, Cloud.com, DataCenters.com, Team.com and others acquired by readers of this blog, create perception of Internet based- whereas names like SAP, Oracle and BMC are turn offs to companies associated with all the last generations hassle and expense and inflexibility of CRM Software.