How Madison Avenue let down Corporate America and how both failed

Do you remember a few days ago I said I would 'Ruffle some feathers.' Well that is a promise I can keep with this post. Get ready for some flapping and chirping on a grand order.
Hotels_2 Hotels.com is one of my favorite stories because it illustrates the stupidity and failure the majority of Corporate America and Madison Ave have achieved. It is a clear indictment of not only them missing the single biggest opportunity in any of their careers, but 12 years into it and they have yet to figure it out. As I said in point #7 of my April 5th post, the guys that started these companies are rolling in their graves. The people entrusted to run these companies have for the most part failed them.

Now this is not universal. In some cases they did figure it out and I will list a few below. They make my case stronger not weaker. The question is why did some figure it out last century and why are the majority still not figuring it out so far in this century?

Let's start with this undeniable premise. Before you ever plug in a GREAT domain name it is capable of getting type in traffic, it starts gushing from the moment the domain name goes live. Again, may be widely known to domain owners, but possibly not to the folks that would be best served either owning your domain or at least buying the traffic on an exclusive basis. The 'End user.'

How much traffic a domain gets is on a domain by domain basis. A domain like sex.com will likely get somwhere close to 200,000 new visitors every day of the year. A domain like widgets.com gets 500 visitors each day but that is up from 60 last year. Candy.com gets 1000-1500 each day with spikes during holidays. There are many domains that get 1000-25,000 daily visitors and some much more. The reason this natural resource is so important other than the obvious value of a targeted visitor, is the growth factor. If you have zero traffic and you double it you still have zero. Anything other than zero and you will have the wind at your back. Just remember one important point. Word of mouth advertising is still the greatest advertisng medium ever known and online it is even more evident and more valuable.

Hyatt_2 Here is the story. Earlier this year my partner Howard Neu and I met with the GM at the Hyatt Grand Central Station in New York City to book the T.R.A.F.F.I.C. domain show and live domain auction there for this June. He wanted to understand domain names. So he began to ask some questions.

I used hotels.com as my example. I asked isn't it interesting that with all the hotel chains and all the execs and folks paid to beat the competition that EVERY single person in the hotel business failed and they failed BIG TIME? He was puzzled and looked at me like the old RCA dog on the old lp's. But that was actually a good start cuz it meant he was paying attention.

Imagine if Hyatt had gotten hotels.com. Instead of you being 1 of hundreds of hotels listed including all your competitors and paying for each lead or each booking Hyatt would have received ALL the leads. Would that not increase sales? Would that not increase market share?

Step in Madison Avenue. These folks are sooooo hooked on 'Branding' that they forgot the REASON they brand is to INCREASE SALES. So their REAL job is to increase sales. THAT is ultimate branding. Having your product everywhere. Funny how in time they have LOST SIGHT of that basic core contract. So Madison Avenue failed the hotel industry as well. IMAGINE, of all these high paid execs at all these companies and not a single one could figure it out. Figure that if they own a domain like Hotels.com they would be a leader in their sector. But they are all so hung up on BRANDING that they would rather IGNORE a reservoir of new business. New business snatched directly from the competition.

Even before it was attached to a business plan or went online hotels.com was going to be a million user a day site because it had a substantial traffic base. My guess would be that a domain like that would have gotten somewhere between 25,000 and 50,000 new visitors every day since the moment the domain went live. I guess the corp guys and Madison Avenue saw no value in having their call centers receive 9 to 18 MILLION added calls a YEAR. 9 to 18 MILLION calls that Hyatt would not lose to Marriott or Westin or Hilton or Holiday Inn or Ritz-Carlton or the other way around. They EACH had a chance to lock out the other hotel chains and they ALL missed it. They spend millions on a superbowl ad with results that can't compare and cannot even truly be measured. They let InterActive Corp (operator of Hotels.com) and Barry Diller beat them by disrupting the entire travel industry and for that they will pay dearly for decades to come.

And of course if Hyatt or Hilton or any of the others marketed hotels.com there is no way to even imagine how many tens of millions of leads would have been discovered. Leads that they get FIRST CRACK at getting. First crack at a new customer. First crack at a new reservation. This has no value??

Until folks face the greatest failure of their careers and learn from it they first must see and understand that failure. I don't want to beat these guys up. Really I don't. I am sad to report that 12 years into this and they STILL have no clue just how bad they failed. With 20/20 hindsight you would be hard pressed to find a hotel executive to say they screwed up by not getting hotels .com. What the hell is wrong with you folks??

Johnson and Johnson figured it out. They own baby.com and a LOT more. See how they OWN this sector. How they CONTROL this sector. How that have positioned themselves to lead the next 100 years just like they have lead the past 100 years. THEY GET IT!! Then think what would be the consequences if their competitor got it!

Bank of America owns Loans.com. THEY GET IT!

Barnes and Noble own Books.com. THEY GET IT!

Kraft owns CreamCheese.com. THEY GET IT!

JC Penny owns Gift.com. THEY GET IT!

Calvin Klein owns Underwear.com. THEY GET IT!

So these corporations and their Madison Avenue ad execs deserve recognition. I have a list of about 100 companies that GET IT. I give these folks a tip of the hat. They are probably yelling 'Shut up' at the screen so not everyone figures it out. LOL

Now let's look at a disaster.....and a failure by the same counterparts

Campbells Campbells owns MySoup.com. The competition (Knorr) owns Soup.com. Somebody SCREWED up there! They DON'T get it and by the time they figured it out....TOO LATE! How much do you think it will cost Campbell over the next 50 years not having that domain? I would invest in Knorr. They have SHARP people there and they may unseat the leader just like 1-800-flowers gobbled up FTD. That is one of my favorite stories of not keeping up. Here is a business (FTD) that OWNED the sector for 100 years and here comes 1-800-flowers and the tiny fish gobbled up the GIANT fish. The ONLY way Campbells will get soup.com is buying the other company. But they better do it NOW before it goes the other way! Knorr is owned by Unilever.

Imagine if 1-800-flowers did not own flowers.com?? Would not that have been a MAJOR screw up? Well if you can see it there....it is time to apply it to your own sector and see if you pass or fail. The key to all this was that it WAS a 'Unique opportunity in time' because a domain like hotels.com could have been bought a few years back for LESS than the price of a SuperBowl commercial. Today I bet some chains pay the price that could have run many commercials. And what do you think the price of hotels.com is today?? Do we count in hundreds of millions or billions? I think the latter if you could even get to that point.

So the hotel industry and dozens of other industries and their Madison Avenue agencies DON'T GET IT! They are soooo stuck on branding that they just can't GRASP that in the virtual world you can have more than one door. You can have more than one front door. You can market in generic ways. You can do lots oif things you can't do in the real world.

Regardless of all this. Their #1 jobs is to INCREASE SALES. Branding without increasing sales is not branding at all. Branding without using every tool is not building brands it is destroying brands. Branding is a buzz word that means little. SALES is what pays the bills and the salaries. Here they missed the #1 opportunity to increase sales, take market share, grow their business at the expense of the competition and they just sat there and talked about branding and to this very MOMENT still don't get it.

That my friends is a sad indictment of where we are. They are so busy slapping themselves on the back that they BLEW IT! They failed. They continue to fail. To me, this is the single biggest and clearest illustration of their total incompetence.

At least come to the point where you slap your forehead and say....'Oh my goodness, how the hell did we miss that?' Until you get to THAT POINT, there is really little else to say. Defend yourselves all you want. Somebody go do a spreadsheet and show them what it would have looked like today if they did not miss the biggest opportunity they will EVER have to increase sales.

Barry Diller and IAC (InterActive Corp)  figured it out when they bought hotels.com and you geniuses will be paying THEM for the next 100 years because you guys FAILED! And you will continue to fail until you can see how badly you messed up. Go take a look at THEIR spreadsheet.

Luckily there are other related domain names. Vacations.com. Ooops, owned by Travelocity. Too late! Do they charge commission too? Motels.com, motel.com, hotel.com, travel.com......Are you guys on Madison Ave. and Corp America getting the picture yet??? Instead of having an income producing ASSET on your ledger you have an EXPENSE!!! DUH! A significant expense. You can either 'Get it' or call me names. Go ahead, give it your best shot. Nothing you can call me can cover up failure of this magnitude. NOTHING!

I rest my case!

Now I know you hear the frustration in my words. 5 years ago you would have had to peel me from the ceiling. But it is not as bad as it seems. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. I do see a dialogue developing. I just really wanted to be on record and 100% clear of how I see it. I hope this filters up, down and sideways throughout the Corporate world and Madison Avenue. Start with Donny Deutsch and let it circulate down to Main Street.

To dismiss any of these first few posts would just be perpetuating a 12 year failure to understand how a GREAT domain name can grow your business, lead to greater market share, and if you fall asleep at the wheel be prepared for someone to come and disrupt your entire industry no matter what industry you are in.

Have a GREAT Day!

Rick Schwartz
Hotels.com, Campbells and Hyatt are registered Trademarks



32 thoughts on “How Madison Avenue let down Corporate America and how both failed

  1. Kevin

    In my discussions with corporate CEO’s over the past several years of domain brokering, I’ve found often the corporate execs have the belief that generic domains could cause brand dilution in the marketplace.
    I’ve also found most corporate execs are not very web marketing savvy and have very little knowledge, usually no knowledge, about domain type-in traffic.
    Corporations are also extremely dinosaur speed sluggish and the Net works at the speed of light with new innovations being introduced 24/7. So even when they do get it, by the time they execute the opportunity is gone. Classic example of this was when Rupert Murdoch snapped up MySpace.com for pocket change and several other media companies like Viacom gloated after seeing that prize get grabbed.
    Corps are bloated beauracracies filled with processes where decisions aren’t made by one individual and everything has to get approved by lots of department heads.
    I don’t see corps getting it anytime soon to be quite frank. And for domain owners maybe that’s a good thing so we can keep selling our valuable targeted type-in traffic to them forever.

    Reply
  2. Derek Prueitt

    Wow, just, wow. This post blew me away. It’s what we all know, have known, for a long time now.
    The chance to brand your way to being #1 on the internet has almost passed, unless you truly have a better product than everyone else, and let’s face it Madison Avenue folks, that is rarely the case.
    People don’t think”auctions.com”, they think”Ebay”. They don’t think”books.com”, they think”Amazon”. They don’t think”Search.com”, they think Google or Yahoo (they don’t think LIVE.com either!). It’s easy to understand why you’re stuck on brand when brand names dominate so many areas of the internet. If your brand isn’t there yet, you can go drop a few more million on TV ads nobody is watching, you can pay Google millions a year for your traffic that can be taken away the minute a higher bidder comes along, or you can buy an endless stream of direct traffic at its source.
    Hotels.com doesn’t dilute a brand, it reinforces it. If every person in the world typing in ‘hotels.com’ goes to the Marriot, the name Marriot becomes synonymous with hotels.”But it already is!” you say – only on one side of the equation. When people hear the name”Marriot” they think Hotel, but when people hear the name”Hotel” do they think”Marriot”? Isn’t this, at the end of the day, what branding is all about?
    Here’s the secret – you can do both! You can”own” the domain and in addition to the direct traffic you will also pay less for your PPC campaigns. If you own hotels.com you don’t have to be the highest bidder for”hotel”, just make sure your name is on the first page of ads and it will jump out at anyone looking for hotels.
    It isn’t too late. Pizza.com is a parking page. Stocks.com is a parking page. They MIGHT be for sale (I don’t know), they MIGHT cost you millions, but once they’re in the hands of Pizza Hut and Etrade, the opportunity is gone. Once these names get into the hands of end users that see the effect, they will never be for sale again without buying the whole company.
    Excuse the long post, there’s just so much to be said here. Way to light a fire Rick, and somehow I suspect you don’t mind the heat one little bit. :)

    Reply
  3. RobB

    You said”These folks are sooooo hooked on”Branding” that they forgot the REASON they brand is to INCREASE SALES.” I think that about sums it up. I’ve heard you talk about this subject before but this post really puts it into detail for anyone to understand. Competition is so fierce these days in the business world, that if you can own the domain for the category you are in, or multiple categories like J&J does, it is obviously such a step ahead and amazing that many corporations just don’t get it yet.

    Reply
  4. Basicity

    Vodka maker Russian Standard really gets it when they paid $3 million to acquire the Vodka.com domain late last year.

    Reply
  5. RJ

    It’s all about branding..no one will type in hotel.com when they can go to expedia, orbitz or priceline. No one will type in underwear.com when they can go to walmart.com no one will type in auction.com when they can go to ebay.com…the type in traffic these domains get is likely to be other domainers looking to see what is on the domain…ever consider that?

    Reply
  6. Johnny

    what’s going to happen to dot com domain names when google comes out with their own .goog extension
    or microsoft decides to come out with their own .msft extension
    these companies have enough money to change the market around and dot com domains will slowly die out in less than 5 years.
    internet is changing very fast…today you have dot com…tommorrow dot gone
    dot com owners…enjoy it while it lasts…
    in less than 5 years…dot com will not exist
    today kids are controlling the internet domains…tommorrow, corporations and madison ave will control the domains.
    enjoy it while it last kids!
    big boys always win…its like taking candy.com from a little baby!

    Reply
  7. Zach Hoffman

    Great article, those people at Soup.com forgot their spoon, so how smart are they? Forks and knives do no good with soup.
    Domain names are the information superhighways billboards.

    Reply
  8. Ravi Venkatraman

    Great post Rick. I enjoy your writing style.
    Looks like, the Finance Industry has figured out the value of the domains better than other Industries.
    To add to your examples:
    Mortgage.com was purchased by ABN Amro for $1.6 million,
    Finance.com is owned by CITIFinance .
    Hopefully, after the Traffic Conference in New York Madisson Avenue might finally understand it.
    On another note, is plural names more valuable than the singular names?
    Example: Is Hotels.com more valuable than Hotel.com
    (Hotel.com redirects to Hotels.com)

    Reply
  9. RJ

    TRAFFIC that generic domains receive is LARGELY OTHER DOMAINERS checking out what the competition or generic domain leaders like Rick are up to. Who on earth goes to Finance.com when you have Yahoo Finance, MSN Money,Bankrate, Thestreet.com wsj.com?! WHO are you kidding Rick?

    Reply
  10. sam the adman

    Question for Johnny. If you hate domains so much why do you have to own Johnny.com and forward it to an agency who is a big part of the problem with flash programming that is invisible to search engines and almost assures a lifetime of expense buying traffic to compensate for the agency’s stupidity.

    Reply
  11. Jothan Frakes

    Rick, I think you’ve not only identified a market shift on how Madison ave and Corporations, but just scratched the surface.
    Corporations have a lot of disconnect between the different internal groups that ‘manage’ domain names.
    It typically falls on one of three groups, Legal, Marketing, or IT, to handle registrations and domain management.
    Sometimes, there is a visionary company that has harmony accross all three points of that trinity, but it is more often the case that one department leads and the other two are off on their own.
    Companies that really get it are leading the pack and benefiting immensely from it.
    These are the companies that put a person in charge of their domain strategies and let them drive all three points of the triangle.
    What unfortunately happens more frequently is that it is typically a reactive process of catching up to the competition or some individual within the company that has the vision and personal heroics (and typically not budget) within their sphere of control or influence (again, Legal, Marketing or IT) to get the ball rolling.
    And more often than not, these heroes who get it get kicked or pushed out as opposed to praised and promoted.
    The lack of internal vision, shared (and appropriate) budgeting and management, and communication internal to corporations is a huge problem that requires evolution.
    This lack of harmony is the single place that I would point the finger directly towards as being a serious contributor to not only the problem you describe of missing the boat, but also directly attribute the lack of harmony and communication as a contributor to the volume of trademark issues plaguing the domain registration world today.
    If companies and corporations had a good game plan in place, these issues would be less frequent, and they could have possibly had the vision to have made those generic registrations.
    There is a learning curve to our industry, not just for the bright individuals who do this daily, but also Madison avenue and corporations from the top down.
    Eductaion, communication, and advocacy are all very important, and I publicly applaud your awesome efforts on helping elevate the industry and awareness through the TARGETEDTRAFFIC.COM conference, your continued efforts with this blog.
    I encourage any CEO or senior executive who got to feeling defensive about Rick’s post to attend the conference in New York, as it is what I would call a ticket to board the”clue train”.
    Keep up the great evangilism of our industry Rick, and I hope you inspire more folks in the advertising industry to catch on!
    God Speed, my friend!

    Reply
  12. owen frager

    One disconnect is domainers haven’t spent a lot of time in corporations. So they have no idea how backward the thinking really is.
    Your stats about candy.com and the poster who suggested brands rule, reminded me of a past life.
    In one of my gigs (at a company with 120 offices in 32 countries and 45,000 employees), I was on a employee committee that governed the candy machine. So I had access to data. Yes at this branch office alone, 1500 employes a day visited the candy machine. That’s not the m&ms or hershey machine, that’s the candy machine that they searched for.

    Reply
  13. David Carter

    Great article and hopefully very thought-provoking for corporate America (and coprporate rest of the world).
    I can’t believe that people interested in domains, as presumably the readers of this blog are, could even consider for a moment that people going to hotel.com would be other domainers! Sure, some might be, but really guys, wake up, you missed the point of the post.

    Reply
  14. Ron James

    Just want to dispute the ignorant comments posted by the other”RJ” on here. Type-in traffic is NOT a result of other domainers typing in domains out of curiosity.
    If it was, there certainly wouldn’t be the above average conversion rates for the traffic that we all know. Besides, 400,000 *domainers* typing in candy.com every year? No way, dude. People want candy. ;) – Ron

    Reply
  15. Edwin Hayward

    What I guess al is missing is that you can also REDIRECT all the traffic from a given domain name to a different destination URL. So if Hilton owned”Hotels.com” they could have everyone who types in”Hotels.com” (which Rick has estimated to be in the tens of thousands of people per day, and I see nothing to suggest that figure’s wrong) automatically redirected to Hilton.com.
    If Hotels.com got 10,000″free” visitors a day (from people typing in the domain name unprompted”because it’s an obvious URL when looking for hotels”) that’s 3,650,000 targeted folks a year exposed to the Hilton website (or to their”Latest Offers” page or wherever they choose to redirect the traffic to). That’s not random traffic, it’s the most on-target traffic Hilton could hope for: web-savvy people specifically looking for hotels.
    In other words, Hilton.com gets you to the Hilton site – and Hotels.com ALSO gets you to the Hilton site.
    Brand-driven traffic goes to Hilton.com. Typein traffic goes to Hotels.com. Both sets of visitors end up benefitting the same company.

    Reply
  16. Matt Werre

    Great post – sage advice forsooth. All you Domainers out there that got in the game early, hats off to ya. Hotels.com may be the blockbuster domain for its category but as keyword searches evolve (and with Google training more people every day) location specificity starts to shine more and more. Just go to Overture’s keyword tool and type in”hotel”. You will see location specific stats that dwarf the single-word search. Greater relevance directly equates with greater user satisfaction. We amateurs are on your heels…

    Reply
  17. Steve Smith

    Dear Rick:
    Thanks for the informative blog! You are absolutely right about your Hotels.com story. What you are talking about is”Domain Marketing”. Here’s”proof in the pudding” regarding over 150 companies that do understand the value of domains that are generic and/or memorable catchy slogans or phrases:
    Domain Marketing
    (an exclusive list compiled by SearchDomainsForSale.com)
    The reach of the domain industry has been getting broader, quietly. As you will see below, we have been making a list of MAJOR international corporations buying, developing and aggressively marketing domain names that DO NOT mention their brand name. These domains are owned by the corporations or the marketing agencies that they utilize for their advertising campaigns.
    We find this development to be very interesting and especially encouraging for domain entrepreneurs holding a large and diverse portfolio of domains like that owned, developed and maintained by us here at SearchDomainsForSale.com.
    The purchase, development and marketing of non-brand domain names to promote an existing, nationally known brand names is a cutting edge marketing idea. This method gives ad agencies and brands the ability to monitor traffic to the non-branded web site allowing them to better track their campaigns. Also, developers and marketing agencies do not need access to the corporate or main brand site for development and statistics.
    If you have more examples of this exciting domain development trend or would like to be notified when we add more, please contact us . Check back periodically. We update the list a couple times a month.
    Recent national marketing campaigns featuring Creative Domain Marketing:
    Highlighted entries added February 27, 2007
    Highlighted entries added March 29, 2007
    1. 21st Century Insurance – 21st.com
    2. A&E – SuitcaseOfCash.com
    3. ABC – ABetterCommunity.com
    4. ABC – BeUgly07.com
    5. ABC – OnlyTheyKnow.com
    6. Ad Council – TheTVBoss.org
    7. Ad Council – DontAlmostGive.org
    8. American Egg Board – NaturesMiracleFood.com
    9. American Heart Associaton – BeatYourRisk.com (Superbowl ad)
    10. American Express – 800TheCard.com
    11. American Express – Apply4BlueSky.com
    12. American Express – MyLifeMyCard.com
    13. American Express – StopPong.com
    14. American Lung Association – AsthmaControl.com
    15. Anheuser-Busch – BeeResponsible.com
    16. Anheuser-Busch – Bud.TV (Superbowl)
    17. Anheuser-Busch DesignatedDriver.com
    18. AOL – TotalTalk.com
    19. AstraZeneca – GettingItRight.com
    20. Atari – TestDriveUnlimited.com
    21. Aubuchon Hardware – HardwareStore.com
    22. Audi – NeverFollow.com
    23. Banana Republic – FindTheArtInTheEveryday.com
    24. Bank Of America – Loans.com
    25. Bayer – NoFleas.com
    26. Bayer – WonderDrug.com
    27. Barnes and Noble – Books.com
    28. BellSouth FastAccess.com
    29. Best Buy – CEOOO.com
    30. Boeing – NewAirplane.com
    31. Bowflex – BuyTC.com
    32. Burger King – ChickFlix.com
    33. Burger King – HaveItYourWay.com
    34. Burger King – StackersUnion.com
    35. Burger King – SubservientChicken.com
    36. Busch Gardens HeroSalute.com
    37. California Milk Advisory Board – RealCaliforniaCheese.com
    38. Calvin Klein – Bras.com
    39. Calvin Klein – Underwear.com
    40. Campbell’s Soup – MySoup.com
    41. Carnation Instant Breakfast – GreatMorningGiveaway.com and MyMorningFuel.com
    42. Chattem – Icy Hot – FreedomOfMotion.info
    43. Church & Dwight – Arrid deodorant – WetnessProtectionProgram.com
    44. Chevron – WillYouJoinUs.com
    45. Citibank – StudentLoan.com
    46. Coca Cola – Sublymonal.com
    47. CocaCola – HowDoYouHangOut.com
    48. Coffee Mate/Nestle – TheCowsAreComing.com
    49. Comcast – CultureFool.com
    50. Comcast – TheSlowskys.com
    51. Conagra – SlimJim – Snapalope.com
    52. Country Buffet – Buffet.com
    53. Daimler Chrysler – AskDrZ.com
    54. DAngelo sandwich franchise – PapiSays.com
    55. Dasani – MakeYourMouthWater.com
    56. Discovery Channel – Planet-Earth.com
    57. Discovery Channel – ReadyAimFuture.com
    58. Dish Network – IWantFootball24-7.com
    59. Dish Network – SuckFreeTV.com
    60. Dominos Pizza – AnythingGoesDeal.com
    61. Dominos Pizza – BrooklynStylePizza.com
    62. Dunkin Donuts – Flavorolgy.com (link removed. Apparently domain dropped and now it is an Epilepsy information site…nice job DD!) – Thanks Domainut
    63. Eli Lilly – DepressionHurts.com
    64. ESPN – CollegeGameDay.com
    65. Federal Express – SaveWithExpress.com
    66. Federal Express – NoMoreAllNighters.com
    67. Ford – FusionChallenge.com
    68. Ford – GenuineService.com
    69. Ford – UltimateBackyardAdventure.com
    70. Frito Lay – SnackStrongProductions.com
    71. General Electric – Ecomagination.com
    72. General Electric – OneSecondTheater.com
    73. General Electric – TransportationServices.com and TrailerServices.com
    74. General Mills – MyHomeTownHelper.com
    75. General Motors – KeysToVictory.com
    76. General Motors – LiveGreenGoYellow.com
    77. Glad – 1000Uses.com
    78. GlaxoSmithKline – RestlessLegs.com
    79. H&R Block – TaxCut.com
    80. History Channel – History.com
    81. Howard Stern – HowardTV.com
    82. InDemand – GetHockey.com
    83. Jack in the Box – BreakfastServedAllDay.com
    84. Jack Links – MessWithSasquatch.com
    85. JC Penny – Gift.com
    86. Johnson and Johnson – Baby.com
    87. Kimberly Clark – Kleenex – LetItOut.com (thanks to Rick)
    88. Kohl’s – TransformationNation.com
    89. Kraft – CreamCheese.com
    90. Land Rover – TheNewRush.com
    91. Lexus – TheNewIS.com
    92. Mars – AfterTheKiss.com (Superbowl)
    93. Mars – BecomeAnMM.com
    94. Master Card – WinANewHouse.com
    95. MasterCard – Priceless.com
    96. Mazda – NeverSawItComing.com
    97. Mentadent – AreYouTeethPeople.com
    98. Merck – Tell-Someone.com
    99. Microsoft – Investor.com
    100. Milk – 2424Milk.com WhyMilk.com and GotMilk.com
    101. Miller Beer – ManLaws.com Thanks to eBuv.com
    102. Miller Beer – TasteLoss.com
    103. Mission Pharmacal – Citrical – StandStrong.com
    104. Mutual of America – YourRetirementCompany.com
    105. Nestle – GoPlayLabels.com
    106. Nestle – SlowChurned.com
    107. Nestle – Meals.com
    108. Nexium – PurplePill.com
    109. Nintendo – TouchGenerations.com
    110. Nissan – Z.com
    111. Nissan – ShowUsYourX.com
    112. NORA – IntelligentWarmth.com
    113. Norelco – ShaveEverywhere.com
    114. Novartis/Lamisil – TakeCure.com
    115. Office Depot – OfficeSupplies.com
    116. Office Depot – School.com (courtesy of UltimateDomains.com)
    117. PacifiCare – PrescriptionSolutions.com
    118. Paypal – X.com
    119. Pepsi – EveryTenMinutes.com
    120. Pepsi – BrownAndBubbly.com
    121. Pepsi – Mist-Takes.com
    122. PETA – Circuses.com
    123. Pfizer – JustAskToday.com
    124. Pfizer – MyTimeToQuit.com
    125. Pioneer – DriveHappier.com
    126. Procter & Gamble – AutoDry.com
    127. Procter & Gamble – DumpCupid.com
    128. Procter & Gamble – KeepThemGuessing.com
    129. Procter & Gamble – Noticeables.com
    130. Procter & Gamble – ShareYourSecret.com
    131. Procter & Gamble – TimeRenewal.com
    132. Procter & Gamble – Prilosec – HerFootball.com
    133. Progressive Insurance – DriveInsurance.com
    134. Prudential – RetirementRedzone.com
    135. Qwest – Q.com
    136. Roche – FluFacts.com
    137. Sara Lee – GoMeat.com
    138. SC Johnson – AutomaticShowerCleaner.com
    139. Sharp Aquos – MoreToSee.com
    140. Slimquick – HowWomenLoseWeight.com
    141. Snickers – InstantDef.com
    142. Sony Pictures, The Fog movie – EscapeTheFog.com
    143. Sony Pictures, The Grudge 2 movie – DoYouHaveAGrudge.com
    144. Sony – ReadyForTheShow.com
    145. State Farm Insurance – NowWhat.com
    146. Stouffer’s/Nestle – FreshFrozen.com and SeeWhatsCooking.com
    147. Sylvan Learning – Educate.com
    148. Taco Bell – FourthMeal.com
    149. Takeda – Rozerem – WeMissYou.com and TheyMissYou.com
    150. Texas Instruments – ItsTheMirrors.com
    151. Tim Horton’s – 15millioncanadians.com
    152. Tmobile – MyFaves.com
    153. Tmobile – TheOnlyPhoneYouNeed.com
    154. Toshiba – EndTheStealing.com
    155. Unilever – CampaignForRealBeauty.com
    156. Unilever – CanYouTell.com
    157. Unilever – CupASoup.com
    158. Unilever – GetHairapy.com
    159. Unilever – ColorShowdown.com
    160. US Air Force – DoSomethingAmazing.com
    161. US Department of Defense – TodaysMilitary.com
    162. USA Network – ShowUsYourCharacter.com
    163. USPS – ShipItWinIt.com
    164. Verizon Broadband – RicherDeeperBroader.com
    165. Warner Chilcott – ShortPeriod.com
    166. Wedding Channel – Weddings.com
    167. Wendys – BBV99.com (This should win an award for dumbest domain)
    168. Wrigley Orbit gum – GoodCleanFeeling.com
    169. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals – KnowMenopause.com
    170. Wyeth Pharmaceuticals – YourTimeForChange.com
    171. Yoplait- SoGoodGirls.com
    I look forward to your blog posts in the future.

    Reply
  18. Steve O'Brien

    Great read Rick – We have been talking about this for years. Some folks just do not get the true value of a keyword domain name. We have some clients that do get – one company curently sells about 140 products on there website and they own over 120 of those product names in com’s all aimed at the vaious pages in their website that the product is sold. We are on the hunt for the rest for them. Smart marketing on their part!”It Is All In The Name”. Steve

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  19. Michael Lee

    Hi Rick,
    I agree with you that generic names are valuable. However, our company’s internal research shows that generic domain names are more valuable in the industries that have limited or no established brands. In the industry which generic name equates to brands, the generic names become less valuable. Points are well made in earlier comments that

    Reply
  20. Yaron Viner

    Great article Rick!
    Here are few thoughts on the subject:
    Soup.com is not in the same league of Hotels.com and Flowers.com.
    Not a lot of people will buy soup online, as opposed to booking a flight or a hotel. I don’t think Campbell’s would ever buy Knorr just for this name.
    Nobody can tell how much type-in traffic Hotels.com gets because they already spent millions on branding. Do you consider it type-in traffic when I type in Google.com?
    While Hotels.com is a great name, the company wouldn’t be where they are today without this massive branding. I mean, look at Cameras.com, and don’t get me wrong, I can’t believe Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Olympus (just to name a few) let this one slip away. They definitely don’t get it. The point is that Cameras.com will never get that far without some massive branding.
    Madison Avenue certainly had their share of mistakes. They didn’t get it because they stuck to what they do best. Are we not doing the same mistake by sticking to Type-in and overlooking brandable domains just because it is so difficult to evaluate them?
    Yaron

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  21. Max mickle

    Thanks for the information about domain marketing through blog.But which type of hotel blog is the best.i can’t understand about”generic and/or memorable catchy” please know me details.

    Reply
  22. Andy Stevenson

    Rick I read your post with great interest.
    Your quote:”In the virtual world you can have more than one door. You can have more than one front door” is incredibly telling about the state of things.
    It goes to show how in the online marketplace, small, faster-moving compeditors are often poised to take huge chunks of business from stagnated”brands.”
    I’m with hotels-in.com and we’re trying to do just that. We want to take our unique content and push it out the door with the many Web 2.0 services out there and pull visitors back to our simple and to-the-point domain name.
    Thanks for the great post — its given me a lot to think about.

    Reply
  23. Marc

    Hotels.com even got Hoteles.com,hotels in Spanish. What a bunch of fuck-ups those guys are on Madison Ave.

    Reply

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