There’s a problem on the way to the wedding of new extensions and reality of profit making business. Branding costs a lot of money. Branding a new extension is harder than branding your product or company. It is a monumental undertaking.
I purposely did not read Sahar’s blog post on the subject until after I wrote this just to see how we each came at it. He has much more facts supporting his position but we are not so far apart at all.
O.com I mean O.co or Overstock.com has done one thing so far, caused confusion and they are likely pissing away a lot of money by not owning O.com which of course is associated with Oprah not Overstock. And right now neither of them has it. It does not resolve.
My point is this is a test. This is a canary in the mines. I don’t know which way it will go. But I do have a hunch it will be more difficult than they expect with a lot of blow back. So far, the winner on this one is the ad exec putting this grand experiment together. There will be a lot to learn here. Some you may want to copy and some you may want to avoid.
Is confusing your customer a good thing? I guess we will find out. The unknown is how many folks will go to O.com to find nothing and then just say what a bunch of idiots never to return. A real risk.
Now on to the other new extensions. They include .xxx , .me, .food and likely hundreds if not thousands of others. This is going to be fun. New ways to print old money. But knowing what we know now is the best way to exploit all the new extensions be investing in them or in an other capacity?
An extension could easily smother themselves with a wrong move. Could lose time thinking their premiums will go up. Probably won’t happen with .mobi. Timing IS everything.
You can’t play the new phase exactly like the past phase and expect to do well. It requires a fresh set of eyes and a fresh look. Forget what you know. Examine it like you never knew what a domain was. You just know what you know. Would you do it the same? Could you do it the same?
.travel has not exactly done well. Why would folks expect other extensions to do all that much better? Last count there were 28 choices of extensions at Direcnic.com. How many do you think the average guy on the street even knows about?? Hey I don’t have the answer. I just have the questions. .travel made some fatal mistakes early on and never recovered. Other have dome even worse.
.co made all the right moves early on and they have a shot. The best shot. But still nothing more than a canary in the mines. We'll know more in a few weeks after the Superbowl. That will determine many things that will happen this year. This is a grand experiment. We’ll see. I will pay attention to that more than anything else in the first 6 weeks of the year. And it may end up meaningless. Just confusion and if that is the grand plan, bring it on, they will always default to what they know. What is familiar. .Com will still rule except the value will be much more as many learn the lessons the hard way. Some will learn and move on and some will die in their tracks with little fanfare.
Will it cause confusion? It would have to do well to even get to the state of confusion. In my eyes, still a long shot. UDRP cases have not been kind to .co. So any .co that has a successful .com counterpart and you can expect to be challenged on that domain name. And be prepared to lose.
Been there, done that. Got the T-Shirt. Enjoy the parade. Participate in it if you like. There are still fortunes to be made in failure. Just make sure it is the others guys failure and not your own and you will do well. A failure here and you can expect the value of .com to rise once again along with skepticism with any and all other new extensions.
Have a GREAT Day!