If your company name is taken in .COM, you have three options

First things first, yes – pretty much every company wants to get their exact match .COM. That’s a given.

But more and more companies want to call themselves something that would be a big juicy six or seven figure purchase in the .COM space, or it might already be taken in .COM by a company doing something completely different. So they have three choices:

  1. Add a word like “Get” to the front of the .COM
  2. Change your company name entirely
  3. Buy the exact-match domain in a different domain extension

Two good friends of mine that went through Techstars with me hired a marketing agency to help them come up with a name for their company. They spent quite a bit of time going through what kinds of words, colors, etc. resonated with them and their customers. After spending a good amount of time and money they landed on the name – Convey.

The challenge was, Convey.com was taken, so they launched their new company on GetConvey.com. While the domain creates confusion, and some people think of them as “Get Convey” rather than Convey. It hasn’t really impacted their ability to raise money, grow, and build a great product. They’ve raised over $25M to-date without owning their exact-match .COM.

Even without the matching .COM all of their marketing material says “Convey” as does their tradeshow booths, website, etc. The same is true for a company like Mercury.co – they have ads all over San Francisco right now, and just like their website and all their marketing materials, it says “Mercury” not Mercury.co.

When it comes to option #3, going with a different domain extension, I think the vertical you’re in plays a big role in determining which extension you should pick. Recently Josh Reason shared his thoughts on this topic and I think he was spot on:

COM Alternatives

I would say that .CO out of all the new domain extensions has the most versatility as it could be used for really any category. Domain extensions like .AI or .GG are much more vertical-specific.

When it comes to picking a domain name, there really is no right answer, it really is up to you and your team to decide what’s best for you.

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Brad Mugford November 9, 2019, 9:49 am

    4.) File a meritless UDRP.

    Brad

    Reply
  • Yakov November 9, 2019, 11:21 am

    This analysis is weak.
    Country code domain names are well ahead of .co .io .cc ai and .gg nonsense combined.
    Morgan, use observation and logic, else you are diluting domaining.com feed with weak analysis. Remember, business is about creating value. Are you aware that in many countries companies don’t want .com? They want their cctld. Isn’t it logical?

    Reply
    • Joshua Reason November 9, 2019, 1:05 pm

      I don’t think anyone questions that ccTLD’s like .co.uk/.de/.ca etc are very important in their respective countries. If I only did business in the uk, then .co.uk makes sense.. (until I want to go global)…. What you’re discussing isn’t the topic of conversation though.

      Reply
    • Morgan November 10, 2019, 8:14 pm

      @Yakov – thanks for your comment, that being said, I don’t think I ever said I did any deep analysis. This is just a personal blog so you’ll get my opinion, not much more I can offer you there!

      Reply
  • Yakov November 9, 2019, 1:24 pm

    You want to go global on a .gg?

    Reply
    • Ethan November 9, 2019, 6:37 pm

      Gaming is global. Therefore I don’t see a problem with going global on a .gg.

      Reply
  • Butterless November 9, 2019, 1:30 pm

    Some say your local cctld is if your local. The future may be the cctld signifies where your from but you can market it globally.

    Although .co is popular i don’t like it personally as the company website domain name. imo marketing and perception headache.

    As for ai and gg etc. It may be the only option left you have if you want the desired keyword. The beat of the worst is better than nothing i guess if your trying to get your foot in the door.

    First choice .com, second choice local cctld, third choice repurposed cctld like co,tv, etc. Third choice fuggetaboutit.

    Reply
  • Yakov November 9, 2019, 1:52 pm

    99% of companies are local.

    Reply
  • Andrew Hyde November 9, 2019, 6:03 pm

    Maybe all those other gtld’s work to some extent, but you’ll be delivering traffic to the root .com of the that domain name. I would go with a longer name vs not having a dot com. Even when you have an .org or .net no one remembers it, they still go to the .com.

    Reply
  • Raymond November 9, 2019, 6:19 pm

    I will go for brandable .com names

    The World’s Top FinTech Companies are using:

    Qpay
    Pelikin
    Revolut
    Xinja
    Adyen.
    Qudian.
    Xero.
    SoFi.
    Lufax.
    Avant.
    ZhongAn
    etc

    Reply
  • Snoopy November 9, 2019, 9:27 pm

    Re Convey, I’d say that marketing agency has done a really bad job. Sounds like they didn’t look at domain names at all. Fine if you are a cafe, but not an internet business. Little doubt some arty type person behind it who lacks business sense.

    Reply

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