Yes, new gTLDs can market themselves without calling Domain Owners Cybersquatters, right?

Like most things in life there are two roads you can take when you’re releasing a new product, service, solution, or technology. You can decide to bash the competition, as Apple famously did in their very successful Mac vs. PC ads…remember these?

Or you can decide to highlight what makes whatever it is that you’re doing so incredibly amazing and awesome, like Sonos does in this ad.

I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong answer to what is the most effective, and in fact, sometimes doing a bit of both works. While I gave an example above of a Sonos ad that highlights how great the Play:1 is…they also have an ad that bashes the competition like this one here:

And just to be fair, Apple also doesn’t just run ads bashing PCs, they also run ads like this highlighting a specific new feature or enhancement to a product.

At the same time there’s a line, it’s a somewhat fine line in some cases but crossing it can mean going too far and alienating a specific group of people. I don’t think Apple is trying to insult PC owners, just like Sonos isn’t trying to insult people who own bluetooth speakers…but in the new gTLD space maybe things are going a bit too far with marketing like this:

In this case, .INC is saying that people who own domain names and try to resell them are Cybersquatters. I strongly disagree with this sentiment and think most of my readers would too. It also doesn’t really play to any strengths .INC offers outside of affordability. But, at a price point of roughly $2,000, .INC is actually more expensive than .COM names like this one on BrandBucket, and there are of course many more examples of solid .COM names for under $2k.

I can’t stand Cybersquatters, people who maliciously go out and buy or register domains with criminal intent. Cybersquatting is illegal and UDRP is there to help people defend against Cybersquatters.

But let’s be honest. Only a very small fraction of domain owners are Cybersquatters, heck – many large companies like Google, Facebook, etc. own tons of great domain names that they have priced astronomically high, are they Cybersquatters too?

While I get it. As a new gTLD you want to market on the fact that there is scarcity in the .COM market when it comes to hand-registering domains. At the same time, I think there are a lot of great .COM names available in the sub -$2,000 range so this argument is a bit less strong with a new gTLD like .INC that charges a pretty hefty registration and renewal fee.

I think there are a lot of creative ways to market new gTLDs, but calling all domain owners Cybersquatters is a pretty weak move IMO. What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Snoopy April 17, 2019, 2:39 pm

    .inc reportedly paid over $15 million for the extension and so far they have around 200 registrations.

    In coming years I’d say they have a high chance of failure and are desperate for sales.

    Reply
  • TheAssetCompany April 17, 2019, 2:53 pm

    @dotinc Do the math!

    It will cost me just $85 to maintain SelfdrivingINC .com

    But on the other hand

    It will cost me $20,000 to maintain Selfdriving.INC

    Who is the Cybersquatter here?

    So @dotINC will technically be squatting on millions of domains for a $2000/year hostage pricing.

    Reply
    • TheAssetCompany April 17, 2019, 2:57 pm

      Amounts stated above are registration + renewal price for a 10 year circle.

      Reply
  • Alan Dodd April 17, 2019, 5:44 pm

    The big problem here is the use of the word speculation when really what’s happening is domainers are investing in a commodity, dot-com domains, which they literally pan for in the rivers of the Internet.

    In fact, it’s dot-inc who have speculated and gambled on dot-inc being a massive success.

    Reply
    • John April 17, 2019, 6:00 pm

      My reply to you got placed below.

      Reply
    • Darko April 17, 2019, 9:00 pm

      Quote of the day: “Domainers are investing in a commodity, dot-com domains, which they literally pan for in the rivers of the Internet.” by Alan Dodd

      Thank you for this beautiful sentence!

      Reply
      • John April 18, 2019, 2:38 am

        I was first. 😉 (See below.)

        Reply
  • Ethan April 17, 2019, 5:57 pm

    A domain company that does not even understand the definition of “cybersquatting” is unprofessional. Try saying that what land investors do is “landsquatting” and see what happens.

    Reply
    • Snoopy April 17, 2019, 7:25 pm

      They understand the term, they are using it to try to appeal to people who don’t like domainers. It is dirty marketing for sure.

      Reply
  • John April 17, 2019, 5:59 pm

    “which they literally pan for in the rivers of the Internet”

    Man, I love a good analogy, and that’s the first time I’ve seen that one.

    “In fact, it’s dot-inc who have speculated and gambled on dot-inc being a massive success.”

    Such a good point, too.

    ——————————-

    I don’t know if we’ve ever had any friction before, so we probably haven’t. But if necessary we can go back to arguing later. In the meantime I really like your post here.

    Reply
  • Tom Mackett April 17, 2019, 6:42 pm

    Hey Morgan,

    Sorry about your divorce, but great to see you back blogging again. Keep fighting on what is right!

    Cheers, Tom

    Reply
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