Branding Vs. Branding Vs. Domainer

I recently purchased RaggaSoca.net and subsequently came across this post from Rick Shwartz @Ricksblog.com

Enjoy and learn... By the way Rick was the guy who owned IREPORT.com and CNN bought it from him.


Morning Folks!!

What if I told you that this single post can make you a millionaire many times over? Well it will if you read carefully and fully get your head around this simple message. That's exactly what can happen. I have made a lot of posts in my time, but none are more important than the one you are about to read. So close the door and give me a focused 10 minutes and I think I can share something that will make your journey just a little sweeter and more rewarding. To me it is the difference between a domain being worth $750 and $750,000 or $7.5M. The domain can be the same but the customers needs is different. Tapping into THAT need is the key. So if you focus on selling domains that is exactly what you will do. You will do what everyone else does. Buy for $100 and sell for $200. Sell for $300, Sell for $500. But how do you buy for $100 and sell for $1M?
I heard the following phrase when I was 19 years old and it probably took me about 15 years to finally figure out what the hell it really meant. "When you see John Jones thru John Jones eyes, you will sell John Jones what John Jones buys." That is the first principle. This is the most important one as well. But this is only an add on to the purpose of this post. Just a bonus to make it more understandable.
So how do you put this in effect? You have to look at an end user thru an end users eyes. At TRAFFIC in late September, Brad Geisen did exactly that. As an end user he shared his John Jones story of obtaining foreclosure.com and Property.com. He originally was the guy on the other side of the email telling folks they were crazy to ask $5000 for something they registered for $7. We all know the type. Well here is how this guy evolved from a mindset like that to paying tens of millions for a domain name.
When you see the end user thru the end users eyes, you will sell the end user the domain he buys. So the story starts. It's so damn simple! It's so natural. It's untapped because until now it was difficult to articulate in a simple form WHY they would want the category killer domain. It took an end user to explain it and that is what he did.
Funny thing.....been into domains very early. Approaching 13 years. It took an end user to simplify what a great domain really means. If you missed TRAFFIC you missed some real words of wisdom from Brad Geisen of Foreclosure.com and the buyer of my Property.com domain name. He told us HIS story from the other side. How it cost him millions to brand a domain name with no end in sight to that branding. Here is his key thought about domains. The 1 over 2 simple theory.
NATURAL BRANDING
or
BUILD and CREATE BRANDING
This alone is worth the price of admission. Brad told us his story of spending millions and millions to advertise and brand with his original 3 word creative domain name. When he switched and used a fraction of those ad dollars to buy a category killer domain name, he transformed his business. The dollars he was using to brand was now freed up to do other acquisitions and grow his business in a more dramatic way. NATURAL BRANDING may be the simplest way to describe what a great domain brings to the table.
So it took an end user to make this old dog figure a way to articulate what a domain name does in a very quick manner and have folks understand. Have END USERS understand.
So a category killer domains gives you instant gravitas. Gives you instant recognition. And gives you something that saves many millions. in "Natural Branding." The elements and benefits associated with a natural branding domain name overwhelm anything that advertising can do. But it is when you do both that the result is something that can not be obtained with most creative domain names.
I have never sold a stick of candy in my life. I know nothing about the business. What I do know is elbowing my way to the table with Candy.com is going to be easier than with chewonmycandy.net. Advertising Candy.com is easier than the alternative. Match it with good content and you have a winner before you start. How much does it cost that first day for chewonmycandy.net to get his 1500 targeted folks looking for candy? So one way you pay up front for an asset that returns dividends in the form of natural visitors and appreciates in value at the same time. Folks, this is really the ultimate no brainer for business and what it proves is obvious.
My friend Warren Royal knew nothing about bobbleheads, but it seems that it is easier to learn their business owning bobbleheads.com than folks in the bobble head business who don't understand it and now will pay a penalty for them not getting it with a new competitor to contend with and what could be a giant new competitor. Oh you don't think so?
Well then take my buddy Jeff Reynolds. A few weeks after 9/11 he bought a domain name, AmericanFlags.com. That was a life changing purchase both for him and everyone else in the flag business. Jeff took the ball and from what I understand, he is the largest or one of the largest flag distributors in the country and beyond. So here is another real world example of an industry not figuring out and a domain investor coming along and being an uninvited player in their industry. Taking market share only because they have THE domain in that category. The invisible cost of not understanding your own business. Your own space as it relates to domain names.
These stories can be repeated all day long. Sahar with FuneralHomes.com. He never intended to be in the funeral business but had an idea and a natural branding domain name and has made his mark.
How many more stories are like that? The most famous one of course is by Barry Diller who bought Hotels.com and forever changed the landscape of that industry.
A great domain name allows you to suck and still stay in business. I equate it to the pizza stand on the boardwalk by the ocean. Each day a new group of people come and each day you serve your crummy pizza. The pizza sucks, but you are always busy. Busy because nobody knows it sucks cuz they are tourists and are not coming back and the only reason they came to you in the first place was that you had LOCATION! Location, location, location. So that sucky pizza guy will always make money because of his location. On the other hand if he had a good product he would not only tap into the tourist, but his pizza place would become a destination and he could grow and expand and open new locations. So while the sucky pizza guy will always make great money, he will never be able to do what the guy with the great pizza does. So when you marry a great domain with a great marketing plan and a great base idea, you have something that will grow and expand and that is what it is all about. Catching that lightening in a bottle. Impossible to do unless you know what to search for and capture.
Brad started with the next phrase. One I myself know well. One I decided in my 20's I would not have to use in life. He started his speech with the words and I will close my post with them, "If I knew then what I know now?" Then ask some questions. If Marriott or Hyatt or any other hotel chain knew then what they know now would they buy hotels.com? Would they all bid on it? What is the loss or gain that domain represents? There are still more questions than answers, but I hope this claws away at things just a little bit more. Gets us one step closer. Gets one more business to understand what the hell we are talking about and why it matters more to them than it does to us.

Have a GREAT day!
Rick Schwartz

PS: For those that really want an in depth understanding of the entire domain name channel and a great understanding of what it means to YOUR business, you can view a report authored by the folks at Fabulous.com, a public company in Australia. It is the most objective report ever produced for the industry.

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