Why should I register multiple domains?
When starting your own business, your brand is your identity. Just as if someone were using your personal identity, there are risks associated with another business using your brand name. Your reputation can make or break your enterprise, so you’ll want to be careful about how your brand is portrayed to your target market. Find out why it’s important to protect your brand and how you can do so online.
What’s in a name?
We’ve all heard the famous Shakespearean quote from Romeo and Juliet,
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet”
Here, Shakespeare suggests that a name is meaningless; that it’s the essence – what that name represents – that is the most important thing. True; however, in the case of marketing, your brand name is the primary identifier of your brand. It is so tightly interlocked with the brand itself that your brand name becomes the root of your reputation – the core of your brand. Your brand is what your business is judged on every day and your brand name is at the forefront.
What makes a consumer choose Nike over Adidas? There are a number of factors considered by customers, sometimes even on a subconscious level, but the majority lead back to brand. Your business name (and the brand it represents) is your most integral asset and you should protect it at all costs.
Keep your reputation in tact
Reputation is everything. If another business trades under the same name as yours, you are likely to become associated with that brand, regardless of your efforts to diversify. If their brand winds up with a bad reputation, purely through association, your business becomes vulnerable to be affected by their tainted consumer sentiment. Protecting your brand name puts you in control of your own reputation and eliminates the risk of damage to your business’ holding within the marketplace.
Don’t lose business to your competitor
Marketing comes down to relationship-building. If, through your brand, you’ve built up a good relationship with a customer, so much so that they return to purchase from you again, you don’t want to lose that repeat business to a competitor just because their brand name is the same. If your brand name is not protected, there’s nothing stopping your competitor from using the same name and capitalising on the business relationships you’ve already fostered. Protecting your brand name restricts the capacity for other businesses to, whether purposefully or not, poach your customers.
Keep your brand messaging consistent
The key to a solid brand is keeping your brand messages consistent. This means that all your marketing communications should reflect the nature of your brand and the values your business holds. If there are two businesses with the same brand name, inevitably you will be sending two sets of brand messaging out. Regardless of whether you and your namesake are in the same or different industries, multiple brand messages associated with the same name are confusing to your audience. End marketing clutter for good by taking out adequate brand protection.
How do I protect my brand?
There are a couple of ways you can tighten your grip on your brand name. The first is through a trademark. Trademarks, however, can be expensive, especially for start-ups and enterprises just finding their feet. If that’s out of the question for your small business, you can also protect your brand online by safeguarding your domain name.
By registering multiple extensions for your domain name, you minimise the likelihood of someone else registering the same name. For netregistry.com.au, the domain name is “netregistry” and the domain extension is “.com.au.” There are many types of domain extensions; from Top-Level Domain (TLDs), like .com, .net and .org; to Country Code Top-Level Domains (ccTLDs), like .com.au; and New General Top-Level Domains (New gTLDs), like .melbourne or .ninja if you’re feeling strong.
Which domain extensions should I register?
Start by picking the most popular TLD extensions to register, like .com, .net and .org. From there, you’ll want to ensure you have a licence on your country’s domain extension. In this case it would be .com.au. Note that, in order to register a .com.au domain, you need to have a current Australian Business Number (ABN). Once you have registered all the likely domain extensions for your name, your brand should be relatively safe. If you operate out of a city that has its own New gTLD, like .sydney or .melbourne, you may want to invest in that; however, these domain extensions tend to come at a premium.
If you intend on building your brand to be recognisable in your market, a goal that all entrepreneurs should be aiming to achieve, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect it from the get-go. If you wait, you may find yourself purchasing domains for your business at a much higher cost. Start now by registering the basic domain extensions for your business.