Brandable Vs. Generic Domain: What’s Right For Your Site?Posted: December 14, 2011
We’ve gone over the different styles of business brand domains in the past: purely brandable, purely generic, and brandable generic. The first step to finding the right domain for your site is to determine which style of name to go with.
Each of them have benefits and drawbacks, so how can you figure out which style to use for your site?
1. Understand the different styles
The posts linked to at the beginning explain in further detail, but the concept can be summarized pretty easily: Generic in nature provides relevance, authority and search traffic-getting abilities while brandable in nature provides limitless expansion, wider appeal and excitement. It’s left-brained vs. right brained, analytics vs. art and so on.
The fact that you can combine the two doesn’t make the choice any easier. You do get some benefits from doing that, but also lose a lot of the purely brandable and purely generic benefits in the process. You really do need to go into the process open-minded.
2. How do your business goals fit in?
The next step is to figure out your goals for your business, and the milestones you need along the way to reach those goals. Also figure out your business’s strengths and weaknesses. A particular style of name may fit your strengths and help achieve certain important milestones.
For example, if you want a major source of your initial traffic to be through search and you don’t anticipate going into other markets than the one you’re targeting, a purely generic domain may work for your brand. Its scope limitation wouldn’t affect you and the search benefits would help you get the traffic you’re looking for.
3. Which style most suits your industry?
It’s clear that purely brandable domains have won out in social media. While that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider other options at all, purely brandable domains would be in line with what consumers have already responded well to. A lot of it has to do with the tone of the industry, which short brandable domains especially suit well.
Generic domains on the other hand may better suit an industry where customers/clients are looking for relevance, trust and authority. Generic domains bode well in many financial and law areas, and the search traffic in these areas is highly valued traffic as well.
4. Which style most suits your desired identity/message?
How do you want your company to be known and what style of name would suit that best? This looks less at the industry and more at you and what your company wants to be.
You may want to build your family name up, in which case you would have at least some brandability (your surname, initials etc. in your brand and domain). You may want a particular strong point of your company highlighted so you might consider doing that within your brand.
5. What’s the best you can afford?
If you’re going into the car insurance industry, unless you’re huge enough to afford it, you’re not likely going to be getting CarInsurance.com. Understand that “category killer” generic domains, the best generic domains for particular industries and niches, come at a high cost.
Also consider that if you’re a local company and don’t want to be huge, throwing everything you’ve got at one of these names doesn’t suit your business anyways. If that means you rule out generic domains entirely, then you’ve narrowed down what you need to look at for your business name.
Once you’ve figured out the style of domain to go after, you can then look at substyles of them and see which might most convey your desired identity or works best in your market. You’ll be able to more easily go through domains for sale or available as you can ignore the other styles entirely and hone in on the best fitting domain for you.
At Domainate, we have helped many businesses get the right domain, the one that fits their desired style and branding goals. We have helped brand and rebrand startups and local companies along with multi-billion dollar corporations. Contact us and we can help you determine what would work the best for your business brand.