Would you brand it first or try to sell it first?

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DaylilyPam

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Hello everyone,<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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I am not a buyer/seller of domains like many of you. I bought a handful over ten years ago and started a successful business that utilizes most of them. Meanwhile I bought a few others that currently remain undeveloped. My dilemna is this... I either want to sell them for a lot now (over $5K), or not at all, so was wondering if you can help me out.<o:p></o:p>
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I've heard that if there aren't any dictionary 'keywords' in domains they aren't worth much, but I have another opinion on this and am wondering your feedback. <o:p></o:p>
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Wacky is good, wacky can work. What would Google or a Yahoo or a Zappo be without their names? And who would ever think that Godaddy would make such a sticky name for a domain registrant? I think of it before I think of keyword-contented websites that do the same thing (instantdomain, domainsearch, etc) maybe because it is is fun to say and easy to remember. Some might say the pretty girl branding really works for it too.<o:p></o:p>
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Which is why when I thought of Tidbitty.com, for example, I felt I had a winner... for something, even though it wasn't a dictionary word. I couldn't stop saying it. People I told it to smiled. So what could it be good for? I thought of a few ideas...<o:p></o:p>
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A children’s social networking site? A celebrity gossip site? A news site that delivers only streaming headlines that you customize to your liking? A computer opinion forum for PC fans vs. Apple (you know, ‘bit’=computer bits). Tidbitty could become a cute, short, mythical creature. Or an infectious but happy bug that spreads love. Or something that likes to mouth off at the wrong time. Tidbittys can be twitters that are even smaller, or of a different purpose, or for a different genre of people. <o:p></o:p>
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Small can be the new big, short can be tall, and inconsequential can be monumental, for Tidbitty fans. <o:p></o:p>
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(Besides Tidbitty.com I also own fuzzpup.com, fuzpup.com, fuzzypup.com, why3days.com, whythreedays and probably forgetting a few. )<o:p></o:p>
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Now my question:<o:p></o:p>
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Is it better to brand and develop a domain into a business first, and then sell it? Even though I have ideas for all my domains, my concern is locking it into whatever business I choose for it. Of course the business I choose for it could be a failure, and I’d rather try to sell it for the name’s sake first, and have someone else take that risk! J (you know what I mean).<o:p></o:p>
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Looking forward to your opinions!<o:p></o:p>
Pam<o:p></o:p>
 
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INFORG

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The thing with wacky, goofy, and made up names is...there is an unlimited supply of them available for reg fee. That is what makes the ones we reg worthless to almost everyone but us. If you like the names, build something on them - by themselves, I don't think you will get anywhere near what they are worth to you in sentimental value.
 

BostonDomainer

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Well, non of the names you listed are worth more then reg fee other then to you perhaps. Most domainers buy "brandable" domains because they feel good about it and its something they would actually build. The benefits of having a killer domain name is that it saves a bundle from having to spend so much on branding. Google would still be a strong company if it chose to brand as Noogle. When you work on branding something you are essentially starting a business so then you are no longer really just selling a domain name but a website with brand investment. If you're going to develop the names you have no, just do it. No one is going to buy them off you standalone less that 1 in a million buyer comes along. Your idea of branding and then trying to sell the domain is ridiculous and requires some thought.

good luck

my 2 cents
 

Gerry

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branding cost those companies you quoted billions of dollars.

not that it is totally out of the realm of possibility, but branding does not come free. Besides branding, there has to be a unique service or product to make it catch on, no matter how cool or wacky.

then on the downside, you are trying to convince someone else if they buy this name from you then it will be the next new "in thing" that everyone will be talking about.

So, it is either you doing all of the work to make it a successful name or someone else doing all the work to make it a successful name.
 

DaylilyPam

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I'm reading all your posts with interest, thanks! I didn't realize that domains are divided into 'brandables' and 'keyword types' (I have a lot to learn yet). I have to admit, I don't agree 100% that Google would be as strong as they are if they were Noogle. The "googling" connection is too strongly built into me (googly eyes, searching, etc. lol, I see a connection anyway). Yahoo is a shout. No connection, but I doubt it would be as strong if it was Yah.com or Yaw.com. Zappo.. well, my argument goes down the drain there.

Anyway, when I started my business, the very first thing I thought of and picked out was a name, and then I branded everything around it (mascot, color scheme, tag line, etc.).

I see what some people are saying though... they do take a lot of work to develop ... I know. It was a LOT of hard work to get my business established.

DaylilyPam
 

INFORG

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When you picked out the name for your business; however, you didn't name it oogityboogity.com - you named it based upon what you do (agility) and what you felt your core business focus was (affordability). You still had some branding to do, but it wasn't a nonsensical name that you had to overcome. For most people (yourself included) the business idea comes first, the name second. Nothing wrong with your ideas or names - it's just that neither is worth anything without the other + a lot of work.

Bottom line - the names you hold only have significant value to you, since they are a creative endeavor. Kind of like those crappy ashtrays or xmas ornaments we made as kids. Priceless to a parent - worthless as an asset.

Before you work on a second project though, may I be so bold as to advise you to work on your current website first - it could use a makeover. And maybe do some additional marketing online - like getting into Google Stores and maybe some additional link building. I'm not trying to be critical - You have a great looking business. I just think you could be doing more on the internet piece.
 

DaylilyPam

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Good point you make! (about the business name containing keywords). I'm sure that has helped the reason why we are ranked in the top 1 to 3 for most of the major search terms in our industry. I have opinions on major modern web makeovers that I won't get into here, but I think what it comes down to is this. ... I have a couple of product inventions that I have in mind that could be branded and trademark with the same names as my domains, and that is the meat and potatoes of it all, and whether to keep perfecting one or to develop more is always a question entrepreneurs have to wrestle with.
 
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Gerry

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fuzzypup would be an example of a self-branding name for a pet shop or even stuffed animals.

You start out with a keyword that is self branded and it will certainly help.


Regarding Google not being so branded or memorable if named something else - I have to disagree. As much money as they have pumped into it, it could have been called gazizzle or Shabang and today we would be talking about shabanging it or bang it or Zizzle rankings if they have chosen to take such a course of action and put the billions into branding it. It is all a matter of branding and name recognition and recall.

Now, I am sure they had a reason for deciding on the name Google vs something else.

But the point I want to make is the cost and effort it takes to brand a name, product, or service.
 

DaylilyPam

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Yes, true, the investment and effort is a factor. I agree not everybody has the money or time to do both, and even those who have both have no guarantees their ideas will work.

Oooh, Zizzle. I like it, is that name taken? I can see the website now... (smile).

gazizzle? Now really. I kinda doubt a bunch of names were thrown into a hat for a random draw at the fledgling google round table, and google 'happened' to be chosen over gazizzle. Lucky man who write google on his piece of paper!

(now I am curious of what the history of the name is)
 
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floname

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I think nowadays the best brandable domains, at least ones that could be branded on the cheap, contain root keywords that offer a certain recognition for the business being built around it:

GameFly

Technorati

NetFlix

These names define themselves and tend to suggest a niche that they may be well suited for. Made up words rely more on their memorability and therefore are far more expensive to achieve Top of Mind Awareness.

Personally, I love the creativity in many of your names (especially Tidbitty) and I think they certainly have excellent branding potential. A winning user experience is what will make them pop.

If you've owned them for 10 years that will help the value a bit, but if you hope to sell the domains alone, you may be forced to reduce your price expectations..

Good Luck :)
 

robmac

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I think you got your answer :)

branding either costs millions or a whacky sites goes viral.

I remember google.com appearing on a news site many years ago, everyone was raving about the site but yahoo.com had 99% of the search market. the site went viral and here we are.

thousands of digg type sites and search engines go to the wall every day for no reason at all.

Hard work + good marketing + lots of luck + a bit more luck = a possible brand = money
 

DaylilyPam

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Yes indeed I did get my answer. This was an intriguing conversation. I have more realistic expectations now after hearing everything out.
 
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