Commentary

Designing The Golden Keys Of E-Commerce

Today, domain brand names can help businesses have a commanding presence with universal access in e-commerce, acting like very special golden keys.

Domain management strategies have now, in fact become ultra-sophisticated and truly valuable components of building digital branding assets and the intellectual property of any ambitious corporation. Domain names are no longer small issues to be handled by the booming logo-centric-slogan-happy agencies, or Web-techie teams.

During the dotcom boom, a million domain names were registered a day. Even the most unusual, silly and dysfunctional names were sought-after icons of get-rich-quick dreamers. Ninety-nine percent of such names failed. Exhausted or expired, these names have now disappeared -- along with them, the hundreds of millions of dollars on short-lived Web site campaigns. But today, now fully matured in concepts and strategies, there are some very powerful universal domain names that skate around on e-commerce.

To approach a universal domain naming task starts with a serious audit to professionally measure the strengths or weaknesses of the names; this process is best served by highly objective views. The primary goal is to achieve power and access for maximum impact. Weak, confusingly similar, or nearly identical names do not have a chance of surviving the power and ubiquity of e-commerce. The duplication factor alone will bury most names in complex global listings.

The hyper-visibility of a universal cyber-name is the main issue. A quick search on Google is an instant test of any name's visibility. To appear on the top or on the first page is the most sought after idea but only an extremely small percentage can achieve this, as most names are poorly structured and stay buried in massive duplication.

Today, it's about global domainization, as multiple domain names create multiple problems in multiple markets. There are highly sophisticated rules to be followed. Domains are for the international audience and global customer base, so why have serious language issues, where translations and foreign connotations may be embarrassing or confusing customers. Cyber-branding is an extremely global phenomenon.

Mind-share is more important than market-share. Customers must allow a name brand to settle in their minds before they give out cash. As such, market positioning is more critical than profit maximization.

Currently with 95% of the domain names stuck in traffic jams, a frank and very candid CEO-level discussion of this topic is required -- while denials and refusal to face up to reality will simply keep e-commerce presence in oblivion.

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