Protect your brand online.

Today, Kevin Davies from TecKnoQuest discusses one strategy for protecting your brand online.

Naming a new small business can be either amazingly easy (name it after yourself - like Peggy Yelland and Associates; name it what it is - like Sidney Pharmacy) or really, really difficult (like Tangerine - a great name that unto itself says nothing about banking). And once you have found the perfect name, is anyone else using it? Has it been trademarked by anyone?

We live much of our lives online, and it is quite likely that some (most?) of your marketing will be done online. Your small business's website will be a very important aspect of marketing your business - even if it is an "information only" (who we are; what we do; location; contact info; etc.) website that has little interactivity. As such, a very important part of choosing a name for your business is securing the matching domain.

But don't stop with one domain - you don't want your competition (now or in the future) scooping your customers and/or negatively impacting your business, do you? Nope.

Three examples:

a) TecKnoQuest - shortly after starting TecKnoQuest in 1998 (and registering the domain tecknoquest.com), I did a presentation at a large conference. In the audience was a person who liked the name of my company so much that he went home and registered the domain tecknoquest.net. I was not impressed.

Upon hearing of this interloper's actions (and visiting his website), I decided to register as many "tecknoquest" domains as I could (.ca, .org, .cn, etc.) to block any other attempts to use the name. As new TLDs (top level domains) were released, I continued to strategically protect "tecknoquest".

(As a footnote to this story, the person who registered tecknoquest.net let the domain registration lapse a few years later and I was able to claim/purchase it. But lesson learned…)

b) Sidney Pharmacy - this family owned and operated business has been around for almost 60 years. When they launched their first website five years ago, they wanted to show their Canadian pride so they registered the domain "sidneypharmacy.ca" and built their first website. Perfect.

But, when I first started working with the owners of the Sidney Pharmacy, I discovered that they had not registered the "sidneypharmacy.com" domain. Luckily, the domain was still available so we grabbed it. Some might believe that the "sidneypharmacy.com" domain is somehow "stronger" than the "sidneypharmacy.ca" domain, but I advised that they continue to use the existing domain due to its authority with Google and other search engines. I then helped them use the "sidneypharmacy.com" domain as a "forward" into the "sidneypharmacy.ca" domain. The best of both worlds, as it were.

c) DedicatedTeacher.com - when I started this small business in 2000, I registered the dedicatedteacher.com domain. But as the business grew (and after my negative experience with the tecknoquest.net domain - see above), I recognized the need to protect not only the name, but also variations. So I registered a variety of domains based on dedicatedteacher, adedicatedteacher, and thededicatedteacher. Over the years, the list grew to about 30 domains which had a significant yearly cost associated with maintaining the domains. But then again, how much have you spent establishing your brand and growing your business? Exactly.

Protect your brand and your business online by strategically purchasing domains that could be used by competitors to negatively impact your business.

I can help you protect your brand online. Contact me for a free initial consultation - absolutely no strings attached

Kevin Davies