Supplement Your Promotion
Consider this scenario: a customer sees a small advertisement with your Internet address in the local newspaper for your new product. The customer sees it, hits a few keys into the computer, and behold, your color brochures on your ‘newspaper’ appear almost instantly in their full glory – on the prospective customer’s screen.
What’s in an Internet Name, anyway?
Plenty. A good Internet name speaks volumes about your company. A good example is www.hotmail.com – almost everyone can recognize that it belongs to Microsoft Corporation. This forms part of your intangible assets – ‘image’. Do you want to be known as rikvin.pacific.net.sg/~abc or www.rikvin.com.sg? Imagine, even Singapore airline did not get the name SIA, but are currently using Singapore air. The choice is clear.
Once Your Internet Name is Gone, it’s Really Gone. In the United States, many MIS and marketing people were blissfully unaware and unconcerned when the potential of the Internet for business first emerged in 1993. They were thinking, “Let the other companies try it first. I can learn from their Internet sites later.” Sounds like a clever idea, doesn’t it?
Two years later when the Internet finally took off, the same people were shocked to find that they cannot obtain the most suitable Internet names.
They had to settle for unsaved names that do not reflect their company in a professional manner. In Singapore, have you wondered why Singapore Airlines does not have www.sia.com and why Creative Technology does not have www.creative.com (* Creative has since bought back the domain from the original owners since this article was written)? Obviously their marketing or computer departments got into the Internet game a bit too late.
There are many companies with the initials ‘sia’ and with names starting with ‘creative’. At one stage, Creative Technology promoted their Internet name as www.creaf.com – hardly an intuitive name for a great multinational. If some smart marketing folk at Creative had pushed for www.creative.com years ago, he or she probably would have gotten a pat from the CEO today.
Worse, some companies had to fork out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to opportunistic individuals who had applied early and held on to the company’s Internet names. In almost all the cases, you cannot sue them. Even in the rare case that you can, it will be an expensive affair.
What happened to these U.S. companies could happen to yours – unless you act early.