One of the first things a typical domain investor learns is to stay away from alphanumeric domains and to strictly focus on .com domains.
This is not to state that there are not alphanumeric .com domains worth investing in. In fact, there are a few alphanumeric domain combinations, albeit a small pool, that are worth investing.
However, most alphanumeric .com domains are not worth purchasing as domain investments, depending on the letters and numbers used, and their respective positions.
Nevertheless, I was working this past week when I heard external commotion adjacent to my office wall. This particular wall is an exterior wall exposed to an adjacent nursery and landscaping company.
A typical day for this company starts around 6-8am as they load various landscaping supplies into their delivery trucks as well as customers throughout the day.
Most of the time their noise is limited to early mornings and small bobcat engines rumbling here and there.
However, this day, the noise was quite loud and reminded me of what sounded like an 18-wheeler combined with a front loader.
When I walked out of the front door, I guessed right as I turned my eyes over towards the nursery and landscaping company’s loading area. There was an 18-wheeler idling and waiting to load up materials.
The first thing I noticed about the 18-wheeler was it’s domain: 989ROCK.com.
I’m quite familiar with the company, Whittlesey, due to purchasing and having landscaping materials delivery to my house every few years.
Little did I realize at the time I ventured outdoors that the commotion would become a much needed break, leading to me writing this very story.
I’ve written about importance of choosing a domain that doesn’t limit your business growth, but seeing 989Rock.com reminded me of companies using vanity domains – domains that match their phone number.
In most cases, companies typically use a domain named after their business, industry or industry-specific keywords.
In the case of Whittlesey, they’ve opted to use a domain that matches their phone number, which also makes for an okay brandable domain.
I’ve not encountered too many companies using a vanity domain as their digital presence, especially one using a vanity domain without including the area code.
In my opinion, it’s always best to defensively register and redirect domains to a primary digital presence.
As it stands right now, Whittlesey is leaving the park gate open for competitors to register, purchase and redirect the aforementioned domains and variations to the competition’s website.
I’m certain Whittlesey has investing quite well to market the 989ROCK.com domain, so registering domain variations is a drop in the bucket when considering the investment made to outfit fleet of trucks, equipment, billboards, tv/radio ads and more.
Not only have they made an investment to market 989ROCK.com, but I also noticed a secondary domain on the side and back flanked by “We Support Our Troops” and “Giving Back To Those Who Gave” messaging: VeteranOutdoors.com.
Visiting VeteranOutdoors.com, I found the organization faithfully honoring our country’s wounded veterans’ patriotism and their sacrifice by providing quality hunting, fishing and outdoor related services.
It’s always good to see businesses supporting a worthy cause, especially when considering troops who have chosen to give their lives for us all to experience the levels of freedom realized daily.
An interesting thing noted about VeteranOutdoors.com is that the domain redirects to the hyphenated .com domain name: Veteran-Outdoors.com.
And of course, I searched the variations to find the following:
The asterisk denotes the domain was available at the time of writing. The registered domains are developed websites sharing the same interest as VeteranOutdoors.com, thanking our veterans and assisting in easing their transition to civilian life.
In closing, I believe the *right* alphanumeric domains do provide a competitive advantage when used as a vanity domain.
I encourage your business to consider not only registering the vanity domain without the area code, but also the domains including the area code.
After all, whether right or wrong, you don’t want to invest in marketing a domain only to find out your competition or someone other than your company is using it to their advantage and at your expense. 😉