This past weekend was another fun filled weekend for the House of Brown. We ventured downtown to attend Bubblepalooza!, presented by The Long Center and HEB, on the City Terrace at The Long Center.
I didn’t really know what to expect or how our two boys would respond (our little girl is only 11 months and just goes with the flow for now). Fortunately, Bubblepalooza! was a hit.
On our way home from Bubblepalooza! a fence banner caught my eye as we pass Zilker Park and Zilker Botanical Gardens.
The banner was promoting a June 3-4 event and read “Greater Austin Pond Tour”.
I’m not certain what a pond tour is but I would imagine this event having a lot do with the installation, management, and upkeep of a variety of pond types.
Nevertheless, what really caught my was the domain used on the banner: austinpondsociety.org. I thought their banner was well designed with the appropriate colors used, images, text and domain well positioned.
And as I always do, I whipped out my phone and snapped the pic you see below. You know me well if you said that I next opened a web browser and typed in austinpondsociety.com. Yes, that’s an intentional use of .com.
I always love seeing organizations, especially 5013c organizations, own and redirect the matching .com domain if they choose not to develop using the .com.
Hat tip to Austin Pond Society for owning the matching .com and redirecting it to their .org address. Again, I don’t see many organizations owning or redirecting the matching .com domain when using a non .com web address.
Although it’s a good start, an even better one would be to own brand variations for brand protection as well as defensive registrations.
I wondered the entire ride home what I would find when researching brand variations for AustinPondSociety.org. Would they too own variations of the domain name just like owning the matching .com? Here’s what I found when bulk search for Austin pond domain names:
Now you may think it to be over kill to own all of the domains above. Outside of owning the matching .com domain, you likely have a good point that it may be overkill.
However, I pose the following question to you:
Is is better for your company to own the domain(s), or your competition?
In this case, I deem it highly important for Austin Pond Society to own the domain name brand variations for their own protection. Austin is a fast growing city and competition could very well popup without notice.
In fact, I’ve been seeing many Austin-based companies start using the city abbreviation ATX when naming their businesses or registering and using domain names to promote their business brand and web presence.
It’s not to scare you or alarm you, but actually shed light on something you’ve not likely thought about impacting your brand and it’s reach.
If you’re in a fast-growing market of 100,000+ people population, then I encourage exploring and researching brand variations using your domain name, especially if your business name is generic in nature.
A business’ worst nightmare is realizing it had the opportunity to shut and lock the door on competition only not to take a simple step like owning corresponding domain names for brand protection.