What does this word mean to you?
A brand is recognizable. Memorable. Trustworthy.
Brands penetrate society at every level. They create trends. Influence lifestyle. Determine spending patterns.
As much as we convince ourselves we are in control. That we rationally determine our journey in life, the things we do, and the products we buy.
It’s the brands that truly have control.
So, how do you build a brand that penetrates society’s skeptical guard of trust? (Or lack thereof)
The truth of the matter is, powerful brands are complex. They are not just a name, a product or a slogan. A brand is all of these things and more.
Brands are multi-layered with much of their meaning lying below the surface. We see the tip of the iceberg, while the mechanics of the brand are hidden from the naked eye.
But the tip of that iceberg is important. This is the part that people see, feel, and remember. The tip is what the average onlooker could describe when asked about your brand. It’s your name, domain name, logo, and slogan.
How do you make the tip of your brand iceberg memorable?
The visible component of your brand forms your business identity—what makes you memorable or easily forgotten.
It doesn’t matter how extraordinary the work is you are doing under the surface, without a visible identity for your brand, the work is wasted. No one will dig deep enough to discover any of it.
For most of you reading this article, your brand name, logo, and slogan are probably all nicely packaged up and ready to change the world. But what about your domain name?
We too often think of a domain name as an afterthought. Something that is a technicality in the whirlwind of setting up a website. It’s a necessity, but not perceived as brand critical.
This assumption is killing the memorability of brands all over the world.
It’s time we started thinking differently about domain names. Instead of a formality, make them a critical part of your brand identity. In a business world powered by technology, domain names may be the single biggest contributor to your brand.
A short, unique, and memorable domain name adds value to your work and amplifies your influence.
Why I changed my domain name (and you should too)
In case you missed it, I recently made the switch from jeffbullas.com to Jeff.ONLINE for all of the short links I share on social media.
Before the switch, all the content URLs I shared on social media would shorten to a generic Bit.ly URL:
I was missing a HUGE branding opportunity.
Now? All of my content links are personalized using the unique domain Jeff.ONLINE:
As you can see, this change in domain name is immediately more memorable for anyone that sees it. Every impression I receive on social media contributes to the recognition and strength of my brand.
Beyond the impact this change has had on brand recognition and retention, it also adds meaning to my content. The .ONLINE domain extension aligns with the direction and vision of my brand. Plus, it enables me to create simple URL additions that communicate far more information than an automatically generated computer short link:
This simple change has considerably improved link clicks due to the familiarity of the URLs with my audience—it builds immediate trust. In fact, an increase in link trust from unique domain name extensions has proven to increase link clicks by up to 39%!
Was it worth the move to .ONLINE?
The beauty of my shift from .COM to .ONLINE was how simple it was. I could maintain the .COM domain and utilize .ONLINE as a branding initiative for social media and promotional links.
At the end of the day, the internet is crowded. Even for someone like me who has been in the game for over 10 years, your brand can disappear into darkness in a heartbeat if you take your eye off the ball and ignore new trends.
Unique domain name extensions are the next big trend in digital branding and if you don’t jump on board soon, your brand will be seen as outdated, unprofessional, and easily forgotten.
For me, I chose Jeff.ONLINE for a number of reasons:
- It enhances my global appeal because the word ‘online’ is understood everywhere.
- It adds meaning and relevance to my domain name and the links I share on social media.
- It’s short and memorable.
- It improves the effectiveness of my promotional campaigns because the branded links increase trust, click-throughs, and conversions on the back-end.
What could this small (but powerful) change do for your brand?
By embracing new trends, you communicate that you’re a future-focused business which is in sync with what’s happening around the world.
Unique domain extensions are one example of applying this theory to your branding.
Without a branded domain name, you’re leaving an enormous amount of opportunity on the table.
I chose .ONLINE for my brand, are you ready to make the switch too? You won’t regret it.