We've written a number of times about the importance of owning the right domain name. Particularly if you're launching a new product. Case in point – Dell's new luxury laptop, Adamo.
To tout this new machine, Dell launched the site AdamoByDell.com
However, they could have had adamo.com. Adamo.com is one of the surname domain names owned by Tucows, Inc. and managed by YummyNames, a domain name sales and consulting service run by Tucows. In addition to managing a massive portfolio of domains for sale, YummyNames also leases domains for short periods of time – perfect for a product launch.
Instead, of going this route, Dell chose to ignore the importance of a good domain.
We checked in with Bill Sweetman, general manager of YummyNames, about Dell's interest in owning the adamo.com domain.
"Dell never approached YummyNames although they claim a broker approached us anonymously and got the impression it would be too much money, but no one here has any knowledge of that exchange and, besides, we also offer domain name leases for as little as $750 a month. We subsequently reached out to Dell’s ad agency, Enfatico, when we noticed a traffic spike to the domain dating back to the CES announcement of the laptop in December. We are fans of Dell and want to help them out but they seem to think even $750 is too big an investment for a global product launch. We are all stunned that Dell, of all companies, doesn't get the value of a good domain name!"
Now, in reading this, you might think, "But it's Dell – their search results will come up first, of course". And if you search in Google, Dell's site does come up second in the results after related news stories. However, this is not the case for Yahoo or MSN Live – where Dell's own domain doesn't show up in the top 5.
However, a common confusion for web surfers is the difference between the address bar and the search bar in the web browser. Some browsers try to compensate for this by simply tacking on a .com to single words that are typed in the address bar. This, of course, directs the user to the Adamo.com site rather than the AdamoByDell.com site.
But aside from addressing search and findability issues, the right domain can also reduce your costs. Apparently the traffic to the adamo.com domain has increased by 10 times since December; that alone demonstrates that Joe Surfer expects major product X to be located at X.com. Until Tucows put up their page that tells visitors where to find the Dell Adamo Website, all the customers that arrived at adamo.com prior would have had to turn to Google to find out where the Dell Adamo Website is.
Sweetman admits that there may have been some solid reasoning for Dell to go with the domain adamobydell.com. "Perhaps Dell wanted all the various ccTLD versions (e.g., AdamobyDell.ca, AdamobyDell.co.uk) and adamobydell.[whatever] was readily available. But, that being said, Dell should at least have arranged for use of the adamo.com domain (even if it was only for a few months) to forward to whatever they did decide to use as the domain name."
To further educate marketers on the importance of domains (and, of course, to capitalize on their ownership of the domain), Tucows has also included a video promoting their services on the adamo.com site.