Domain names spawned an industry based on the land grab of common names and terms. The resources for domain name valuation and investment are extensive and mature, particularly when names like fund.com and cruises.co.uk are selling for $10 million and $1.1 million, respectively. The industry’s lucrative existence alone should signal to any company or entity with brand names the value of owning their online brand equivalents.
Twitter has witnessed a land grab of names and many of the corporate brand names have been hijacked (h/t Rodney Rumford). Now that Twitter has proven its utility as broadcast media that can be positioned similar to advertising, all brand companies need to formulate a Twitter strategy as part of marketing. Jeremiah Owyang explains the challenges corporations with little social media exposure face in trying to do so.
It makes sense for companies to register their brand names in highly regarded Friendfeed just in case brand names themselves become “active” in social media. It’s not a stretch to see that brand names can participate in sharing news related to their brands in social bookmarking sites or to reference advertising on YouTube. Think Friendfeed.com/Starbucks (which doesn’t exist) that could be used to display all the conversations Starbucks marketing department has with its customers.
An Opportunity for PR Firms
In this new media world of preserving and protecting brand names, there’s an opportunity for PR firms or startup to provide a service to corporate clients registering and monitoring their brand names and related terms (for Starbucks, it’s coffee) on new social media applications. The land grab is perpetual.