NameSilo

Is it time to thiink new about 'radio test'?

Labeled as discuss in General Domain Discussion started by Bob Hawkes, May 15, 2019.

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  1. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    There has been heated discussion in some blog comments about the recent thiink (com) sale for $50k. I think too often domainers jump to say those outside the community, whether end users, startup owners, branding experts or marketing specialists, are wrong about domains. I think it would be more productive as domainers to ask what trends are we seeing, and adapt to them if we think they are likely to persist.

    In this case many criticized the name based on radio test. This caused me to look at past week of highest value sales on NameBio, and thiink is far from alone. I just tweeted this summary:

    What do thiink, nuuday, ejemplos, centure, veridic (com) 4U (tube) have in common? 6 of 14 non-numbered domain sales >$10k in last week probably struggle with radio test. We should constantly ask ourselves: Is your domain 'truth' up to date?

    I suspect if brandable marketplaces published their sales the radio test 'fail' ratio would be much higher.

    Now I am not arguing to ignore the radio test, but rather we should be alert to trends in branding of late. Sometimes I think we are too resistant to changing views.

    Bobb (AKA Bob :xf.cool:)

    BTW I think the end user is always right. They know their business and what aspect of the domain name is important to them.

    I am sure this will generate discussion!
     
    The views expressed on this page by users and staff are their own, not those of NamePros.
  2. bmugford

    bmugford www.DataCube.com PRO ICA Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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  3. mr-x

    mr-x Acme Domains Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    This assumes people / companies don't make mistakes. I can't think of a single reason to create a brand that will likely cause confusion.

    Rakuten's re branding of buy.com is costing millions but at least it's easy to spell.
     
  4. DeliDomains

    DeliDomains Oswin

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    Every domain name can be built into a big business if you know how and have the finances.
    Unless we have the buyers viewpoint why he spent 50K for Thiink.com, all the discussions would lead nowhere.
     
  5. Ategy.com

    Ategy.com NameCult.com Gold Account VIP

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    Hi Bob .. pretty sure I've said most of this before .. lol .. but a big part of the issue is missing here.

    One being that pass/failure of the radio test isn't an absolute ... there certainly are different levels .. some are more workable than others.

    But a vastly even more important point though .. is the marketing budget of the buyer. A unique/creative domain can actually indeed be a positive thing *IF* the company has a huge marketing budget and plans to make big advertising spends through avenues where the radio test is less relevant. But there are soooo few such acquiring companies that the numbers simply don't come anything close to making sense to hold 99.99% of such domains. (I personally don't think that thiink.com would be a bad HAND-REG investment .. but most miispells are extremely bad investments even with a $1 acquisition cost).

    Here in Canada we have a new online bank (pretty sure it's yet another subsidiary of one of the big 6) called Simplii ... it's a horrible domain name .. but in their advertising they play around with the two dots of the two i's which effectively makes the domain very memorable (although I think their using the .ca instead of the .com .. but that's another discussion .. lol). More importantly though .. they have a truly colossal marketing budget to overcome the radio test.

    But yet another massively more important point .. from the perspective of the domain investor .. unless it's an extremely rare super exception because it's a unique/strong/cool misspell .. then it simply is not worth investing in these domains.

    The reason is because of the multitude of potential variants. You need to buy and hold significantly more domains .. to end up selling fewer domains. So sure some will sell .. some even for high prices .. but when you look at the entirety of acquisition and holding costs vs the probabilities and amounts of potential sales .. then most of these domains are absolutely horrible investments. Thiink about it .. how many potential alternatives did the company have for $50? Thousands doesn't even begin to cover it .. as it's really an uncountably high number.


    BTW .. do you still think an end user is right when their brand never gets any traction and the company goes bankrupt a year later because their marketing budget was burning away into thin air?

    Yes from a domainer's perspective you still won and made money .. so there is that .. but that doesn't mean that the buyer was right to acquire the domain .. and just because there are a handful of such domains that sell at good prices each week, does not mean that building a portfolio of such domains is good investment strategy.
     
  6. mr-x

    mr-x Acme Domains Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    So essentially; premium domains are meaningless if you have enough money to educate every consumer about what you're selling and why they need it.


     
  7. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    I over stated it to make a point and stir up discussion :xf.cool:! Obviously as you point out they can and do make mistakes. My point was sometimes, well a lot, domainers act as though we are the ultimate knowledge source about branding, and we are not. I prefer to spend effort looking at the choices made, rather than saying they are wrong.

    I think domains are important for many reasons. Yes sometimes someone being able to say a name and someone spell it matters. But many times that is not important, or is secondary to aspects like how it will look aesthetically. We can and have argued re Simplii rebranding, but if branding world is thinking that way we won't change it. BTW I perhaps should have explicitly said that.

    Thanks for your, as always, well thought out and expressed contribution.

    Bob
     
  8. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    I don't think confusion is an advantage, either! I think though some of the branding types who are fond of double letters, especially vowels, like how it looks in type to answer one possible reason.

    The radio test is one factor, but in a world where Google complete things for us, perhaps much less important than once was. Many famous brands like Kleenex and Lyft obviously have been successful despite the fact until they were known they would fail radio test. Thank you for your contribution.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  9. DeliDomains

    DeliDomains Oswin

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    I would not say premium domains are meaningless, but yes a lot can be achieved if you have enough money to educate. In context to thiink, it would not stand a chance in front of a fully developed think . com
     
  10. xynames

    xynames XYNames.com PRO VIP

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    No matter what you sell or offer for sale there will be detractors. Especially here at NP. So it’s best to just keep things to yourself not seek public input, especially not after the fact.
     
  11. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    Branding is not an exact science. There is a lot of creativity and for that reason there will always be amongst the good, many scraps and outliers.

    Creative people tend to be psychologically very stubborn. Creative people have their style and are often not flexible if change is desired. The combination of creativity and stubbornness can lead to both good results, and bad. In the case of misspelling domains, I feel it is the latter.

    Of course you will find some success with some of the outliers, but when you look at the very top companies, the outliers are near non-existent.
     
  12. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    I guess my main point is It is always worthwhile to look at what is selling. It is nice to have simple rules but the world of domains is not as simple, perhaps, as our rules.
     
  13. Internet.Domains

    Internet.Domains Top Member VIP

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    Part of the fun of it.:xf.smile:

    Let the adventures begin.
     
  14. mr-x

    mr-x Acme Domains Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I wonder if lyft would buy lift.com if they could. Most of their service is from the app.

    Marketing was easier because they were earlier in the market. Uber is a better name imo.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  15. biggie

    biggie Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    I agree
    one could do a whole lot better
    and right now, the name isn't even resolving.

    imo...
     
  16. boker

    boker Top Member VIP

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    The idea is that most end users are not domainers and they don't think the same as us. For some( I can give you some examples) a meaningless LLL.com will not worth even 1k, but they would rather use an invented word, so that they can brand themselfs properly. It's the same like humann.com sold for 40k and smiile, so they could afford a three letter .com or even more, but they used another route. I can give you another example, I own CraterGroup(king), and in 2018 Crater Group have rebranded in Shyft, so even if this is affecting me directly, I understand them and they could afford to pay much more for the name, but they choosed SHYFT: https://techcrunch.com/2018/08/22/c...NvbS8&guce_referrer_cs=himqxCBkSpanpWN6sfoTWw
     
  17. JB Lions

    JB Lions Top Member VIP

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    The radio test makes a lot of sense, just because companies make some bad decisions doesn't change that.

    Will disagree with that. I can think of a couple of big examples, Overstock.com, Rakuten.com. 2 companies spending advertising money trying to explain to consumers the name they chose, instead of what they're actually selling.

    Overstock was trying to get the O, now make commercials telling people they don't actually sell overstock stuff. They could have simply chosen another name, rebrand. Just like Wayfair did, they used to be CSN Stores. I see commercials all the time for Wayfair now, focusing on their product, free shipping etc.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  18. FolioTeam

    FolioTeam Top Member VIP

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    Some misspellings work for some names while for some others, not so much. Domainers tend to feel like an authority when it comes to branding when in fact, that isn't quite true in most cases.

    Bottom line, is that the name sold because someone wanted it. It has and will always be about the customer
     
  19. garptrader

    garptrader Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    How often do we see companies regularly advertising on TV or now YouTube video ads using a reg fee domain when for perhaps $5k to $10k they could get a much better domain and have greater mindshare when promoting their brand? Short-sighted thinking imo.
     
  20. mr-x

    mr-x Acme Domains Gold Account VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    Just because it was reported as $50K, doesn't mean it was 50k cash, up front.
     
  21. biggie

    biggie Top Member VIP ★★★★★★★★★★

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    the double letters in words like thiink.com was a quick register and resell trend a couple of years ago
    many of them sold for eyebrow raising prices
    then came the chip craze
    and many chips sold for "envelope busting, I can't believe it", prices

    then came crypto and some of those burst the envelope too

    then came cannabis, cbd, etc. and same thing has happened in that respect.

    however, such misspells are the exception and not the rule, and continued usage of such terms depends on viability of the companies/services that adopts those names as brands.

    additionally, such names are perceived to have closer connection with millennials, who for most part, don't take spelling words correctly, as seriously, as older generations did.
    so, the marketing has to appeal to specific group and with such names failing the radio test, unless they are "spelled out" on the radio, then there will be confusion

    as such, marketers will have to depend more on social media and tv ads promoting an app, more so than a website

    now whether or not they succeed as a business, is another story.

    imo...
     
  22. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    It was sold yesterday. I think we should give them at least a couple of days slack before we expect it operational!
     
  23. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    This is a really interesting point that @biggie makes that I had not thought about much before. Companies aiming for different age clientele may brand differently. Also as more millenials become decision makers we may see different company choices. Thank you for a great contribution (your other points as well).
    Bob
     
  24. karmaco

    karmaco Top Member VIP

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    Not a lot to analyze really. They wanted the word think, were unable or unwilling to pay to get it and chose thiink as an alternative.Not rocket science really and still pronounced the same as think.

    The real story should be how the owner came to get that price. He did very well.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  25. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes formerly MetBob NameTalent VIP

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    I think we are perhaps too focussed on thiink. My point was when I looked at the top sales of last week about half would not pass the radio test. A statistically insignificant sample, but as I go through the names sold each day surprised how frequently names sell that don't follow the conventional rules. Given that most domainers roughly follow rules in their portfolio, I think, so most names for sale DO follow the guidelines, is it possible the probability of sale is not higher for names following radio test and other conventional wisdom rules. What I am asking is was it true 10 or 15 years ago, but not so much now? It would take a much more significant analysis to know, but I think it is worth asking.
    Bob
     

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