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What is Name Strategy?

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Joe Davison
April 14, 2008

Joe Davison

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Name strategy answers the question, "What is the best way to leverage a domain name asset?"

This is a question that is extremely important in determining the value of a domain. Accordingly, name strategy is an integral component of the decision process that takes place as a company acquires domain names or simply wishes to achieve the highest possible valuation for existing name assets.

As Internet namespace markets mature, we see name assets becoming more deeply integrated with, and reliant on, complementary spheres of influence.

What Spheres Influence Name Strategy?

Name Strategy can be broken down into three spheres:

  • Internet Marketing - Branding, positioning, SEO, public relations

  • Internet Business - Revenue modeling, distribution channels, operations management

  • Internet Technology - Software, hardware, languages and platforms (”development”)

Of course, there are more components to each of the spheres than I’ve listed here.

Determining the appropriate strategy for maximizing the value of domain assets is a multi-faceted skill that requires a broad understanding of several disparate spheres of knowledge.

To the extent that the integration deepens between these elements, we will see substantial increases in the value of domain names. In short, to a company adept at operating within these spheres, a prime domain name is worth vastly more than it is to an everyday domain speculator or reseller.

Add to this the leverage that is coming into the market in the form of domain financing and leasing, and the stage is set for a global explosion in the value of domain names.

The Coming Shake-Up

This explosion will not be coming without a complementary market shake-up — where weak holders will be displaced by stronger, better positioned ones.

What does this mean for today’s domain name investors? It means that in order to maximize the value of your portfolio, and indeed to merely maintain a position where you can hold onto your portfolio for all it’s worth, you need to take a hard look at your name strategy. You need to become the better positioned company. For domain investors with serious names, this is serious business.

Trust Value vs. Brand Value vs. Traffic Value

The bottom line is this:

Trust value is greater than brand value, and brand value is greater than traffic value when it comes to name assets.

I’ll get more into what I mean by “trust value” (and why it’s absurd to value a domain name based on its traffic value) in a later post.

But for now, the important point is that as these greater forms of value begin to be expressed in the current market prices of domain name assets, we will begin to see the emergence of entirely new market dynamics. We’re already starting to see these changes, but it’s just the beginning.

Domain “Development”

Many domain investors speak about “development”. Unfortunately, there seems to be a widespread misunderstanding as to what this means. It’s not a matter of just “development”. Development is just one thing, one component of a necessary strategic whole. Development is useless without a comprehensive strategy for market entrance, growth, and eventual exit (or ongoing operations management).

On this blog I intend to continue to discuss exactly this: what the strategic pieces are, and how to put them together to yield a comprehensive name strategy that will keep you ahead of the game as this market throttles forward.


Why discuss this? Because it’s exactly what I’m doing myself, as I build and position my own company, Electron Interactive ( to take advantage of the vast of opportunity in the Internet space moving forward.

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Title: Domain business April 15, 2008
Comment by Stephen Douglas

Hi Joe,

Nice article. I would have liked to have seen a little more depth in your analysis on the three intersecting circles, but I suppose that will come later.

Hey! Where's your blog roll bro? I'm sure several of us domain bloggers would include your site in ours if you had a trade off spot for us. Not that we need it... ahem...nor you either... ahem... ;-)

Keep up the good work.

Stephen Douglas

Title: Your Article in DomainInformer April 14, 2008
Comment by George Riddick

Interesting article, Joe.

I suppose you know the vast majority of smaller domain name speculators will not have a clue as to what you are trying to say.

I am right with you. I started this new company a little less than a year ago (we officially launch our new product lines and web site,, in late May).

Our specialty for the past 25 years has been the development of branding tools, and high end graphic arts content, for those participating in the technnology industry.

We have used a very unusual and inconventional approach to our name strategy thus far, and now have roughly 9,500 domain properties under variuos stages of development.

Keep in touch. I will continue to follow your posts and do the same. Best of luck to you and your new ventrue. I have owned and operated six (6) different software and/or technology companies over the years and I believe the domaining industry (if done properly) offers us more potential than any other venture I can remember.

Of course, at my age I can't remember all that much, so we domainers all better beware. There are always hidden obstacles in the bushes. Especially when a new industry starts off this profitable.

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