An exact match .com domain name is vital in your companies branding efforts and with the growing popularity of the web, it is even more important now than it has ever been!

So what is an Exact Match Domain? EMD’s 100% match your known business name/brand, with adding .com to it. Amazon Technologies, Inc. is simply known as Amazon. Amazon is the brand. Amazon’s EMD is simply, Amazon.com

In general, it has become common nature for a company like Amazon, to own and use the domain name Amazon.com! With many companies, this is not the case for one reason or another. Availability, “cost to acquire the domain”, fear of change, not aware of importance and more. The car company Nissan uses NissanUSA.com and does not own the EMD Nissan.com. Big time fail, all considering!

  • Credibility
  • Remove Confusion
  • Natural

Branding is not easy, it’s expensive and is something that needs to be done daily! Why add to the challenge by NOT owning an EMD to your brand? If you have an “added word” to your companies main domain name or are using a different TLD like .net or .whatever, you constantly have to express this in branding! Constantly! If you do not or are too stubborn to notice this extra effort (and the constant cost involved), you need to really consider this.

Not owning your EMD shows weakness. Not owning your EMD creates a lot of confusion that you may not even realize. Email, direct visits, web links and much more.

The more your business is focused on the web, the more important your EMD is! If your company solely uses the web for your business, you are 100% failing by not owning your EMD!

Real life example:

Founded in 2009 is a company called GutCheck (also not the only company in the world called GutCheck). They have 101-250 employees and have funding of about $22 Million according to Crunchbase. The company does NOT own its EMD and uses the second rate domain name GutCheckIt.com. They need a gut check of there own!!

They reference GutCheck 13 times on its home page alone, which makes sense because that is who they are. It’s there brand name. On LinkedIn they list themselves as GutCheck. On Twitter they list themselves as GutCheck. Everyplace they call themselves GutCheck! The companies logo, GutCheck:

GutCheck Logo

How many times do they reference the “added word” of its domain name to arrive at the companies site? Its product? 0! GutCheckIt.com The dreaded “added word” to the main domain name, not a EMD. Not natural, confusing, weakness!

Since my client owns the domain name GutCheck.com, I have been in contact with GutCheck about acquiring the EMD from my client. Interestingly, they said:
“I understand that there’s been outreach to sell the GutCheck.com domain name to us over the years, but over those years we’ve become well established as a business entity under the GutCheckit.com domain.”

The problem? They are dead flat wrong. They haven’t become well established and they are confusing clients and even employees! The GutCheck.com email box proves this. Incoming emails intended for the business are being missed and sent to GutCheck.com, not GutCheckIt.com. Many every day, day after day. Even emails from the company itself!

If I owned the company GutCheck, I would not want my company on a second rate domain name when my company mainly focuses the business on the web. Secondly, knowing that important communications like email are going amiss, is a problem! A Big Problem! It instantly shows confusion in the brand and the current domain name being used.

The good news, A LOT of companies are “getting it” and are understanding the valuable asset of domain names and owning the EMD that they do need! Companies are doing domain name upgrades daily.

Tesla Motors was a very recent EMD upgrade. They have used TelsaMotors.com for many years and have finally acquired Tesla.com and switched to this domain. Did it cost a lot of money? It sure did, but its who they are and they very likely felt restricted with the main domain name “Tesla Motors” as they venture into more than cars.

HTC recently acquired Vive.com for its virtual reality product, which was using HTCVive.com prior.

Facebook.com was once TheFacebook.com.

Avenue 81 Inc, went from Center.io to Center.com.

A newer company simply called Enjoy started with the domain GoEnjoy.com and upgraded to the EMD shortly after with Enjoy.com!

Big companies & little companies daily are finding missing pieces to the business puzzle and a big part of this puzzle is the domain name used for a brand. KISS, (keep it simple stupid) EMD .com’s are the way to go! Here is an interesting article that quotes 28 businesses that own EMD’s and how they feel acquiring them helped. You can search DotWeekly for “EMD” or “Domain Upgrade” and read many more real life companies who “get it” and are now running on EMD’s.

Exact Match Domain names simply make sense, so if you currently do not own your EMD, I’d highly consider you rethink this over and the obstacles its causing. Domain names are assets and sometimes become a companies largest asset! It’s your brand, it’s you!

About Jamie Zoch

Jamie Zoch is a domain investor, dad and dedicated husband who founded DotWeekly.com in 2008 to bring unique and helpful views on domain names. Jamie is very passionate about domain names and helping others learn and prosper.

5 Responses to Branding: Exact Match Domain Names Are Vital
  1. I agree 100% with this article Jamie. What surprises me is that when start-up companies go to VC’s or private investors to raise money, the investors do not make this to be a big issue. If I am investing in a start-up, you better believe I would want to make sure that they either already owned the domain OR part of funds they were raising was to purchase the EMD.

  2. Hello Jamie

    Thanks for this educational post. One Important Caveat to consider though is Timing.
    Exact matches in most cases especially longer strings make sense, but not as an initial Active Start-up choice, till your Online Brand is widely recognized first. Then and only then should they be employed. Also not all Web destination names convert well to EMDs for particular reasons of which there may be many circumstances. Thanks for educating people on the Hidden values of .COM Profit Center Equimoddities. JAS

    Gratefully, Jeff Schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger) Former ( Rockefeller I.B.E.C. Marketing Analyst/Strategist) (Licensed C.B.O.E. Commodity Hedge Strategist) ( Domain Master http://WWW.UseBiz.com)

  3. I agree with what you say here Jamie, partially.

    I think your view of having the EMD is mainly from the standpoint of working with start-ups. Small – medium sized businesses typically only care about particular geographic regions. Doing business with customers outside of that is not the concern. That’s why ccTLDs are still popular and have high usage.

    The companies you mention are global and multinational brands. In that case, yeah it makes sense, but from the majority of business owners perspective it doesn’t matter to them.

  4. I 100% agree with you Jamie on the EMD…
    So much so that you inspired me to get: EMD101.com
    (smile)
    ~Patricia — Ohio USA

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