Choosing your brand name and matching .com domain name are very important. Here’s proof!
Zelle, a surname, one of which being Larry Zelle. The founder of Zelle LLP, which owns Zelle.com and was founded in 1988.
Zelle, a peer to peer payment processing service offered by 30+ banks that launched in 2017. Owners of ZellePay.com
Ever since I launched DotWeekly, I have expressed the importance of “owning your brand” online and in doing so, by owning the best domain name for your brand. In this case, Zelle.com is the best! When you do not own it, it creates confusion and is simply a distraction. It leads to lost website visitors, lost email communication and further effort to market your brand if you do not own the EMD. Not owning it can also lead YOU to need to rebrand, in some situations.
I always think that visual proof is something that grabs your attention, so here is some visual proof:
The above chart is from Alexa.com and it shows the traffic rank for Zelle.com over the past several months. In general, law firm’s websites are not the most traffic laden sites on the web. So, for them not really showing much traffic rank prior isn’t uncommon on a “whole picture scale”.
Adding in some timelines into the above chart tells a story. Zelle, the p2p payment service was launched in September 2017. Zelle.com wasn’t on the chart prior but now there is a blip. Keep in mind that the Zelle Network is using ZellePay.com, not Zelle.com! At the end of October 2017, Zelle p2p starts doing ad pushes and ramps up to date. In doing so, so does the traffic leak to the more common, brand name matching Zelle.com, even though they are advertising ZellePay.com and do not own Zelle.com! The more ads run, the more the traffic leak happens. Look at that chart!
What the chart shows is, confusion. Zelle p2p is branding as something they are not on the web! Zelle is branding as Zelle but Zelle does own Zelle.com! They own ZellePay.com, which doesn’t match the Zelle logo, or the Zelle name. By talking Zelle and showing graphics as Zelle, people assume you are Zelle.com! If you do that, you WILL create confusion for your customers. You will lose website traffic. You will lose important email communications!
Now will this “break” the Zelle payment service? No, a domain name is just one piece of the business puzzle but its an important one! Think of all the emails, every day, every year. Think of all the ads (print, tv, links etc.) that have the added word “pay” tacked on that do not match the branded logo! Think of the website traffic lost daily, weekly, monthly!
Domain names are vitally important. Secure your brand, remove hassles and stop making more work for yourself. It’s your brand, it’s you! Your domain name should be the matching .com name of what you brand yourself as or it WILL hurt your business.
Just my 2 cents: I have no clue why the 30+ banks picked Zelle as a brand name, I really don’t! Since the e is silent, that is a problem as it could be Zell, which rhymes with Sell. The banks didn’t secure Zelle.com prior to launching, but still picked the name anyway. The chances of acquiring the exact match domain name now are and were very low, because the law firm Zelle LLP has been using it since the 90’s! Law firms are often not broke by any means and huge business expenses would happen to change the name, branding, lost business due to the name change etc. it’s not likely going to happen. SO many more brand names they could have picked… but they pick Zelle.
10 thoughts on “Brand Choice: Match Your Brand Name To Your Domain Name”
I couldn’t agree with you more. I hope they at least offered to buy Zelle.com, and without matching the brand to the domain name, a company can spend an unsuccessful fortune try to brand past the obvious. Add in loss of confidence by clients and lack of name recognition, it’s just a huge mistake not to having a matching name.
You’re right — they were dim to have launched with a brand name for which they could never acquire the .com name. They just thought, oh, we’ll just go with the hand regged ZellePay.com for $10. Penny wise, pound foolish in the long run. They should have hired a branding and domain name consultant like Jamie Zoch before launching!
I did reach out to Zelle LLP for comment for the story but they declined to comment. I’m sure the answers to the questions I did send them would have been interesting to hear!
Mr. Zoch — Thank you.
I enjoyed seeing a visual representation of the alexa chart noted with a reason for increase.
They spend so much on ads and still chose a wrong name for a payment service.I wonder who is in charge or marketing for some of these companies ?Most chose wrong brand name with all the funds they have because they chose to go cheap .Thanks Jamie,hope they get to see your writeup and realize they lost it.Founding a business on a name that gets confused with another surely leaks traffic to one not associated with your brand .
what about .brands?
I think it’s pretty dumb really. Apple.apple, Ipad.apple isn’t the worst but it’s really the other way around, Apple.ipad and Apple.iphone etc. In some situations, a .brand may work but most of the time it makes little sense.
They clearly have no idea what they are doing. They’ll probably never be able to acquire Zelle.com give the current usage and the name is only average anyway. Why not just choose Zella.com, Zelly.com or one of the million other just as good alternatives.
The founder must have had a thought bubble that couldn’t be popped.
You are right.Maybe they are hoping to acquire Zelle .com at a point in time from the owners but better to have come up with another brand name like you mentioned above.The spend millions on ads and cant find a better name?
Can you imagine the confusion with a .brand? Trying to explain the pointless “global” part and the the company name being at the end instead of the start.
This is very messed up and why .brands are already handing back their extensions.
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