I often shake my head when large companies launch a new product and here is an example why! PepsiCo announced on October 1, 2014 that they are launching a new soda called Pepsi True and it’s exclusive to Amazon.com .
What I Don’t Get
They announce it, but it’s not “available”? A lot of people are reading about it because of the press releases but nobody can make an action and buy it when it’s fresh on the mind. After today, I will likely forget about it! Since I can’t buy it now, it’s not that likely I will buy it in “mid-October” when it’s available. (I don’t drink soda anyway, but you get my point) If somebody were to visit Amazon.com and search for “Pepsi True”, Amazon does do a good job at least having something on the page, and allows a user to sign up to be notified when it’s released.
Owning an exact match domain name to a product or service allows a company CONTROL! PepsiCo registered the domain name PepsiTrue.com on January 8, 2014 which was clearly a good idea. Some 10 months prior to launch but has done nothing with the domain name, not a good idea.
The problem? People hear about the product in one way or another and become searchers on the web to find out more info and often hit search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing etc and search the keywords of the products name. In this case, pepsi true.
Since Pepsi has done nothing with the domain name like a mini site, information site, redirect etc. they do not rank for the term (pepsi true). Currently, press releases from companies like Huffington Post, Business Insider, CNBC etc are all ranking at the top. This leaves Pepsi at the mercy of what they write about the product. No control!
Pepsi could have easily built a small product site on PepsiTrue.com and get it ranking well (likely #1) prior to launch. Using other domain names like PepsiCo.com and a category page like pepsico.com/pepsi-true or even a sub-domain like pepsi.true.pepsico.com would give it another ranking page on search engines. Since most searchers do not look past the first 1-5 listings, this would allow control over what searchers will see. Use some ads etc and Pepsi could “own” the results on the search engines, giving them even better control as to what searches will find and see.
It took me until page 2 on Google and about half way down to even find the press release from Pepsi and it still wasn’t glaring for me to click. Not good! I visited PepsiTrue.com and the domain doesn’t even resolve! Stupid.
Domain names are very powerful and using them the way they are intended helps unleash the power of domain names. Doing nothing other than owning the domain leaves you with a lack of control and you will lose business not using it.