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Tale of Two Domains and A Donkey
Contributor: Mike de
Sousa, Director, AbleStable
is the story of how for £10 you can undermine
the reputation of a multi-million pound market
Picture this, your company is a major player, it
employs over 35,000 people in 52 countries across
the globe. You've developed a new brand image and
you're poring money into a bottomless pit in your
attempt to establishing it.
The letterheads are printed, the office signs in
place when someone in your organisation based in
the UK enters a .co.uk suffix to your introductory
heard of PriceWaterhouseCoopers, it's a huge company.
No idea what it does but it's big enough to have
established it's presence in the general lexicon
of media reporting and in the public's consciousness.
A friend mentioned I should go visit a web site
for amusement. 'It's great' he said with a wry smile.
So next time I browsed the web I entered www.introducingmonday.co.uk.
Sure enough the smiles came and in an instant I
new this was a perfect example of how the bigger
you are the harder you fall.
PwC Consulting where re-branding They were to become
monday.com, fresh start and all that. They had bought
the domain introducingmonday.com as part of their
promotional efforts, but no one in marketing and
public relations had thought to purchase the largest
second level domain introducingmonday.co.uk. Someone
with a sense of humour did.
is it you do exactly?
journey began with what seemed an insignificant
click of the mouse...
PwC Consulting on their 'About Us' page describes
their service as '...one of the world's leading
providers of management consulting and technology
services to many of the largest and most successful
organisations, including governments and their respective
agencies...'. Unfortunately the description is so
broad the casual browser is still left completely
in the dark about what exactly they do. Luckily
there's a link to a fact sheet for more information.
It's a pdf file, but, it doesn't open. Oh dear.
First rule of web design: be crystal clear about
what it is you want to communicate. Second rule:
check your links. For such a large organisation
to fall flat on it's face at the first hurdle is
unforgivable. Building trust and reputation is of
crucial importance to any business. The critical
process of re-branding attempts to establish this.
Such fundamental flaws in their re-branding strategy
would significantly undermine customer confidence
as reports began to spread. After all, I'd been
directed to their site during a casual conversation
over dinner. Nothing spreads faster over the Internet
than a fallen reputation.
spoof site doesn't say much. It doesn't have to.
It's purpose is simply to act as a source of amusement
and derision. The serious point here is that businesses
need to think very carefully about their domain
purchases. Reputations take an age to build and
a moment to undermine.
Purchasing 'core domains' (domain names consisting
of your on-line name identity) and appropriate second
level core domain names is a crucial part of any
Internet budget. That said, the Internet community
is forgiving when a core domain name is repeated
in numerous suffixes representing different companies
and individuals. However, this attitude seems to
change when a company re-brands itself. People become
very aware the repositioning of a business name
or image identity is about marketing and public
relations. In short, people are ready and waiting
for messages that attempt to manipulate and persuade
them. The alarm is on standby, the mind sceptical.
generally enjoy it when a large organisation walks
away with egg on its' face. It's confirmation that
the small guy can compete, and it taps into a feeling
that the Internet continues to provide opportunities
for anarchic and critical response.
two finger salute and donkey that jumps around introducingmonday.co.uk
is an example of how, thankfully, the Internet remains
a context that is open. It's a good thing mistakes
will always occur and that some, who have a keen
eye for opportunity, point them out.
de Sousa is the Director of AbleStable®.
Mike has been commissioned as an artist, music
composer, photographer, print and web site designer,
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