Why marketeers love .ME brands
No one is questioning the importance of .com. We marketers do love it. Every respectful business of significant size will strive for a .com website. For another next decade it will dominate the Internet. Nevertheless, mighty .com will gradually lose the market share as it already does.
The first issue with .com is that names are getting scarce. Few names are available these days. And those that you still could possibly buy are bloody expensive. There is not a single four-letter .com left unintended. In fact, all good and reasonably short word combinations are taken.
The second driver that is changing the market landscape and taking it to the new frontiers beyond .com is that we, consumer beings, with our human nature, are [very] lazy. We don’t want to remember long names. Many of us struggle with them. Too much information around anyway! How many long famous brands do you know?
Our research shows that the average length of top 100 brands is less than seven letters!
Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, GE, Nokia, Toyota, Intel, McDonald's, Disney, Google, Mercedes, Hewlett-Packard, BMW, Gillette, American Express, Louis Vuitton, Cisco, Marlboro, Citi, Honda, Samsung, H & M, Oracle, Apple, Sony, Pepsi, HSBC, Nescafe, Nike, UPS, SAP, Dell, Budweiser, Merrill Lynch, Ikea, Canon, J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Kellogg's, Nintendo, UBS, Morgan Stanley, Philips, Thomson Reuters, Gucci, eBay, Accenture, Siemens, Ford, Harley-Davidson, L'Oreal, MTV, Volkswagen, AIG, AXA, Heinz, Colgate, Amazon, Xerox, Chanel, Wrigley's, Zara, Nestle, KFC, Yahoo!, Danone, Audi, Caterpillar, Avon, adidas, Rolex, Hyundai, BlackBerry, Kleenex, Porsche, Hermes, Gap, Panasonic, Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Pizza Hut, Allianz, Moet & Chandon, BP, Starbucks, ING, Motorola, Duracell, Smirnoff, Lexus, Prada, Johnson & Johnson, Ferrari, Armani, Hennessy, Marriott, Shell, Nivea, FedEx, Visa (Source: Interbrand)
Yes, it is less than SEVEN (7) letters on average.
A good Markereer would know: the shorter the name, the jinglier it is, the easier it is to remember - the higher the recall rates - the better your sales. Simple logic no one could ever rebut.
It is well known Internet paradox: one will hate to type long and complicated URLs (including that hack of yours truly Dot-Me.Of-Cour.se) despite the fact he or she might spend half an hour browsing through the site, while clicking and reading. The domain name is to be short.
Well maybe one day this blog will move to something4.me. But then for us it is not a product, it is a blog. We don't sell to mass-consumers. We are just fine as Julia MacKenzie is with her IsItMeOrIsEveryOneElseStupid.com (notice "Me" in the URL - Julia is a good marketeer indeed).
Some may say that in the US it is either .com or nothing. Maybe, but as .com, American Internet is losing the market share too. And people on other continets are fine with other jingling English top level domains: .AT (look.at), .BE (LetMe.Be), .BY (good.by), .IN (put.in), .IS (who.is), .IT (print.it), .LY (cheap.ly), .ME (fancy.me), .NO (dont.say.no), .TO (travel.to), .TV (free.tv), .US (juice4.us).
Now, say you are launching a new product. A pizzeria in London, nothing that sophisticated. What name to choose: LondonPizza.com, LondonPizza.co.uk? Of course they are all taken. Are you ready to write a six digit cheque for them? Maybe - depends on your budget. If this is just an ad for a tv campaign or local newspaper, you are not interested in fancy .com. Who wouldn’t mind to save few quids on that cheque and add it to his or her bonus?
Many studies show that nowadays people start to ignore .com semiconsciously. Your choice might be among LondonPizza.tv and LondonPizza.me. Remember, it has to be jingly, it has to make sense. Maybe LondonPizza4.me - thogh this one is already 12 characters - nearly twice the average. Wouldn’t a name like Pizza4.Me grasp the attention of your viewers better? Or how about Hungry.Me? Straight association - on the unconscious level – strong result. Pizza4.Me and Hungry.Me - yes, they will remember these web addresses.
On the other hand, how many products do have “TV” in their brands and/or jingles? Not many, only those related to the television, actual.ly. On contrary, we see “ME” everywhere, just pay attention how many times marketeers attach jingles like “try me” on the packaging in your local shop and you will be surprised.