Coupons.com IPO Values Company at $2.2 Billion

    “Their first big expense was $1.3 million, plus some of the  equity in the company, to buy the Coupons.com domain name.”
WSJ, 3/8/2014

I’m always encouraged when I read stories about business success that begins with the purchase of a .COM domain name.  COUPONS.COM went public raising $168 million dollars and valuing the company at $2.2 billion.  The story is a cut-out example of big businesses built on the benefits of natural Internet traffic produced from a generic domain name.  Big companies like BODYBUILDING.COM and WAYFAIR.COM were built in the same way, using memorable, generic domain names like STROLLERS.COM and LUGGAGE.COM to build their businesses. Type either domain name in and see where it leads you – they own hundreds of generic .com domain names and forward them to their central Wayfair branded pages.

Coupons.com IPO - $2.2BOf course, all of these companies built their businesses with more than just a domain name.  They were smart, focused, and were good at running their businesses.  Coupons.com ignored the craziness going on during the Internet boom of the early 2000s and spent that time just building a business.  It certainly has paid off today.

According to their website, Coupons.com operates a promotion platform that connects brands and retailers with consumers through Web, mobile and social channels. The company is transforming the multi-billion dollar promotions industry into the digital world.

Over 2,000 brands from more than 700 consumer packaged goods companies, or CPGs, and many of the leading grocery, drug and mass merchandise retailers, use their platform to reach consumers at the critical moments when they are deciding what to buy and where to shop.

They deliver digital coupons to consumers, including printable coupons, save-to-card coupon and coupon codes for e-commerce. They also sell advertising for their online and mobile properties. They have built out the largest network of retailers and publishers, spanning more than  58,000 store locations in North America and approximately 30,000 third-party websites.

Their main site, Coupons.com, receives more than 17 million unique visitors a month on average, and millions of consumers use their popular Coupons.com and Grocery iQ mobile apps. Coupons generated revenue from over 1.3 billion transactions in 2013.

Domain names do matter. Obviously, .COM domains are best because they are so well known and they tend to bring in the largest amount of inexpensive Internet traffic anywhere.  But there are exceptions and hundreds of very successful large businesses have been built on other-than-dot-com domain names.  In many countries, country-code domain names such as CO.UK and .CN are the places where the largest businesses reside.

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The New TLD Opportunity You Shouldn’t Miss

 

dot-id-logoWith all the clamor about new gTLDs, it will be easy to overlook another important new development, the release of .ID at the second level. .ID, although technically for Indonesia, can be used in many interesting ways.

The New .ID extension is currently in Sunrise. The price for Sunrise is quite high, but you trademark holders probably already have a .WEB.ID or .CO.ID domain name and therefore qualify for grandfathering.

The Landrush and GA pricing has not been finalized yet, but the Sunrise and Grandfather pricing has been posted. The company I work for, 101domain, has prices posted at:

  • Sunrise $150 setup + 699 reg
  • Grandfather $100 setup +399 reg
  • Landrush $100 setup +399 reg
  • GA $120

You might need trustee services. There are some limitations but I think that .ID carries as much promise and utility as many of the new gTLDs. For more information see:

http://www.101domain.com/id.htm

 

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KPMG Moving Their Brand to the Root of the Internet

kpmg“Indeed, KPMG’s application states that the .KPMG domain will act as a “clear signpost” for Internet users to genuine KPMG domains and associated content.”

In an interview with World Intellectual Property Review, KPMG, one of the largest professional services companies in the world providing audit, tax, and advisory services, stated that they will be moving their brand to .KPMG (DOT.KPMG; away from DOT.COM). I really enjoyed this article and I think it makes a great case for big brands to make the move to their own new gTLD. I’ve been preaching for years that new gTLDs hold the highest benefit for brand managers that want to create a laser-like focus on their brand names. IMHO nothing will do that better than a brand’s own top level domain name.

The model that KPMG outlines also agrees with what I’ve been saying, that brands should continue to use their .com domains to point to their new TLD but stop advertising it. In other words a brand that moves to its own TLD should begin advertising the new TLD and use their .com to forward to their real asset (their own new TLD). It’s going to take time for people to understand branded TLDs so in the mean time, using your .com address is very important. Only time will tell how long it will take for consumers to understand and see the value in branded TLDs.

“We had a very clear understanding from the outset that we were not applying for a domain name—we were applying to operate a secure registry system at the world root of the Internet. There were several advantages to applying, but the primary motivation was to operate a registry system, because it can provide a number of operational and technical advantages.”

Critics of new gTLDs state that people will always want to go to .com domains and there is truth in that. Old habits don’t die easy. What they may not be counting on however is that with social networks available today, new ideas travel faster than they ever did before. Time and the movement of ideas has compressed. Ideas that took generations to spread during the 80s and 90s, spread virally today.

In fact, I think that consumers will some day soon equate a brand’s own TLD with confidence and largeness. Brands without their own TLD may come to feel inferior. Regardless of your viewpoint on new gTLDs, this World IP Review article is worth a read. I think that KPMG is right on the mark with their assertions and plans.

Read more… | Source: World Intellectual Property Review | Date Posted: 12/27/2013

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Great Video Explains New gTLDs

We’re getting to a point where most of the people we meet in the Internet community have at least some idea of what new gTLDs are about but there is a much larger audience in the world that still needs information.  About two months ago, Fairwinds Partners did the industry a great favor by adding this well-done video to the body of content online attempting to explain new gTLDs to the world.

Fairwinds Partners is a boutique domain name consultancy that researches a clients’ domain portfolios and business goals and custom-tailors strategies to a clients’ individual needs. The video is very generic and I appreciate their unselfish gesture in producing it.  Enjoy…

 

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