Coreile

Domain Strategy Bulletin
Published Every Saturday


December 1, 2018 (Sat)

China's 7Fresh shows even poor startups can get a good domain


Image courtesy of 7Fresh.com


Many startup founders are rich in ideas but short in cash, so spending money on a good domain is often the last thing to consider. Today's story from China will give you ideas to acquire a good domain for as little as $10.

Beijing-based 7Fresh is a new concept supermarket which opened for business early this year. As an internet-enabled supermarket, 7Fresh aims to go nationwide with 1,000 stores within a few years. When you walk into 7Fresh, you are presented with a variety of fresh food sourced from around the world. Big data and deep learning ensure food selections are constantly adjusted to match the ever-changing consumer tastes. You can choose to have an autonomous shopping cart follow you and also navigate you to the correct aisles. Want to know more about a product? Just scan its electronic tag and its details will appear on a digital screen nearby. You can even have your purchased items cooked in store to bring back home. Automated checkout using facial recognition connects your digital and physical worlds. The future of supermarkets is to be found in China!

7Fresh's corporate domain is 7Fresh.com. Note that this supermarket chain is not your ordinary startup but a well-funded subsidiary of ecommerce giant JD.com, yet it has chosen a brand/domain prefixed with a number. Some critics may say this is a bad choice because of confusion (with SevenFresh.com which they do not own) or lack of significant identify to stand out among other numbered "Fresh.com" such as 6Fresh.com and 8Fresh.com.

Nevertheless, 7Fresh and the matching 7Fresh.com are short and easy enough to be remembered after a few shopping trips. After all, "fresh" is a simple English word understood around the world.

In fact, there are many apparently confusing names which have become major brands, such as Airbnb.com (or is it AirBandB.com?), Tencent.com (the missing "s"?), and cTrip.com (competing with the other 25 "trip" names). Consumers have no difficulty identifying these brands once they become familiar with the names. However, these brands do display two common features: (1) domain's name matching brand (2) domain's extension using .com. Such design requires the least effort for consumers to remember both the brand and digital address of a store.

What is the implication here? You can create a successful brand by making up a name. You can start with a keyword, then put a number, a letter, or even a word at the beginning or the end of the keyword. Be sure to immediately check that the .com domain has not been taken by someone else. Suppose you want to create a brand centered around "fresh". Prefix or suffix "fresh" with a number, a letter, or a word -- such as 6Fresh.com, Fresh6.com, oFresh.com, FreshX.com, WonderFresh.com, and FreshNow.com. For word combination, I recommend using a domain generation tool such as LeanDomainSearch.com, which produces a list of suggestions all available in .com. For details, read my article "How to create a global brand .com with only $10" . To give you an idea, I was able to find 1970 "fresh" .com domains available, such as ImpactFresh.com and FreshInfinite.com.

Remember, the internet is global by its very nature. If you create a simple brand together with its matching .com domain, you'll become a member of the global player club – or the impression of it. As Esther Dyson (founding chairman of domain organization ICANN) has said "No, we run out of space in people's head", you can still create a good brand/domain if you spend the time to think.

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