I’m sure you’ve been told a thousand times you need a domain name for your business. It’s how your customers find you online, right? So, whether you own a brewery, beer distributor, on or off premise retail account, beer vendor, hop farm, whatever, you’ve been told to get a domain name. I help you find the best beer company domain names.
I’m often surprised at some of the domains I see. Most companies are operating on bad domains. Some are down right horrible. Yes, I know all the best domain names have been registered for years and you couldn’t get the one you wanted, so you settled for an alternative. You had to settle, right? Well, no you didn’t, and I’ll tell you why and what you need to do going forward.
Everyday, I observe domain names used by companies, both large and small, to promote their business interests and the products they represent. I love researching domains and the respective digital strategies that are utilized with them, it’s what I do everyday of the week.
If I see where a company might benefit by getting a better domain name or doing something different, I tell them about it and then I offer some advice. I get great satisfaction helping folks acquire the perfect domain name for their products and programming.
Get the shortest and most memorable .com domain name that best identifies or describes your business that you can afford.
When buying domain names, try to keep it as short and descriptive as possible. Do your best to get the exact match domain name of your company. Always get the .com. I’ll say it again, always get the .com. Make sure to get the shortest and most memorable .com domain name that best identifies or describes your business that you can afford. Period.
How to Buy a Domain Name
To give you a little background on buying domains, think of the domain name industry as a three-tier system not unlike our very own beer industry. But in the domain name industry the tiers go like this: registry, registrar and registrant.
The registry owns the extension, maintains all the technical functions of the back end and manages the administrative data of all the registrars and registrants. Verisign is the registry for .com, far and away the largest global top level domain.
Now, the registrar is the middleman, kind of like the beer wholesaler. GoDaddy is a domain registrar that everyone is familiar with. At GoDaddy, anyone can register a .com domain, along with thousands of the other domain extensions. And finally, we get to the registrant. The registrant is a person or organization who pays a small fee to the registrar to register, or lease, a domain name for a year or more.
You forget to pay, or your credit card information has changed, or you’ve lost your email you used to register the domain, whatever the case, if you fail to renew it, you lose the domain.
The average price for a year’s registration of a .com domain name is right around $10. As long as you pay your domain registration renewal fee every year, the domain name is yours forever.
If you forget to pay the next year, or your credit card is expired or your information has changed, or you’ve lost your email you used to register the domain, whatever the case, if you don’t pay before the expiry date, you lose the domain. And, it happens all the time. Your domain name is valuable property, make sure your credit card and contact information is up to date for renewals!
You Need a Short, Memorable, Descriptive Domain Name in the Beer Business
First of all, before you even think of breaking ground on your business, start brainstorming ideas for your domain name. Remember, if it’s a common word or phrase, chances are the domain name is already registered. Just because it’s registered doesn’t mean you can’t get it. You can always buy domain names for sale on the aftermarket, but we’ll go into more detail about that later.
When choosing a domain name, keep it short, descriptive and memorable. Do whatever it takes to register or acquire a .com domain name under 12 characters, shorter if possible. We often see geographic names used to name companies in the beer industry. These type names make perfect domain names for businesses. Company names with a local connection secure instant trust and authority. Plus, it’s a heck of lot easier to get distribution around the home base.
Being able to communicate your local relevance when just starting out in the beer business capitalizes on rapid brand recognition and awareness in the region.
Using an exact match local geographic domain name for your company has an obvious advantage in your home market. Think about some of the most recognizable companies in the beer industry and their domain names. Dogfish.com, NewBelgium.com, Abita.com, Lagunitas.com, SierraNevada.com, Rogue.com, LostCoast.com, Allagash.com.
These type names made it much easier to build brand loyalty locally because their name was already meaningful to their customers. Being able to communicate your local relevance when just starting out in the beer business capitalizes on rapid brand recognition and awareness in the region.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you want to open a brewery in the Deep South and you’re going to name it the Delta Blues Brewing Company. First of all, understand you’re not going to get Delta.com or Blues.com. And, DeltaBlues.com is registered too, and has been for many years.
You’ll most likely settle for DeltaBluesBrewing.com, and probably be able to register it. But, it’s just too long. I would go back to the drawing board and come up with another name. Also, don’t even think about DeltaBluesBrewingCo.com or DeltaBluesBrewingCompany.com, just don’t do it. I understand if it’s a defensive registration, but you can always wait on these.
In the situation above, if I’m the owner of the company, I would do everything possible to acquire the DeltaBlues.com domain name before I even think about deciding on the company name. When you add Brew, Brewery, Brewing, Co, or Company to the end, it’s just too long and cumbersome.
I think of inefficiency. One-word or two-word .com domain names under 12 characters, that’s the only choice I would make. There are instances where longer names make sense, but do your best to keep it as short and memorable as possible.
Here’s another example. You’re planning to open a new craft beer distributor in North Dakota. You plan on calling the company Dakota Craft Beverage or Dakota Craft Distributing. I would make sure I could acquire DakotaCraft.com first.
And, I would also make it a point to register DakotaCraftBev.com and DakotaCraftBeverage.com; or DakotaCraftDist.com and DakotaCraftDistributing.com in addition to DakotaCraft.com. Do you see where I’m going with this? It’s imperative to cover all your bases. And, that leads us to the reason why you cover all your bases.
Your Company’s Email Address is Very Important
I only invest in .com domain names for my businesses. Let me explain why. Dot com is the most advertised product in our history. We see and hear .com everywhere. Billboards, TV, flyers, online, business cards, radio, products, storefronts, promotions, everywhere.
Look around right now, I guarantee you’ll see a .com on something in your vicinity. Everyone knows .com, especially in the US. In the US, the majority of all business is conducted on .com domains. Yes, you can use other extensions like .net, .org and .us, but for a business in the US, you have to get the .com. Main reason? Email.
The beer industry operates on email. Do you know what happens when your email ends with .net, .org, .us, or .whatever? People still add .com to the end.
The beer industry operates on email. Do you know what happens when your email ends with .net, .org, .us, or .whatever? People still add .com to the end. They don’t pay attention to other extensions. Suffixes on the end of your domain, like BeerLLC.com or BrewingCo.com? They leave the LLC or the Co off and send email to Beer.com or Brewing.com.
No matter the reason, misdirected email can be catastrophic for a company. How would you feel if your bank statements, overdrafts, brewery correspondence, pricing information, promotional letters, or private memos were to get in the hands of your competitors? It happens all the time!
And, don’t even get me started on .beer or any of the 1000s of other new gTLDs. They’re just too confusing. If you were to develop a site on BigCity.beer, I guarantee an awful lot of email gets sent to BigCityBeer.com. What happens if you spend thousands of dollars developing your website and you promote your domain everywhere and then the registry goes out of business?
Just saying, it could happen. I’m discussing business in the US right now, obviously if your business is in Canada, the UK, France, etc. you get the corresponding ccTLD – .ca, .co.uk, .fr, etc.
Guide for Buying the Best Beer Company Domain Names
Remember that a one-word, generic .com domain name is extremely valuable. Domains are unique, one of a kind investments. They sell for upwards of six figures on the aftermarket. If you are serious about your business, do whatever it takes to make a deal for a one-word .com exact match domain.
If you can afford a short one-word generic .com for your company, buy it. If you can’t afford a one-word .com, get a short, two-word brandable domain name, it’s the next best thing and these can be acquired for low four figures all day long. And do your best to keep it under 12 characters!
Do you think someone would remember DeltaBluesBrewingCompany.com from a radio ad or even look twice at the domain on a billboard or in a television commercial. No! The domain is completely forgettable and not easily marketable at all. And, think of all the space you’d waste on a label with that name. But, your customers will definitely remember DeltaBlues.com, you can even put that on the crown!
Do whatever it takes to keep it short, easy to spell and memorable. Use the radio test for spelling, too! Think about hearing your domain name on the radio. If the domain is difficult to spell or a homonym, I would go another direction. If you must use a number get the word version of the number as well!
So, to wrap things up, if you are researching how to buy a domain name for a brewery, beer distributor, craft wholesaler, or beer retailer or any company actually, following is best practice:
- Get the .com! Do not consider any other global top level domain. It’s .com or nothing if you are in the beer business in the USA.
- Take your time when deciding on your domain name. Brainstorm and research domain names at the very beginning. Remember, it’s not a five minute process – it could take weeks, even months before you locate and acquire the perfect domain name. Use short, descriptive, easy to spell, easy to market, easy to brand and unambiguous words or phrases. Think relevancy at the local level. Do not stop searching until you find the perfect original, brandable, and marketable .com domain name. Make sure your domain has meaning, tells a story, communicates your message and fits your branding and plans completely.
- Keep it short and memorable. One-word names are ideal, of course. But, short two-word, descriptive, local geographic names in .com are perfect for branding, too. High Coast, North Shore, Big Mountain, Delta Blues, Rocky River – you see where I’m going, these are fantastic names. There are plenty of these types of domains still available to hand register. Under 12 characters is a good rule of thumb!
- Avoid misdirected email issues from the start. The beer industry runs on email. Stay away from using homonyms, hard to spell words, hyphens, numbers, long three and four word domain names and any other top level extension besides .com. Make sure your name passes the radio test, too.
- Someone’s already gotten the domain? If the domain name you want is already registered, don’t worry! You may be able to acquire the domain on the aftermarket. Contact me with any questions you have or visit my Domain Name Aftermarket tutorial to learn more.