Great Cause – Bad Domain name

The weekend before last my fellow sponge director and I participated in a great motorsport event called the Italian Connection Trophy. We have been involved with it for three years as a sponsor and its charity (as of this year) is The Duchenne Foundation. If you are like me, you will not have heard of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) – it is the number one genetic killer of boys worldwide. Throughout the event we were all very moved by the video and the cause and donated everything we could to the Foundation.

Duchenne Foundation Italian Connection Car 2010

The organisation is great, the cause is great, but there is one flaw which was a talking point through the event (due to the Duchenne car livery). Whoever was responsible for the domain name doesn’t appear to have thought it through carefully enough. It is www.blueball.org.au and it makes sense when you understand the logo and concept behind the brand for the foundation, but not so much if you haven’t seen it before. In my opinion the decision was made by someone too close to the brand and the curse of knowledge has clouded their thoughts. A quick look at blueball.org confirms the natural association that can be made.

The point is to think carefully about the domain name you are choosing for your brand. Have friends or family read through your short list to pick out flaws, or misreads that you cannot see. To see what some really bad examples a quick Google search for “bad domain names” returns a page with nine Bad domain names, as it says:

…these are companies that didn’t spend quite enough time considering how their online names might appear – and be misread…

  1. Who Represents is where you can find the name of the agent that represents any celebrity. Their Web site is www.whorepresents.com
  2. Experts Exchange is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange Advice and views at www.expertsexchange.com
  3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at www.penisland.net

You can read the rest here, but you get the point.

Having said that, up until a recent check if you accidently omitted the .au in our domain name and typed www.thesponge.com you would have landed on the today sponge contraceptive device website!

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