Strategically Build your Corporate Domain Portfolio like Bill Belichick

Strategically Build your Corporate Domain Portfolio by Acquiring “Shelf Names.”

The Patriots proactively strategized to have Malcolm Butler in their back pocket for SuperBowl XLIX: Do you have yours?

Bill Belichick built his team, smart and strategic. Are you building your domain portfolio with similar attentiveness? Malcolm Butler, who caught the pivotal interception of SuperBowl XLIX, couldn’t even get drafted and was with the Patriots on a trial basis. How did this come about? Belichick had a reputation for acquisitions outside the box. If you’re looking for a career or a brand full of Super Bowl wins, make some smart domain acquisitions, be open to thinking differently, and play smart and strategic.

Strategically build your corporate domain portfolio by acquiring shelf names. Branding services already do this for you: they acquire premium domain names and shelve them until they have a client it might work for. Often with the same training as your in-house marketing team, branding services invest in domain names that speak to consumers, build great marketing campaigns, or sound hip.  But, they don’t acquire higher dollar premium domains because of the financial risk.

Again: strategically build your corporate domain portfolio by acquiring shelf names. Your legal team already does this for you: they curate and acquire Intellectual Property on defensive, proactive, and speculative strategies. Premium domain names are digital assets, this isn’t 1996! What are the criteria your legal counsel uses to decide about Intellectual Property acquisition? Build a similar strategy around your domain names. Of course, partner marketing, SEO, and finance along with your IP needs to build a full-bodied plan.

To marketing teams & especially SVP & CXO executives: don’t make the classic mistake of being unilateral… or of being blasé. Domains and domain values are new enough that people aren’t educated but think that they are. Corporate America keeps you busy and your company probably won’t go under without these acquisitions. But executing a savvy strategy with digital assets offers an enormous array of profitable options- for your company, and for your career. Taking a deeper look at the value behind premium domain acquisitions will separate you and your brand from the competition. Create vision at your company greater than what your colleagues know about “domain utilization.” The capitalization opportunities are intense. Be a little different, be a little smarter, to create that position of glory!

It would be easy to conclude that your corporation should also avoid proactive acquisitions to avoid financial risk. Indeed, the fact that most of your competitors have already concluded this puts you at an advantage. Explore this question a bit further, and you may discover a valuable edge over the competition! In this arena, domain brokers offer a wealth of information. Consider consulting an experienced broker to develop a savvy strategy – whether with domains you already have or future acquisitions.

Marketers and IP/Legal teams, be proactive in your domain acquisitions… If an available domain matches your company’s core values, act now. Ensure lack of IP conflicts and acquire it now. Then, when your company merges, develops a product, or needs a new brand and there’s pressure for quick turnover, you won’t be stuck.

Example: when a friend’s Motorola computing & power division was acquired by an equity firm, they needed a new name. As a large company with many legal entities in multiple countries, the naming priority revolved around avoiding IP conflicts. So, they grabbed an awkward non-word 7 letter .COM from their existing portfolio. says more, is shorter and more effective, and could have been ready for them if they had proactively prepared. Now it’s time for re-re-branding instead, with lost time, marketing budget, and brand recognition.

This is not advocating domain hoarding or speculative investment. Just be smart, think ahead, build a portfolio that complements brand recognition and generic premium domain acquisitions, and play to win!


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