A great domain name can be used for…anything!
When startups brainstorm domain name ideas, they usually think about words that define the products and services they sell. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Many companies use brand names and domains that don’t describe what they sell.
You’ll find insurance at lemonade.com, real estate software at carrot.com, and, well, everything at Amazon.com.
Another example is Candy.com. Candy.com shows the versatility of a great domain — it can be used for just about any purpose!
Candy.com, the candy business
In 2009, a couple of entrepreneurs with a background in the candy business decided they wanted to sell candy online. They knew that having a great domain would give them a leg up in their venture. So they bought the best domain you could buy for selling candy – candy.com.
It was an expensive investment. The entrepreneurs paid $3 million cash plus ongoing royalties to Rick Schwartz, the domain investor who sold the domain.
The candy business seems to have gone OK for the company, but another business opportunity emerged. Shipping candy can be tough. It requires transporting through the “cold chain,” meaning the products need to stay at a particular temperature throughout their shipping journey to avoid spoiling. The company tackled the problem for itself and determined that helping other companies with cold chain logistics was a better business opportunity than selling candy online.
So the company rebranded to GreenRabbit and moved into the cold chain logistics business.
Candy.com, the NFT business
The rebrand and business pivot left the company with a very valuable but underused asset: candy.com.
Candy.com hired a broker to find a new home for the domain. I’m sure that the broker reached out to various candy companies to pitch the domain to them. But they ended up finding a buyer in a completely unrelated business.
Sports apparel company Fanatics recently started a sports card business by inking a deal with Major League Baseball. It’s also selling sports-themed non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with a new business called Candy. The company’s new NFT business branded as Candy and acquired candy.com.
So now, when you type candy.com in your browser, you won’t find candy. You’ll find virtual collectibles like World Series moments and digital baseball cards.
Great domains make great brands
This switch shows why one word domain names can be so valuable. Nearly any company can use them for their business, not just companies that sell the product that matches the domain.
Candy has a positive connotation. People like candy. It’s sweet. The word candy can be used as a brand for many different things.
There’s a lesson in this for people when they start a business. While you might not be able to afford a great domain like candy.com, you’re also not limited to domains that describe what you do or sell. Think about other words that give off the vibe you want.