It's a Site, It's a Brand, It's a...

How to use your domain name as a brand
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Think of your domain name as a brand. You might have www.YOURCOMPANYNAME.com or you might have thought of a clever, memorable name relevant to your business.

For example, in 1995 my former company, Cybergrrl Inc., created a Web site called Femina.com, the first search engine for women-related Web sites. While Cybergrrl was our primary brand, Femina.com quickly gained a strong following, particularly among librarians and researchers. Femina.com had its own logo and the Web site had its own "look and feel," meaning a design that was in line with its purpose.

We promoted Femina.com as a unique Web "property," offering sponsorships to advertisers for the site and marketing it online as its own entity. From day one, we looked at Femina.com as a brand, not just a Web site, and that thinking paid off. Five years later Femina.com remains a strong brand name with women online. So remember: It's not just a Web site, it's a brand.

Aliza Sherman is an entrepreneur and author of Cybergrrl: A Woman's Guide to the World Wide Web (Ballantine Books). She is currently working on her next book and new company.

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