In a not so surprising move, retailer Overstock has decided that changing its name to O.co was not a good business move and that they “moved too fast”. According to Advertising Age,
“The online retailer’s president, Jonathon Johnson, said it is stepping back from the O.co name “for now,” though not abandoning it outright. Overstock will still use the O.co name internationally and on mobile efforts, including an iPad app that launches today. And the sign on the “O.co Coliseum,” the home of the Oakland Raiders and the Oakland Athletics, will stay up.
Confused? So were customers. Mr. Johnson said customers responded well to the O.co advertising, but after watching the spots, “a good portion” of those who sought out the website went to O.com, instead of O.co. (O.com is one of the off-the-market single letter domain names still held by ICANN.)
“We were going too fast and people were confused, which told us we didn’t do a good job,” Mr. Johnson said. “We’re still focused on getting to O.co, just at a slower pace. … We’re not flipping back, we’re just refocusing.”
It is a problem with all dot co domains. Most people still see dot com instead of dot co. While many feel that this will change in the future as do co becomes more familiar, the reality of the present is all dot co domains will bleed traffic to the dot com. Most likely this “take it slow” approach is in really a “wait to see if dot co catches on” or a nice way of abandoning it all together. The $350,000 they spent for the domain is a drop in the bucket for their advertising campaign compared to the multi-million dollar expense of their Super Bowl commercial. I don’t see this as a blow to the dot co registry because I don’t think you can truly judge the success (it’s already a success from the registry’s point of view) of dot co for a few more years. In my opinion it is impossible to build a brand on because of the similarity to the dot com but at this point in time, my opinion has been proven in the minority with the millions of registered domains. I am taking the same approach as Overstock and going with the wait and see method.
Read the entire article at Advertising Age