I had a friend of mine recently ask me what I thought about new start up using a domain hack ( an unconventional domain name that combines domain levels, especially the top level domain(TLD), to spell out the full “name” or title of the domain ie blo.gs) as a business name/domain name. It was using a country code tld but spelled out an english phrase. My answer?
Don’t do it. You want a dot com. Plain and simple. You can brand any domain but the easier you make it, the less likely you’re going to lose traffic to typos. I can almost guarantee that the company will end up rebranding to a dot com down the road. Almost every non url shortening company that bought a hack either ended up buying a dot com equivalent or wish they had.
The easy example is delicious.com They started with del.ico.us and people eventually figured it out but half of their users couldn’t even spell delicious, let alone figure out where to put the dots. And Justin.tv ? I guarantee they would have been happier with justintv.com. If you own the dot com version of the hack why redirect it to the hack, just use the dot com And what about advertising?
You almost HAVE to put a www in front of the domain. Nobody would know what retou.ch means at the bottom of the page. Retouch.com at the bottom would be self defining. I know the response many would have and that would be “the hack is much much cheaper”. I don’t care, this is business. Get a longer or crazier name in the dot com. Pick your name based on available dot com domains you can afford to acquire.