Don't Buy Variants of Your Brand Domain

You can't even if you wanted to

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Don't Buy All Variants of Your Brand Domain

We are incognitus.ph. We are not:

  • incognitus.com.ph
  • incognitus.net.ph
  • incognitus.org.ph
  • incognitus.com
  • incognitus.cn
  • incognitus.today
  • etc.

icon on wooden ball of website and internet contact us page concept on computer laptop keyboard and social media diagram

What is a domain name?

Our web domain is incognitus.ph. It is our unique identifier for our website on the internet. It is our virtual address that helps you find and remember our website among the millions of others on the web. 

A domain name is made up of subdomains. The generic top-level (sub)domains or TLD or gTLD are the .com, .net, .edu, .org, .gov. 

Countries have country code top-level domains such as .ph for the Philippines, .it for Italy, .ly for Lybia, .cn for China.  

Our brand name is incognitus and we were able to secure a domain name as a subdomain for .ph hence incognitus.ph. We have subdomains to point to our other internet assets: blog.incognitus.ph, inbound.incognitus.ph, www.incognitus.ph

As a virtual address this is like saying, Incognitus is found in the Philippines and our blog is found on Incognitus. www.incogitus.ph redirects or sends visitors to our "naked" domain name incognitus.ph 

Why is a domain name important?

Machines don't really need domain names. They're fine getting by with Internet Protocol (IP) addresses like 172.217.25.14 or 157.240.199.35 which, as of November 2022, will bring you to Google and FB respectively.

Besides giving humans something easier to remember, domain names are important because they are part of the brand. Your brand is your promise and your identity.  Elements of your brand align, add to and represent to your brand.

Having a domain name signals that you are serious about your business. Think info@incognitus.ph, professional, versus custserv01incognitusph@gmail.com, not so. This builds trust in your brand. 

To put a number to why a domain is important, its value will range from 5-10 USD for new domain names that use gTLDs to 30-50 USD for new domain names that use ccTLDs. Domains that have been bought before and are no longer in use can fetch double those amounts all the way to thousands (millions) of USD. 

How do I get a domain?

You can get a domain from a domain registrar like https://GoDaddy.com or https://namesilo.com or https://domains.google/. Make sure to shop around. Some will charge more than others for the same exact domain. Or they might give it cheap and ask for more upon renewal. Regardless, the annual fees you pay domain should be nothing compared to the value it brings.

Nowadays, web hosts also offer domain registration services. 

And if you already have a domain, remember you can transfer registrars if you want to.

Woman hand stethoscope pink piggy bank Isolated on white background. Health care cost. Financial state condition self assessment concept. Financial system checkup, savings for medical insurance costsShould I get variants of my domain name to "protect" my brand?

There are 300+ country domains (ccTLDs). For the Philippines, it is .ph. ~ for example brand.ph

There are typically 3 more variants for each country domain. For the Philippines,
• .com.ph ~ brand.com.ph
• .net.ph ~ brand.net.ph
• .org.ph ~ brand.org.ph

Theoretically, there could at least be 1200 plus domain names that can have your brand. 

Then there are domains TLDs like .page or .today or .xyz.
• brand.page
• brand.today
• brand.xyz

You cannot possibly pay for all of the domains to "protect" your own brand. The way you protect your brand is to do what it does best, deliver the value you said you would. On digital this means, being helpful and human across touchpoints of where you audience will be. Unless you have another reason for doing so, I don't think you should just get variants of your brand. 

Remember, neither you nor the other party can ask the other one to stop using each other's brand domain.

Why I wrote this blog post

This started as an FB post warning people about a couple email our clients received that what I felt was "scammy".

The email follows. They are innocuous enough not to arouse suspicion. 

 (It's very urgent, therefore we kindly ask you to forward this email to your CEO. If you believe this has been sent to you in error, please ignore it. Thanks)


Dear CEO,

This is a formal email. We are the Domain Registration Service company in [CITY], [COUNTRY]. Here I have something to confirm with you. On November 2, 2022, we received an application from [SOME COMPANY] requested "MYBRAND" as their internet keyword and [COUNTRY] (ccTLD) domain names (MYBRAND.ccTLD, MYBRAND.com.ccTLD, MYBRAND.net.ccTLD, MYBRAND.org.ccTLD). But after checking it, we find this name conflict with your company name or trademark. In order to deal with this matter better, it's necessary to send email to you and confirm whether this company is your distributor in [COUNTRY]?

Because my client reacted before consulting with me, they sent this follow up email in reply.

Closeup portrait of unhappy young man thinking daydreaming deeply bothered by something chin on hand looking at you, isolated on white background. Negative emotion facial expression feeling

Based on your company having no relationship with them, we have suggested they should choose another name to avoid this conflict but they insist on this name as ccTLD domain names(MYBRAND.ccTLD, MYBRAND.com.ccTLD, MYBRAND.net.ccTLD, MYBRAND.org.ccTLD) on the internet. In our opinion, maybe they do the similar business as your company and register it to promote his company.

According to the domain name registration principle: The domain names and internet keyword which applied based on the international principle are opened to companies as well as individuals. Any companies or individuals have rights to register any domain name and internet keyword which are unregistered.

Because your company haven't registered this name as ccTLD domain names (MYBRAND.ccTLD, MYBRAND.com.ccTLD, MYBRAND.net.ccTLD, MYBRAND.org.ccTLD) and internet keyword (MYBRAND) on the internet, anyone can obtain them by registration. However, in order to avoid this conflict, the trademark or original name owner has priority to make this registration in our audit period.

If your company is the original owner of this name and want to register these ccTLD domain names (MYBRAND.ccTLD, MYBRAND.com.ccTLD, MYBRAND.net.ccTLD, MYBRAND.org.ccTLD) and internet keyword (MYBRAND) to prevent anybody from using them, please inform us. We can send an application form with price list to you and help you register these within dispute period. Look forward to your kind reply!

Next Action

Not buy all the domains you can afford.

The way you protect your brand is to do what it does best, deliver the value you said you would. On digital this means, being helpful and human across touchpoints of where you audience will be. Think social media, SEO, blogging, website, video, and/or email. 

Unless you have another reason for doing so, I don't think you should just get variants of your brand. You cannot prevent anybody from using these brand domains unless you buy the affected domain names. If that is the case, there are not just 4 domains. There are 1200+ you have to consider

In my opinion, there is no conflict. Short of misrepresentation, promoting a brand with a similar product as yours. It may be troublesome, but I don't think it merits any practical action.

Lastly, you don't register keywords.