Interview With Ryan O’Neil, A Brand Strategist Buying New gTLD Domain Names

Last month I wrote how a brand strategy company named LOGOS Identity Branding (LOGOS comes from the Greek word λόγος that means speech) bought the New gTLD domain name Christian.Education for about $2,000. The domain was purchased for a $1200 EAP fee plus the premium registration/renewal fee of $800 at Go Daddy.

The company’s owner and founder Ryan O’Neil contacted me and we started talking about domain names and I suggested we did an interview. Ryan agreed to do it and I thank him for that as his replies are a very interesting and insightful look at what drives him and his company into buying domain names and especially New gTLD domains.

1. Tell us a bit about what you do and what your company Logos Identity Branding does.

LOGOS Identity Branding creates and maintains visual branding for small to mid-sized companies. We work in brand strategy, creation, and maintenance in all aspects of visual branding across: naming schemas, brandmarks, video branding, websites, and mobile applications. When working in naming schemas, we’re heavily involved in searching domains to find the right fit.

2. How many domains do you own? How many are .com, new gtlds or other extensions?

We own around 70 domains. About 10 of them are .coms and the rest are the new gtlds.

3. Why did you register a New gTLD?

Several reasons. Some were investments. Some provide our clients with a better, more applicable domain. We’ve also recently begun creating several niche brands for different clients. We’re in St. Louis and one of our clients is Twisted Willow Design (TwistedWillow.co). So we picked up stl.florist to create a niche subscription service for hotels and office to order floral arrangements for their offices. We’ve also picked up several to sell to quality institutions, such as elementary.education and stl.singles.

4. Do you have customers that buy New gTLDs or do they still prefer .com?

People seem very open to options right now. It really comes down to branding. We’re working right now with a non-profit org for women involved in politics and doing a naming schema search online. If we come back with something that may not be available on a .com, but it is available across a gtld, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, our client would definitely go with the latter. If people had the choice, they probably would go with the .com just because their market is definitely familiar with it. But no inclinations other than that.

5. What is your favorite New gTLD until now and from the ones that are coming within the next year (.web, .blog, .shop etc.)?

My favorite current gtld would probably be .education. Love that we were able to pick up some valuable space. Of those still to come, we’re excited about the very last one scheduled: .church. We deal with quite a few churches that have very complex domain names because of how many churches are out there. We’ll very likely pick up some heavy .church domains for our current clients and a few future clients.

6. Why did you choose Go Daddy to register the domain name? (logosidentity.com is registered with a different registrar)

Our other registrar didn’t have access to the pre-bidding of domain names. I’m not the biggest fan of GoDaddy for a multiplicity of reasons but it’s what I found worked best at the time. We use NameCheap a bit too and I’ve really liked them. We’ve gotten more heavily involved in namespace more recently so we’re still working on finding the optimal provider. Suggestions accepted.

7. Were you looking to buy more domains but didn’t? If yes then why didn’t you purchase them?

We were looking for a few more and missed out on several (wedding.florist, highschool.education). We would have gotten several more awesome names but we were a bit stretched on what we could do.

8. Why did you choose the $1200 EAP price (plus the $800 renewal) to pre-order the domain? (The day before it was $3000 (plus the $800 renewal) and the day after it was about $600 (plus the $800 renewal))

Honestly…Christian.Education was the main domain we were trying for so we made the stretch to the $1200 EAP but we couldn’t swallow paying $1800 more to have our chances a little higher. Turns out, it was a good bet.

9. What do you think about the $800 USD yearly renewal the domain name has?

Definitely not a fan of an $800 renewal. We’ve got a couple of options on the domain though and we’ll end up ok either way on them.

10. Do you know that there are a lot of cheaper registrars than Go Daddy?

GoDaddy is the VistaPrint of domains. So, while I knew they were more expensive, I honestly didn’t have the experience to know which places I could trust in dropping 2k on a domain. If you’ve got some better options, send them my way.

11. Do you plan to get other New gTLD domains in the future?

Yessir.

12. I see that the domain name christian.education is for sale. Tell me something about the lander you are using to sell the domain. Did you build it?

On the lander page, we just grabbed a template and customized it as needed. We’re also on afternic.

13. Your company deals with graphic design and identity branding. Do you also buy and sell domain names now?

We work in branding, which values naming schemas incredibly highly. Before we can do a premium brandmark for someone, they need to have a premium name.

14. What is the price of christian.education? Do you want to sell it before it is up for renewal?

We’ve got an opening bid of $15k on it with a “buy it now” for 50k. We currently have a large Christian organization putting together a bid on it.

Sold.Domains

About Konstantinos Zournas

Konstantinos studied Computer Engineering and Computer Science in London and lives in Athens, Greece. He works on domain names, websites and software development. Has been online since 1995 & domaining since 2002.

7 comments

  1. Good interview. If they really like highschool.education they know who to contact

  2. I believe this is another example of how people will open their wallets to buy from a registrar at premium prices but don’t even bother to see what else is available in the aftermarket first. I have a .TV domain in this space without the insane $800 renewals that would work fine.

  3. Funny he’d mention Highschool.education – that domain is owned by another familiar face in the world of domains 🙂

  4. .Education is my favorite extension got following domains

    – Europe.education
    – UAE.education
    – Gulf.education
    – Australian.education

  5. I got these:

    247.education
    24h.education
    365.education

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *