The following is an excerpt from a Guest Blog post that I wrote for Elliot Silver at Elliot’s Blog. Click here to read the full post.
First off, thank you Elliot for giving Left of the Dot the opportunity to tell you a bit more about our re-branding and our re-launching of Importers.com.
Whenever we take on a brand, we look at several factors before we begin development: what is the natural business model implied by the name, what is happening within the name’s specific vertical, and who are the big players within the domain’s market category.
With Importers.com, we discovered a market that was filled with fraud and uncertainty. Trading partners did not trust trading partners. Scandals were plaguing the incumbent market leaders (See: The Economist “Alibaba and the 2,236 Thieves”). And the brand perception among potential consumers was that they “all look the same and seem sketchy”.
For us, this spelled opportunity, and it was clear that if we were going to differentiate Importers.com in this market (and resurrect what should have been a dominant global brand before being abandoned by its previous owners), we needed to emphasize the concept of ‘Trust’ first and foremost.
Many Domainers already know that a good generic carries with it a certain amount of implied trust. If you have a category-owning concept – be it Importers.com, DogWalker.com, or Villa.com – your name provides you with multiple benefits, each of which stems from this implied trust:
- You get better click thru rates on your paid search advertising. This increases your quality score and lowers your cost of new customer acquisition. And if it costs me less to get a customer on Importers.com than it does for an upstart brand that nobody has ever heard of… I win.
- You get ranked higher in search engines. Initially, this was entirely dependent on keyword match, but with the Panda release, how customers or peers perceive your site has become much more of a factor (think of the +1 as a trust endorsement).
- Customers (and strategic partners) are more willing to listen to you and give you the benefit of the doubt.
With this knowledge in our back pocket, we decided to play to our strength. The name “Importers.com” conveys a trusted brand in a market that is screaming for somebody to trust…
Click here for the full post.
After a full year of research and development, the once-abandoned Importers.com has been successfully restored into a thriving business community
MAPLE RIDGE, BC, CANADA – August 23, 2011 – Left of the Dot Media Inc. has announced that it has re-launched Importers.com, as an online B2B marketplace for businesses looking to trade with G20 partners. The project was started in 2003 but day-to-day growth and management of the business was ceased by its previous owners in 2007. Despite a lack of leadership and support, the community continued to expand to over 400,000 members. In cooperation with the new owners, Left of the Dot has created an attractive, well-organized and safe new trading environment and the international business community is responding by signing up at the rate of over 800 per week for the import export marketplace. The site is now able to offer a realistic, North American-centric alternative to online B2B behemoths Alibaba.com and TradeKey.com.
International trade is now hugely dependent on web-based services and Importers.com was one of the first sites that allowed Small Medium Businesses (SMBs) to find international partners. Over the past 9 years the internet has changed dramatically and importers and exporters need a modern service that allows them to promote themselves online, find trade partners and know that they can trust the person they are dealing with. After considerable consultation with SMBs the new Importers.com allows businesses to get online via Marketing Names (e.g., HardWood.Importers.com), get found via search engines (hundreds of this domain’s existing Marketing Names rank in the Top 3 results on Google, Yahoo, and Bing), find customers via Trade Leads, and establish credibility via rigorous Trust Certification.
The domain name Importers.com was purchased in 2010 by an investor strictly for the inherent value of the name itself. The original intent was to switch off the business and replace it with a parked page showing advertising. Perceiving the risk of a missed opportunity, Left of the Dot partnered with the new owner and took the initiative to restore and rebuild the business.
“A memorable generic name like “Importers.com” is equivalent to quality real estate, the Park Places and Boardwalks of the domain industry”, says John Lyotier, Co-Founder at Left of the Dot, “Importers.com represented the virtual equivalent of renovating an entire city centre and giving businesses all the tools they need to grow and prosper – it’s good for each business and good for the community. The key for us is enabling importers and exporters to lease their very own sub-domains (Marketing Names) off the Importers.com brand so that they can become a valuable part of the community.”
“With Alibaba.com currently valued at an estimated $10.8B and TradeKey.com at more than $2B, the market opportunity is huge and Left of the Dot will compete by allowing the SMB community to create its own success stories on the Importers.com brand.”
ABOUT LEFT OF THE DOT MEDIA
Left of the Dot provides an alternative to domain parking and changes the way domains are monetized. The company enables leasing of sub-domains off a premium domain name to substantially increase the traffic, search engine relevance (SEO), and inherent value to the overall site—resulting in sustainable income for its clients.
Not only does the company focus on client satisfaction, the end-results of Left of the Dot’s many projects also benefit the end-consumer. The company creates online industry go-to destinations, aggregates quality content, and allows SMEs to get online, get found, and conduct business online.
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