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Brand Managers Learn From Paul Ryan: Are You Master Of Your Domain?

Whether you’re a politician, a musician or a major brand, spending a little extra money on domain names now can save you from big headaches down the road.

These days, with a few clicks of the mouse and about $10 anyone can be the proud owner of their very own domain name. For small businesses just starting out and fledgling bloggers dipping their toes in the water, this is a great thing. For established businesses and public figures it can mean disaster. The most recent example of this comes from the world of politics, where VP candidate Paul Ryan has both supporters and detractors vying for domains, but there have been countless stories over the years of domain squatters grabbing up URLs (including Madonna.com and iPhone5.com) with the hope that the rightful owners will pay big money to get their names back.

To truly protect your brand these days you not only have to purchase your main URL, but also all variations (.com, .org, .net, .info, .biz and the newly created .xxx to name a few) and even the most common typos of your name. Businesses do have some protection under the law against alleged bad-faith registrations, but you will truly have to prove a bad faith intent to win in court. The other option is to try to contact the current owner of the domain and offer to purchase the domain from them.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, you now need to also reserve all of the social properties for your brand name, even if you don’t plan on using them (although we highly recommend that you do).

Overwhelmed? It’s understandable. This is a marketing issue that doesn’t discriminate based on company size, budget or industry. Our branding, digital and social teams are constantly working together to make sure clients are well represented, both online and offline. Paired with an online monitoring program, it’s possible to cover most of what is happening with your brand’s presence on the web.

So tell us, are you the master of your domain?