Should Companies Buy Alternative Spellings? – Harbor.com, Color.com, and More

They say there are many differences between the British and Americans. One of those more basic, agreeable differences is language. Although both speak English, there are some words that aren’t spelled the same, which can be a pain point if you’re considering branding a company around one of those words.

If you have decided to brand around a word like Aluminum, you may very well try to acquire Aluminum.com, but should that brand invest in Aluminium.com, the British spelling, as well? Here are several companies that branded around words with alternative spellings, and how they tackled the alternative spelling domain conundrum.

 

Harbor

Founded in September 2017, Harbor is a private securities blockchain technology company that has seen some success since forming. The company made an early decision to acquire Harbor.com from Internet Real Estate Ltd., and Harbor also managed to acquire the alternate spelling, Harbour.com at the same time. Harbour.com redirects visitors to Harbor.com.

 

Color

Health technology company Color has been in business since 2015 and has raised $397 million in funding since then. The company uses Color.com, a name that it acquired early on as an upgrade from GetColor.com. Color acquired Color.com, along with Colour.com, from the founders of Color Labs Inc., a photo app that was acquired by Apple in 2012. Colour.com redirects to Color.com.

 

Neighbor

Neighbor made the decision to upgrade from StoreWithNeighbor.com to Neighbor.com in 2018, a year after the company formed. The peer-to-peer storage company has used Neighbor.com as its base ever since, but Neighbor didn’t acquire Neighbour.com, which remains parked. That may be because Neighbor is a U.S.-centric company with no overseas presence at all.

 

Theatre

Theatre.com is part of the Broadway.com group, selling tickets to shows in New York’s Broadway and London’s West End. While the company has ties to both sides of the pond, it has opted to redirect Theater.com to Theatre.com.

 

How About Alternative Spelling Brand Names?

Many companies have created successful brands around “brandable” names that may feature a made-up spelling. Lyft and Tumblr are two that immediately come to mind. Should successful companies with alternative brandable spellings acquire the real-word .COM equivalent?

The aforementioned Tumblr doesn’t own Tumbler.com. Lyft doesn’t own Lift.com, and it’s owned by elevator company Otis, regardless. However, some companies have decided to invest in additional domains. Flickr owns Flicker.com and redirects it to Flickr.com, for example. Should other successful brands follow suit to avoid confusion once their success and finances allow for subsequent domain acquisitions?

About James Iles

James Iles is a domain name industry writer and publisher of JamesNames.com. You can contact me here, or follow me on Twitter @jamesiles.

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