Rebranding Mistakes Made By Startups

This is the number one mistake I see startups are making with their branding and their domain name strategies.

I was reading an article about a company that rebranded.

The company was

One of the things that were said on the rebrand was they have started off with a niche providing a certain product.

They realized, at some point, they have outgrown the original branding.

That is a common thing I see with most startups.

If you go to Crunch Base, if you go to Tech Stars, what you see is that it is the way into the market.

It is like the ankle-biter that is creating your blue ocean.

But you are going to niche down.

Niche-ing down allows you to create a better product specifically for that niche.

In this case, they are doing digital insurance.

I think they were before this, then they rebranded over to

Now, this is the mistake – when you are a startup, although you are going niche, when you are looking at the budget of your brand, make sure you have the ability to scale.

This is number 7 of the 7 dimensions to how a domain name impacts your brand and that is your ability to scale beyond your current product portfolio.

In this case, they had to rebrand because their original brand pitched and hold them in.

They are playing a certain box saying: “Hey! We outgrew this.”

A great example that I quote quite a bit is Zen Payroll.

They went through the same process.

They are no longer doing payroll; they are now bigger than that.

They have scaled and they have rebranded to Gusto because Zen Payroll was too niched for them.

Zen is available and is probably worth something gazillion dollars, but they wanted something different – the Gusto.

I personally like that brand and I think it is a great opportunity.

Rebrands cost so much? Well, not with DNX.

If you are a startup, think about this in advance:

It is a common strategy to niche down but a lot of times, what happens is that you don’t start well on the money.

You could maybe say: “Chris, I only have $200,000.”

That’s okay.

We literally have brands, domains, on DNX that you can get for maybe $30,000 down and you can get into the 24-month lease period.

But you can lock in your brand!

There may be some kind of payment up and beyond that; maybe it’s $200-$300,000.

I am not sure about the price because I do not know the domain you are going after, but what I am saying is that…

You can do it now!

And you don’t have to go to this costly rebrand.

On this rebrand, this company would go to Superscript.

Do not ever do that.

I think that is just a very bad decision on their part to go with that domain name strategy because they will never know their brand.

There is another brand out there on

Who owns the global positioning here?

Well, guess what…

It’s not Superscript.

What are the 7 dimensions that impact a domain name?

  1. Global Positioning
  2. Industry Positioning
  3. Branding
  4. Marketing
  5. SEO
  6. Email Security
  7. Your Ability to Scale and Pivot

Yes, they scale, but when they pivoted to this new rebrand, they really have negative marks on those aspects.

They will not ever own their global positioning.

Industry positioning is to go to the front.

And so, most people will say: “Okay, are you a startup?”

It is going to keep them on the perpetual startup mode versus looking like an elite company.

Will you use a go, or try, or my, or .co?

Not necessarily the .co, that is like other issues completely.

But if you go with a try or .go, it makes you look like a perpetual startup and that is not what you want.

You want to create trust.

So, they do not own their global positioning, they look like a perpetual startup.

Industry-wise people are going to look at them and they are going to rank their business amongst other businesses and say:

“Okay, I trust them.”

Every time they market, people will say: “Hey! Go over to Superscript” or “Go to GoSuperscript”.

It’s just confusing and drives away the traffic.

They are going to continue talking about their brand in a negative light.

There is a massive issue because a lot of emails will go just to superscript because go is like a filler word at the beginning.

This is all because they did not get the raw version of their brand.

Listen. You don’t have to do this!

There are brands and owners that will give you a lease option for your brand if you do not have the money or capital.

You can get a domain with a very little down with a lease option, and then maybe you will have the ability to buy it every single time.

This is typically how it works for us in many deals we have done.

Let’s say it’s $50,000 down, $5,000 a month or $10,000 to lease that.

And then, that gives you an option to buy it maybe for $300,000 at any given point during the lease option.

The lease option can be extended to 36 months and then it goes up another level.

It goes up from $5,000 to $12,000 but still gives you that option to lock in your brand in the simplest way.


In the end, your domain name equals your brand equals your brand equity.

What you are trying to do is to create a simplistic and effortless path for your customers to find you.

Own your messaging – global positioning.

You do not have to rebrand, unlike so many startups.

Do not set yourself up for that?

You can find more information on my domain broker page if you need help acquiring a domain.