Proper Name brands in SA telecoms

Branding is a hobby of mine. Here is a list of good brand attributes I have collected (feel free to share yours):

  • Short
  • ‘Proper Name’ Brand
  • Fairly simple
  • Suggestive of category
  • Alliterative
  • Easily speakable
  • A bit different and unique
  • Own the .com domain
  • If you hear it on the radio, there is a good chance you will spell it correctly

First some history.

Last week I was driving and noticed somebody advertising a “@telkomsa.net” email address. Why telkomsa.net? Surely a billion++ Rand company can do better than that.. don’t they have the big name advertising firms on their payroll?

Have a look at telkom.com. Looking at the WHOIS data, the domain was registered on 7 March 1999.

The commercial Internet business started (I’m guessing) around 1993 in South Africa. What was Telkom doing between 1993 and 1999? Another interesting one is saix.net, created 23 Aug 1995. I’m very sure I had a dialup account before that date.

Ok, so they missed the whole “Internet thing”. We all knew that.

What’s interesting is the number of other ISPs which don’t fit the good brand attribute list.

I’m a bit lazy to write a script to do some WHOIS dumps.. so let’s just do a quick scan of the ISPA member list..

Some of the big ones..
datapro.com 25-Aug-94
vox.com September 30, 1994
is.com 16-Jun-1992
neotel.com 2001-12-28
storm.com 14-May-1993
iburst.com 13-dec-1999

Oh, this is good..
mtnns.com 27-sep-2007
now that’s a real winner in the branding game.

Strange how many of these are taken by domain squatters.

The only ones I would list as useful, from a list of 142.. hmmm..
mweb.com
verizon.com
amobia.com
bandwidthbarn.org
hetzner.com
frogfoot.com
namitech.com
skyrove.com

I’m obviously a bit biased (-;

A unique, proper name brand with .com domain is by no means the be-all-and-end-all and I can understand there is some simple locality to doing business in just one country.. but I’m sure it helps in the long run and shows that some thinking was done before the business started.

2 thoughts on “Proper Name brands in SA telecoms

  1. Funnily enough most people assume .co.za is our domain extension, and I regularly have to correct people (South Africans) that its .com.

    I think trading in a South African context, with largely South African customers, .co.za is preferable. We chose ours because an increasing amount of our business is international, where .com is the first assumed extension.

  2. Hey Nick

    I also get that pretty often, people just assume .co.za, best to have all the options pointing to your main website I guess.

Comments are closed.