Yesterday the .Co registry sent out its first press release of the year, reminding everyone that The time to pre-qualify for the i.Co is coming to a close in just a couple of weeks (the press release is on the bottom of this post).
The domain name itself, i.Co already is getting close to 10,000 visitors a month, according to Compete, which tends to under report traffic. The domain also has an Alexa Ranking under 500,000.
So thought it might be fun to figure out who the most likely buyers of this domain are or at least should be:
They created the “i” brand and it seems like a no brainier for them to lock this domain up.
From the iPhone, to the iPod to the iPad and even the itouch its a “i” world thanks to Apple, will they let someone else buy this?
There was a time when IBM was it in the computer world.
So when it comes to the computer industry IBM would have to a strong choice of the companies that might logically want i.Co
From Quicken to Quickbooks to Mint.com, Intuit has created some great brands and i.Co would seem to perfect fit for a tech company whose brands are better know than the company itself.
For years Microsoft had to endure all of those attack ads by Apple saying how great Apple was and how poorly Vista Performed.
Now Microsoft has the opportunity to snatch i.Co and the “i” brand away from Apple itself, with tens of billions in the bank will Microsoft sit by and miss the chance to win one from Apple for what amounts to chump change for it?
Likewise Google which has tens of million in the bank might be smart to grab this domain and use it to promote its Android smart phones and Tablets that will be coming out to compete with Apple’s iPhone and iPad.
Another high tech company that has spent hundreds of millions branding itself and could pick up i.Co especially for use in the non-US market much like Overstock is doing with o.Co.
Anytime you mention Apple, Microsoft and Google you also have to mention Yahoo as a possible player.
The public company spend over $100 Million to buy insure.com, carinsurance.com and insurance.com. While approaching a $1 Billion dollar valuation on the market its a brand that is not widely known.
i.Co would seem a natural fit for the company and a great chance to brand itself on the net.
There are several companies known by the name ICO.
On the New York Stock exchange, International Coal Group goes by the ticket symbol ICO.
Currently the company uses a pretty bad domain intlcoal.com and doesn’t own the domain with the natural spelling, InternationalCoal.com, which is plenty long anyway.
With a market cap of $1.75 Billion this is another company that could rebrand itself for what amounts to chump change for them.
Another ICO company is ICO Global Communications Holdings whose stock symbol is ICOG, and which owns Ico.Com
Although this company is not as big as any of the other companies mentioned here, it’s market cap is still almost $500 Million.
ico.com only gets 50 visitors a month according to Compete so the domain i.co would drive a lot of traffic and attention to this company.
The International Coffee Association which uses ico.org as its site and calls themselves ICO, should want i.Co especially being a worldwide organization and of course much of the worlds coffee comes out of Colombia.
Some off line brands might also have interest including the clothing retailer Intermix. Izod is another clothing line that would seem to be a natural fit for i.Co
Any insurance company that wants to key in on the letter “i” for insurance.
Citibank could easily brand something around the ‘I’ since Citi basically did this long ago rather than calling itself Citybank.
GE who has used the phrase “imagination at work” for a long time could key in the letter ‘i”
iVillage, yes they are still around and certainly cold use a brand makeover.
iNewswire the press release service which uses the domain, www.i-newswire.com, could certainly use a better domain, especially since they don’t own inewswire.com. Also i.Co would also be a great shortener for them and their clients.
IKEA, talk about a global brand that could benefit from a short i.Co for use around the world.
INGdirect which uses Ing.us and Ingdirect.com as its websites, is a HUGE public company that spends tens of millions a year on ads including TV ads and i.Co is a hell of lot easier to remember than ingdirect.com
A few others possibilities;
So the question is who is the company that’s going to wind up getting this domain when the auction is held in February?
It will be interesting.
As promised, here is the press release send out by the .Co registry yesterday:
“””Happy 2011! To start the New Year off with a Bang – the .CO Registry will be auctioning off the domain name i.CO in the coming weeks. The letter “i” is the shortest and most often-used word in the entire English language. And with the popular .CO domain to the right of the dot, i.CO is the shortest web address in the world — with the potential to create one of the most meaningful, memorable Internet brands in history.””
The auction will be privately held and only qualified bidders will be eligible to participate. Bidder qualification will commence immediately and will end on January 21st, 2011. As such, time is of the essence to make your business case, get your budget approved — and prepare yourself to win the domain name destined to become the “next big thing” online!
What makes i.CO so compelling?
“i is interactive. i.CO embodies the fastest growing activities done on the internet today from social, entertainment and news media to mobile services and devices – any and all things interactive.
“i is impactful.”
“There are only a few one letter .CO domain names that have ever been made publicly available.”
“Twitter is leveraging t.CO its official URL shortener; and Overstock is rebranding all of its international sites from Overstock.com to o.CO”
“Now, i.CO gives YOU the rare chance to be an industry thought leader — one of the first and only to leverage a one letter, iconic domain name — and world class brand.”
“i is for … the innovative, inspirational, insights and ideas, of the billions of individuals interconnected on the Internet!”
“For more information regarding this truly one-of-a-kind premium domain name auction, please visit http://i.co – and fill out the short form. Someone will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your questions.”
The .CO Team “”