Is the new domain squatting technique to grab a well known brand name and wait for them to come offering cash to give it up? Well, that’s a theory I wanted to look in to after reading Erik J. Heels notes that 93 of the top 100 global brands aren’t in control of their brand names on Twitter
I decided to do some investigating using the UK Superbands list. I picked out the Top 50, worked on the most likely version of their name on Twitter (using the current brand domain name such as TheAA.com for AA).
The result is below and I think we can draw some interesting thoughts from this but no hard conclusions
In an era where brand is increasingly important, can these household names afford to have their brand “owned” by someone else in the increasingly popular world of Twitter where Word of Mouth rules? Or is Twitter not the place for a brand to engage with it’s customers?
Erik has done a lot more work on this than I have time for but check the list below to see how badly our so called UK top brands fare.
I work for a local authority and our name has been squatted, along with lots of other local london authorities (I checked).
I work for EcoSearch - we are headhunters in the Renewable Energy space and we pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve when it comes to online communication.
We have secured @EcoSearch despite the fact that there is a search engine with the same name. We were very surprised to see that ecosearch.org were not tweeting.
It's an interesting question - why does the German auto manufacturer BMW have any more right to the twitter name @BMW than a guy called Brian M. Westbrook - I think it's a bit unfair to say he's 'squatting'.
I go by my initials in a few places (though not Twitter) on the web - why should he give that up just so they can sell more cars?
This is like the "squatting" that happened with domain names back in the day. Unfortunately, it's a little too much like it.
As @Rich noted above, assuming that someone is squatting just because they have a Twitter moniker that is the same as a brand name is unfair. They might have a last name the same as the brand name, or initials that render the same. Or, they could simply be a superfan who chose to ID themselves by their obsession.
Waterford Wedgwood (without an e) went into administration in early Jan, along with its subsidiary Royal Doulton, so your Wedgewood attribution is likely wrong, and the whole group has more worries that its Twitter ID.
Rich & Kat
totally agree with you that BMW has no more right to the name and I made it clear in my post that I use squatting here pretty lightly - not suggesting the current owner has any less right at all hence why I said
"Though I have listed many that seemingly aren’t under ownership of the brand as having squatter status, that’s no slight against the owners most of who are legit "
fair point but I could argue that this is the precise time when Waterford Wedgwood should be owning it's brand to at least keep some control over what is said about it in these difficult times.
the brand still exists despite their adminstration so I don't think the attribution is wrong. Adminstration doesn't necessarily mean the end of the brand and for someone with a heritage like Wedgwood their brand will far outlast our lifetimes I'm sure.
A couple of weeks ago I did some musing about what Twitter ought to do in order to address this, before it is forced to by a big multinational demanding it does...
another case software and law colliding. He says punting his survey.
Hi Steve - point taken, and rereading your post it is clear that you're not being judgemental. I guess 'squatting' has certain connotations and is quite an emotive term!
The currently active, Wedgewood (mispelled) and Wedgwood (correctly spelled) Twitter accounts are Domain Squatters. We are aware of the issues and are working with our Legal on a Cease & Desist on the users account.
The "Real" Waterford and Wedgwood brands are currently pursuing a Social Media Strategy which will include strong community involvement on Twitter.
Director of eCommerce Marketing
Waterford Wedgwood USA
Hi Leisa - thanks for reposnding. great to hear you're actively pursuing a strategy that involves Twitter!