In 2013 we saw the rise of the “Brandable Boutique” sites like Brand Bucket had been around for years but as far as their popularity taking off, that started in 2013. Two of the more prolific sellers at Brand Bucket were Zane Gocha who started Namerific and Michael Rader who started Brand Root.
Last week a poster on Namepros started a thread about a recent email he got from Brand Root, who just opened their platform to other sellers in March.
The email said:
“If you’re interested in listing free with us, respond to this message for your personal coupon key, which you must use when you are on the edit domain details page (before you verify the name.)
Additionally, if you are interested in moving your names from BrandBucket to Brandroot, we offer great incentives to do so, including double the free listings, lower commission paid to us for the names you move over, and featured listings on a select few. If this interests you, please respond with the list of names you would move over and we will get back to you with what we can offer you and the names we would like to take to our site.
We have had a couple of individuals who have taken this opportunity and even sold a couple that were moved over within a month of being on our site. If you’re not getting the expected results from your brandables at BrandBucket, give Brandroot an honest try. You most likely won’t regret it.
Keep in mind that BrandBucket requires a 30 days notice for any names moved from their site.”
The thread became a very active thread with over 50 replies. The replies run the gamut from those who don’t understand the current “brandable” craze, to those who believe the brandable boutiques are going nowhere and that it is a very intersting niche within domaining.
Michael Rader from Brand Root posted:
I can’t speak for BB but we incur immediate costs per name that we accept at Brandroot. Not only do we pay our logo designers $3 per logo design that is accepted (in addition to releasing the logo award when it sells) but we also pay our writers to define names. Not to mention the time it takes to get the name finally published. These sites are not like Sedo, they are not a quick auto-listing, done just by the lister. It takes man power to get the names defined, designed, organized and listed.
As for our traffic, we receive about 5k unique visitors per day (all organic) and rank higher than BrandBucket and Namerific for almost all keywords that we target. We introduced this offer because we’re confident your names will see more people than at our competitors. Our traffic has never stopped growing and our business plan has never stopped improving. We also received a huge influx of names after this offer was sent out. Thank you for your patience as we get your names accepted and designed!
So far this year we’ve released over $30,000 to domainers, but I’m sure BrandBucket’s number is much higher, given that their site has over three times the domains as ours and have been around much longer. I would recommend giving Brandroot a try with other names of yours and which ever site makes you the most money, go all in at that marketplace. We want Brandroot to speak for itself. If we’re not producing, tell us to take a hike.
I think Rader is on to something with the $3 logo fee and getting them created fast. The biggest thing I have seen holding back the brandable boutiques is the logo creation process. I have written about it before and have had a lot of conversations with those in the space that a logo cannot hold up your business model.
Namerific offers an option to pay $25 for an expedited logo completed within 48 hours. The problem is a lot of people are not going to or feel they should have to pay this price.
One commenter, Disco Bull replied to Michael Rader,” I’ve just listed a few domains with you and I have to admit the logos your people created were head and shoulders above the competition ( especially compared to some of the horrible stuff BB has created for me. ).”
So it seems to me that Brand Root may be making some inroads vs the two players ahead of them in this niche. If you can get logos done fast and they are decent you are going to take business and that makes a difference when Brand Bucket and Brand Root require exclusivity. You cannot list one name at all three places, and with some people commenting that they are still waiting 4 months for their name to be uploaded on Brand Bucket or Namerific, Brand Root can start taking a decent piece of the pie if they can maintain their effectiveness in getting logos done and names live on their site.
Disclosure: I have an account open with Brand Bucket but no names listed, no account at Namerific or Brand Root.