The challenge for Challenjers

Like many companies, this one chose a suboptimal domain.

Picture of man looking at confusing array of documents on a wall with words Brand Confusion on it

Binsen Tang is no ordinary entrepreneur. A recent TechCrunch article detailed how he created a $6 billion beverage giant in just 5 years. (I wrote about that beverage company and its name yesterday.)

In 2014, Tang founded a VC firm based on the philosophy of “China has Promise, Challenge the Giants, Invest in Good Products, Believe in the Youth”.

Like all businesses, Tang faced the challenge of creating a brand name for his firm and acquiring the matching .com.

He could choose “Challengers” as the brand name and then try to buy the matching Challengers .com domain (which does not resolve currently) at a high price, or make up a similar brand name and acquire the matching .com at registration cost. In the end, Tang named his firm “Challenjers” and registered Challenjers.com.

The misspelling was intended, and it illustrates a common challenge startup founders face in choosing domains.

Misspellings are just one way Chinese companies (and those around the globe) handle finding an available domain.

But there’s a consequence to this shortcut. Every time a company adopts a misspelled name or registers a corporate domain that doesn’t match its name (by adding a prefix, suffix, or hyphen), it creates the potential of a domain upgrade to the ideal domain in the future. So every time a company takes one of these shortcuts, it increases the number of potential buyers for great domains. And ultimately, it increases the value and price of those ideal domains.

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