Trump 1, Bush 0, in presidential race domain name blunder
It is no secret that US presidential candidates are prepared to spend millions on promoting their brand and securing the highly sought after position as the country’s leader. However, as one candidate recently learnt, it only takes a nominal amount to embarrass your opponent whilst promoting your own brand at the same time.
An interesting twist in the US presidential battle between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump provides an invaluable lesson to all brand owners.
Jeb Bush’s official presidential campaign is branded “JEB2016” (as depicted in the logo below) and consistent with this branding, Bush had registered and was using the domain name “Jeb2016.com.”
It is common for candidates to adopt catchy slogans or logos (who could forget “KEVIN07”). However, one vital mistake Jeb Bush made in his campaign was failing to ensure that he had ownership and control of the domain name “JebBush.com.” It was recently discovered that an unknown user, suspected to be a Trump supporter, has full ownership of the web address, “JebBush.com”. Up until recently, JebBush.com returned blank searches. However, the owner of the domain has now redirected all traffic to Trump’s official Presidential campaign. Not only does this frustrate online users searching for information on Jeb Bush, it is quite simply, embarrassing. Failing to properly plan and protect his own Intellectual Property may also cause voters to question his ability to lead a country.
Social media user names, domain or account names are generally issued on a first-come, first-serve basis. As in the Bush example, another company or person may register your name or a name deceptively similar to yours as their social media name. This may result in unauthorised use of your trade marks. It may also prevent you from obtaining registration and could potentially compromise your on-line presence and reputation. In this case, it not only exposed Bush to online trolls poking fun but also directed his supporters to his competitor.
All brand owners including individuals, business owners and media personalities should ensure they own their brand name/s across social and digital media including Twitter, domain names, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Depending on the nature of your business, you may also wish to register variations of your brand including well-known acronyms or nicknames.