Tucows or Not Tucows

Our new Tucows badge program has inspired some great discussions and debates (both internally and with our resellers!). I want to quickly contribute some more thoughts on evaluating whether this program makes sense for you.

The big idea here is to let your customers and prospects know that a domain name registered with you is better than a domain name registered elsewhere, that it comes with more honest, generous policies.

You do have two perfectly good ways to do this.

You can use our name and our promise. You benefit from some Tucows brand recognition and favorability. You potentially (depending on how big you are) align yourself with a larger entity, which brings some reassurances of stability and security. You leave it up to us to develop and maintain content about the differences in domain name management and to fight some battles with registrar competitors for you. You might even be able to blame a few customer issues on us if they come up.

The risk here is that your customers say, “Wait, you’re not managing our domain name? There are multiple parties involved? I’m not sure that’s so comforting to me.”

The second approach is you can imitate what we’ve done in the Tucows Promise but keep the focus on yourself. In fact, you can probably offer a longer list of benefits than we did since we were limited to policies that would be universal to all our resellers. You keep things simple and highlight a more intimate relationship, the one you have with your customers.

There are a couple of risks here too. Your customers could say, “I know a little something about domain names and the key players in the domain name world and you’re not one of them.” Or they could say, “Hey, I see that Tucows is listed as my registrar. Why are you trying to pretend you’re managing this domain name yourself?”

In the end, the benefits of differentiating your domain name offering are great and the risks with either approach are pretty minimal. Above all, we encourage you to attack the notion that it does not matter who manages your domain name. If our program is useful to you, great. If it helps you simply craft your own messaging, that’s great too.

Please keep the feedback coming.

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