Companies should EMBRACE sites

September 6, 2008

Companies should EMBRACE sites It’s something that any major company has to deal with: their brand blasted by disgruntled customers web sites. Wal Mart and Dell have dozens of sites criticizing aspects of their business. But registering a domain name and leaving it blank likely means missing out on a huge opportunity.

People looking for sites are doing so for a reason, it may pay to listen to them. We all know how the web works; if a visitor doesn’t immediately find the content they’re looking for, they move on to the next site in seconds.

Give them what they want! A place to share the reasons they’re unhappy with your company. By hosting that space it provides a company with the ability to respond, and can allow a framework for the discussions so that they don’t become one long bashing session.

Interestingly, it looks like Google outsources the protection of its online brands to a company called MarMonitor. At least, that’s what the DNS information says for BUT, the search king is leaving the site blank and I’m sure that somewhere there are customers displeased with Google. Seeing that the preferred domain is taken, Google’s displeased customers have moved on to sites like and Granted, those sites lack a great deal of organization and Google’s armor is superstrong, but they are missing out on opportunities to connect and improve.

Here’s a look at traffic numbers for some sucks sites:

Traffic numbers for sucks sites

In a survey conducted by Fairwinds, “35% [of the companies who responded] own the domain name for their brand followed by the word “sucks.” They include Wal-Mart Stores, Coca-Cola, Toys”R”Us, Target and Whole Foods Market, according to FairWinds. Some 45% of these domains have yet to be registered by anyone. FairWinds based its analysis on 1,058 domain names for companies on the Global 500 and Fortune 500 lists. As reported by The Wall Street Journal.

That means a lot of companies are interested in protecting their online reputation, but are also missing out on opportunities to build (or re-build) relationships with customers! Sounds like opportunity for the right entrepreneur.

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One Response to “Companies should EMBRACE sites”

  1. Ken:

    Yeah. Microsoft should go to Mac Daily News to see what they can do to have those users get a higher opinion of Windows.

    Most of the posts I’ve read on those sites are from people who have an axe to grind. I agree with the companies who see little advantage at having web searches pull up sites full of biased zealots that have no problem posting fake info and are seeing who can make the biggest flame.

    Better off and more constructive to keep putting a link on receipts asking to take a online survey with a random prize, or reading emails to a link on the Corporate Website.

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