domain name

Putting Money Where Our Mouth is: Going Big on an Ultra-Premium Domain

A domain name is a piece of online real estate and, like the location and design of a physical store, it’s an opportunity to stand out and make a statement about the future of your brand. You wouldn’t set up shop down a shady back alley, so why would you choose a second-tier domain for your online platform?

Business is increasingly digital, and over 20% of retail sales are expected to be made online in 2024. For many businesses, their domain is the primary platform for conversions, sales and brand building.

This makes your domain name inarguably important, and a huge decision for the future of your brand. At Atom, domain was a central consideration for our recent rebrand.

So why did we need an ultra-premium domain? And what was it about that convinced us to invest in an elite online name and platform for our rebranded business? As a domain sales platform, we’ve put our money where our mouth is.


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Elite Tier: What is an Ultra-Premium Domain?

Across the commercial landscape of the internet, every business needs a domain. Not all domains are created equally, however: you could locate your brand at a subdomain of a larger platform like Shopify, a regular domain, an alternative extension. Or you could invest in an ultra-premium domain.

Across these domain types, what makes an ultra-premium domain stand out? Well, three primary characteristics:

  • Length: an ultra-premium domain is short and snappy, usually eight characters or fewer. Character count is a commodity in the online world: the average length of top 10,000-ranking domains is eight characters, while for the top 100, it’s six.
  • Meaning: UPDs are made up of recognizable, brandable English-language words.
  • Extension: UPDs come with the gold-standard top-level domain .com for unrivalled memorability and trust. 70% of people won’t trust a newer extension, so an established choice is a must for ambitious brands.

Ultra-premium domains are hugely valuable to new and established brands alike. For Apple, the ultra-premium is a cornerstone of their eye-watering $517BN brand value and Tesla’s ten-year battle and $11M agreed price for demonstrates the lengths that big-name brands will go to get their hands on an ultra-premium domain.

At Atom, we’re proud to add our name to the list of ambitious brands investing in an elite piece of digital property.


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Why are Ultra-Premium Domains so Valuable?

Like a beach-front property or a flagship Fifth Avenue storefront, ultra-premium domains are prime real estate in a virtual world. Also like their physical counterparts, ultra-premium domains can command up to seven-figure price tags.

Multiple factors bring about the value of an ultra-premium domain: 

  • Scarcity: there is a finite number of short, brandable domains under the .com extension. All possible two, three and even the 456,976 four-letter .com domains have been registered. Of course, pronounceable and brandable domains are a small subset of these, making them highly valuable.
  • Recognition: Short, English-language words are highly memorable for your customers and the .com domain is the “go-to” when typing in an address.
  • Searchability and SEO: UPDs boost traffic and can strengthen your SEO.
  • Status symbol: Ultra-premium domains are a status symbol and show industry peers and customers alike that you’re serious.

We realized we had outgrown our business name and put finding a matching ultra-premium domain name at the heart of our rebrand. The result is Atom: where everything starts.


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Is an Ultra-Premium Domain Right for You?

An ultra-premium domain requires a significant investment and can be a huge leap for early-stage startups with limited funds. While these domains offer opportunities, you have to ask whether they are right for you.

Look at the potential return on investment in your domain name. Your name and business name form the cornerstone of your future brand value, which comprises from 5%, according to the Journal of Brand Management, to an amazing 23% of overall company value as listed in The Economist.

Want to be a billion-dollar business? Your brand value could be worth a minimum of $50 million — and your domain name will comprise a sizeable chunk of that. Suddenly a six-figure domain acquisition starts making sense.

Considering your long-term aims contextualizes an immediate investment in your domain. Does your innovation have the potential to go global, or are you seeking to become an industry leader? Then an ultra-premium domain could be right for you.

And if it’s not time to invest in an ultra-premium domain name, there are still strong, available domain choices for your brand. A longer domain of 8 to 13 characters with English language words will be a hit with search engines, while a popular alternative extension like .co could allow you to grasp a memorable domain at an affordable price.


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Confidence Boost: Validating Your Domain Choice

When investing in a domain name, it’s important to validate your choice. A bold choice backed up by objective metrics lets you choose with confidence, invest accurately, and set your brand up for long-term success.


We made audience testing an integral part of our process, and every shortlisted name went through several rounds of testing. The domains we considered were vetted based on three questions:

  • Do any of these names have a negative connotation?
  • Are any of these names difficult to pronounce?
  • Which of these names is unique within the industry?

We found that some names we loved as a team tested poorly, sometimes due to a negative connotation we’d overlooked.

Secondly, engaging a trademark attorney to future-proof our name was essential. When investing in a singular, memorable name, it must be yours alone within your industry and adjacent sectors. A trademark attorney understands the wider commercial landscape and can guide you to a name without legal limitations.

And finally, we also considered if relevant social media handles were available. While an exact match handle is almost impossible to find for an ultra-premium domain, it’s important to find industry-relevant close matches so you can build your brand across all platforms.

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Wrapping Up

Ultimately, we landed on a powerful four-letter domain: While this domain was initially outside our planned budget, after multiple rounds of brainstorming and validation we decided it was worth it. As a naming platform and domain marketplace, we know the value of an ultra-premium domain and we are proving this with

An ultra-premium domain provides the perfect platform for ambitious brands looking to conquer their industry. As we re-launch under our new domain, we’re excited to see where it takes us.

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