I was hunting around at nameboy yesterday and found an amazing domain that was perfect for a new project we’re working on. I grabbed it. When I got to the checkout, nameboy apologized and told me that in fact, the domain was already taken. (This is because nameboy does its magic on a cached database of available names… they’d never be able to make it work in real time).
My name was gone. MY name. It was mine! And now it wasn’t.
I immediately tracked down the dastardly organization that had stolen my name and offered them $600 for it. (I would never have paid $100 for this name before it was ‘mine.’) They turned me down. Not because they were doing anything with it (they weren’t, at least not yet) but because they had, in a few short days, grown accustomed to owning it, to dreaming about it, and my guess is that they wouldn’t have let it go for thousands of dollars, even though they, like me, would not have paid $100 for it at first.
People will go to great lengths to keep what they think they already have. Just watch how slow people are to volunteer to be bumped from an airplane… Same thing happened when Google recently cancelled videos that people had purchased.
Marketers spend too much time trying to get people to leap over the hurdle of "buy this, right now" and not enough on "it’s yours, here’s how you keep it."