Why GoDaddy dominates: branding.

Whoever thought an IT/tech brand could have fun? Someone at GoDaddy, that’s who. GoDaddy is an extraordinary lesson in effective commitment to and ownership of an archetype… even after some of its key messaging required change. For years, tech businesses played it safe. Stoic. Devoid of personality. Blue. Remember IBM? Yeah, that kind of blue. Then, a little known company came along and RAN in the opposite direction with formidable fury and fervor. That’s why GoDaddy dominates. The company stands out, above, and beyond (not always without criticism) to own its market. All because of branding.

How It Started

It wasn’t always GoDaddy. Bob Parsons started Jomax Technologies, named after a dirt road, in 1997. But that didn’t offer any insight into what the brand offered or what it would do. A brainstorming session didn’t result in a new name, but eventually someone suggested “Big Daddy” (which had already been taken). “Go Daddy” was available. Still, they weren’t convinced and used that name as a lark while searching for other options. Meanwhile, everyone loved the name so it stuck. And the strange logo? THAT resulted from a mother-daughter doodling session. Silly and fun.

The Brand

What in the world is that? A doodle. An absurd doodle. Sunglasses and loud, like a California surfer who got lost at the mall. Is that orange hair? Or sunburn radiating off a bald head?

The color scheme is bold, bright, and very much NOT blue. The personality of colors bright yellow, orange, and green embody the fun, cheerful, silliness of a Jester Archetype. One who enjoys the journey. Everything is open to exploration and for cracking jokes.

But, the Jester does NOT mean anything goes, as GoDaddy eventually learned. A brand that offends may be remembered, but not for the right reasons. Still, it’s possible to change and keep the personality!

The evolution of GoDaddy

A brand creates a feeling with more than logos and colors. Branding includes all touchpoints and methods of communication with a target audience. This means that the messaging in your verbal identity is just as important for a brand to attract the audience it wants.

In 2005, when GoDaddy ran its first Super Bowl ad, critics argued that the ad objectified women simply to make a profit. It gained familiarity, but consumers still didn’t know what the brand did, while the ad proceeded to hurt their recruitment of women. Starting around 2013, after dominating the landscape, GoDaddy began to address its employer brand problem and eliminate the frat boy reputation. How? According to this 2015 article, the company embarked on a 4-tier plan: active participation in women-in-tech conferences, biquarterly events on women’s rights issues, employee training, and active engagement in education so that more women graduate with computer science degrees.

The change didn’t happen overnight. It takes a long time to change a reputation. In fact, there was praise last year when GoDaddy didn’t advertise in Super Bowl 50. Still, GoDaddy remained focused on maturing its Jester Archetype.

The result? A Jester who doesn’t mock or objectify women and STILL has absurd fun to show what that brand can do for business.

Still the Jester. Still dominating. Still different.


Don’t be afraid to push boundaries. GoDaddy dominates because it wanted to be known. It needed to be different. It also needed to change, but, as we can see, change didn’t require GoDaddy to lose the fun side of its personality,

If your brand has taken you as far it can go, there’s only one way to take it further. It’s not with a marketing agency. Not with a business coach. Not even a graphic designer.

It makes common sense to hire a branding agency … for branding. And, you can do that in just 2-days with our “Branding Intensive“.

Ready To Transform Your Brand?