ICA Member Profile: Todd Henderson

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Todd is a branding executive with over 30+ years of leadership experience. Having experienced every aspect of launching and growing a brand—from M&A to IPOs and start-ups, he is passionate about telling the best story possible about the brands he serves, and knows firsthand the critical difference the right domain makes.

Name: Todd Henderson
Company: Defining.com
Favorite Domain: Defining.com
Favorite Industry Conference: ICA Member Meetup!
Favorite Industry Blog(s): DN Journal, Domain Name Wire, Domain Investing


Tell us a little bit about your background and your personal story.
I am a Creative professional with 30+ years experience as a branding executive. I’ve had some great career highlights—from being part of a small team that conceptualized the first iteration of the Kung Fu Panda franchise at DreamWorks SKG, to being a patented inventor of a very early iteration of Netflix, to creating the UX for the world’s first digital jukebox back in the late 1990s.

In my most recent role as Founder and CEO of INK, which I ran for 17 years, I led the launch and/or strengthening of over 300 brands (mostly large Technology firms like Cisco, Dell, Vizio, Ingram, etc.). In launching Defining.com with Kate (Kate Buckley of Buckley Media), our goal is to create a premium Growth Consultancy, merging my extensive background in Brand Strategy with Kate’s highly respected Ultra-Premium Domain Brokerage to help firms of all sizes acquire their best domain and build a world-class brand around it.

How did you get involved in the domain industry? 
I’ve been attending industry events as Kate’s guest for the past 6 years and was always enamored with this industry. So few know and understand it, although it affects each and every business in such fundamental ways.

What is your current role?
I am Senior Partner at Defining.com.

Why did you choose to support the ICA?
I think it’s critically important for the corporate world to know the importance of this industry. And as the industry continues to grow, it’s important to have standards of excellence and ethics advocated by a trusted organization like the ICA—helping all ships rise with the tide.

Can you share a prediction about the future of the domain industry?

I think the domain industry is on the precipice of a massive AI-fueled growth spurt, led by the disruption AI will inevitably have on Search Marketing. In late 2023, Forbes predicted a wave of disruption once the masses rely on Chatbots instead of Google listings, and in an interview with Lex Friedman in March 2024, Sam Altman, OpenIA’s CEO, said they were eager to deploy a chat-enabled search tool that would render Google Search obsolete—with no advertising revenue whatsoever.

What will that mean for Marketers? They will need to begin weaning off of Search Marketing and continue the investment in their brands. The days of buying leads through Search are numbered…making strong ultra-premium domains (which can function as top of mind brands) more valuable than ever before.

What do you like most about the domain industry?
The whole industry seems to be on the bleeding edge of upcoming trends. As someone who loves to be on the cutting edge, it’s inspiring to see.

If you could change one thing about the domain industry, what would it be?
To create more inclusion and cooperation throughout the industry. Too many companies and brokerages are siloed—to the industry’s detriment.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges the domain industry is faced with?
I see the biggest challenges being awareness and credibility of the category. I’ve been building brands for decades and have seen first hand the lack of attention and respect CEOs—as well as branding firms—give to domains and the impact a premium domain can have on the growth trajectory of a company. Relatively few understand the importance, and even fewer appreciate the true value of the investment.

What do you wish other people knew about the ICA?
That the ICA fights for the rights of both brokers and investors, raising the profile and credibility of the entire industry.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining the ICA?
If you’re in the domaining ecosystem, you need to join the ICA. Period.

What unexpected doors opened for you because of your involvement in the domain industry?
I’ve met some fascinating people who I hope to get to know even better in the coming years.

What’s the best advice ever received (domain related or otherwise)?
If you want to succeed at your Plan A, abandon your Plan B, in other words, burn your boats!

What are your main interests outside the domain industry?
Hiking with Kate and our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Murphy. I also love to play golf and wish I had time to play more of it.

Favorite place to get away?
The Santa Barbara Wine Country for wine tasting, horseback riding, bike riding, hiking, amazing food and enjoying life unfolding at a slower pace.

Anything else you’d like to share?
I love to connect with new and interesting people and aim to help them on their respective journeys. Any members that want to meet someone new and talk shop, hit me up at Todd@Defining.com.

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