Top level domain company Donuts changes its name and plans a significant marketing campaign.
Don’t expect free donuts at the Donuts booth during the next domain conference: the domain name company announced today that it’s changing its name to Identity Digital.
“This brand refresh is an exciting moment for our company and stakeholders,” said Akram J. Atallah, CEO, Identity Digital. “Identity Digital reflects a stronger platform for expressing the core values we have had all along – to provide a secure, authentic digital identity. The new name lets us more precisely define to customers who we are and what we can do for them. The internet is expanding, and businesses must have a digital presence to survive and be successful, so the timing was critical.”
The rebrand comes after Donuts acquired Afilias, another large company in the top level domain space, late last year. The combined company offers hundreds of top level domain names, either as the owner-operator or backend technology registry provider. All of the company’s brands will change to Identity Digital except Name.com.
Donuts was a fun name that reflected the variety of domain choices the company offered. I recall a story that Donuts co-founder Paul Stahura told his partners about potential names for the company, including Donuts, but they misunderstood him to be suggesting some of the top level domains it would apply for. They were a bit perplexed when he suggested something as niche as .donuts. (To be fair, the company operates some very niche domains, including .tires and .limo.)
I’m a bit surprised that Donuts didn’t choose TrueName as its new identity. The company began marketing its extensions under this brand two years ago. Identity Digital CMO Mina Neuberg told Domain Name Wire via email that the name was considered but didn’t win out:
We went through a rigorous testing exercise for our naming choices and TrueName scored significantly lower than we expected. We wanted to make sure that our name connotes being secure, forward thinking, an industry leader and expertise. Identity Digital scored very highly in terms of these qualifications whereas TrueName did not.
Along with the rebranding, Identity Digital is undertaking a significant marketing campaign to promote top level domain options. Neuberg wrote:
On June 27 we launch our consumer preference campaign. Our goal is to drive consumer awareness and preference for the category of descriptive domains. We want to help consumers understand that they have choices in their domain name and much of this choice is fueled by the breadth of new domain extensions. These domain extensions allow consumers to have more memorable domain names that help them show the world who they are using both sides of the dot.
Identity Digital will use identity.digital for its website.