Angie Graves explores the current state of .brand top level domain names.
Dot brands have made great strides in the two years since the first delegations in the most recent round of new gTLDs. According to calzone.org’s gTLD calendar, CITIC Group Corporation, a banking group in China, was the first, with the delegation of .中信 in January 2014. A Google site search today for “.中信” yields more than 5000 results.
As a class of new gTLDs, brand gTLDs are distinct, so much so that ICANN has recognized them with a special provision in its Registry Accreditation Agreement.
In the marketplace, brand TLDs—new gTLDs established by companies, also known as “dot brands”—have been quietly creeping in to customer awareness, mainly in geographies outside of the US.
The dot brand proposition for many companies is dubious, though. People like to walk on firm ground, and there are many unanswered questions that come with venturing into this new territory. Add to that more immediate and pressing matters faced daily by marketing decision-makers, and it’s possible to understand why more companies are not talking about establishing dot brand namespaces for themselves today.
Even among companies whose dot brand has been delegated, use of their TLD’s is limited or non-existent. This makes sense, because companies in the latest round of applications were led most often by legal and intellectual property interests, and because marketing and customer relationship strategies were not necessarily a component of their plans. Click here to continue reading…