Three month window means lots of companies will apply for .brand under pressure.
It may have been Google that made in mainstream.
It’s the idea of a closed beta. Remember clamoring for a Gmail invite? Or perhaps begging for an invite to Google Wave, which you had no idea what the heck it was? Now Google+?
A similar thing is going on with new top level domain names, especially for .brand domain names. But this time it’s time based, like saying if you don’t sign up for Google+ today then you may not be able to sign up for it for five years.
Companies have a three month window to apply for their own .brand domain name. After that they might never get a chance again, and certainly won’t anytime soon.
This creates a sort of artificial time-based scarcity that will spur brands to apply for new TLDs. I expect hundreds to pay the money for a .brand TLD.
They will fall into three camps:
1. Companies that have an idea how they’ll use the .brand TLD.
2. Companies that are registering for defensive reasons because they aren’t fully protected by TLD protections (e.g. Apple or ATT).
3. Companies that have no idea how or if they’ll use the .brand TLD, but realize if they miss this window they lose the opportunity.
I suspect the third category will be the largest contingent, followed by the second and then the first (companies that actually know what they want the TLD for now). If the window for .brand TLDs was ongoing, most companies would sit on the sidelines and watch what their competitors do.
Neustar’s new “Brand Assurance” program is targeted at people in groups two and three.
Like the car salesman says…if you don’t act now this car will be gone tomorrow.