The New Domain Goldrush for Brands

Flicking through the news today I came across a post on John Gruber’s Daring Fireball blog. Canon is beginning the process of acquisition for the .canon top level domain name. Based on the new generic Top Level Domain (gTDL) registration system which will allow a company name, brand name, geographic region, or service type to be used as a gTLD within website and e-mail addresses. The new system is expected to be approved in the second half of next year from then on you can expect to see all the major international brands doing the same. It wont be long before we see .nike, .coke and .apple

Whilst having your own, on-brand gTDL will soon become the must-have brand device, it wont come cheap. It’ll cost around US$200k and up to set up a gTLD. If the name is disputed it starts getting really expensive or, heaven forbid,  it’s a contested name with several interested parties, think .cars, .music, etc. then it involves a bidding process. Companies could end up spending multi-millions to acquire a gTDL.

It’s all very new and exciting, but the real question is; will it be worth it for brands? It’s probably a no brainer for brands like Canon, Nike and Coke. Relative to the value of the Coke brand,the gTDL investment makes sense, from the perspective of protection alone. But like every brand expression you have to ask how much can you leverage it. Is there a better way to leverage a couple of hundred k on your brand? Ask yourself this question: How often do you type in a URL? or do you just type a name into Google. The answer to those curly questions will be a good starting point to establishing whether you and your brand should jump aboard the gTDL train.

If you’d like to talk about the best way to leverage your budget for brand building, or the brave, new world of brands on-line give us a call

Derek Carroll
Director of Design

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