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How to Best Enhance Your Brand with New gTLDs

This post examines the breadth of new generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) registrations needed for best enhancing a .Brand. And if you don't own .Brand, what should the scope of your new gTLD strategy be?

With the introduction of hundreds of new gTLDs, a lot of businesses still don't have reliable information for figuring out which of the newcomers to register under. Pundits have touted their beliefs on both sides of the viability aisle. Moreover, owners of these gTLDs are aggressively marketing their products as the must-have for domain-name branding needs. As I have noted in an earlier essay, the benefits of rebranding to simply gain a shorter domain name are dubious.

The answers to your new gTLD branding needs can be framed as a marketing decision to extend the association of your brand to specific products. Given this, there are two general brand-extension strategy options to choose between:

1. Use only one or a few of the relevant new gTLDs. This strategy is commonly referred to as a narrow, or strong, branding strategy.

2. Use many new gTLDs. This is known as a broad-band strategy.

To make the best choice, look to scientific research. Experiments reveal the following consumer reactions to brand extensions:

1. A brand name that has only a few associations (narrow branding) creates faster brand recall.

2. Consumers respond more to extensions that have a few associations, not brands with a large number of extensions. New products introduced by a company with a strong branding strategy are rejected less often than new products from the competition. For a strong brand and a competitive edge, a company should select only a few new gTLDs. A business that has a wide branding strategy can take advantage of a few relevant gTLDs to focus association and thus strengthen its brand name.

By Alex Tajirian, CEO at DomainMart

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