Ask Google, Amazon, AXA and hundreds of other brands: branded top-level domains are the future of the web. Since 2012, when the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) opened up applications for new TLDs, more than 600 businesses have submitted applications for branded TLDs.
Should your company launch a .brand TLD? Absolutely, says Neustar's new guide: The FAQs of New TLDs. Here are four reasons why.
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1. Make your brand more accessible
Running a new campaign or customer event? Goodbye odd names, long names, and awkward juxtapositions. Adios www.mybrand.com/salesmarathon. Hello brand-specific, product-directed names that are way more customer-friendly and make instant sense.
Imagine going from canon.com to printer.canon, camera.canon, and of course, shop.canon. For the company, it's easier to cross-promote; for the customer, it's easier to remember.
New brand TLDs also provide unique ways to boost customer loyalty. Branded emails like email@example.com and community sites like connect.bmw give customers a personal way to identify themselves with brands and enjoy the benefits.
2. Build trust in your brand
A brand TLD guarantees your customers are on an authentic website. It's extra peace of mind in an age of phishing, scamming and lookalike sites that try to defraud customers by stealing personal information.
Moreover, as other types of new TLDs roll out, users will trust .brands, according to Fairwinds Partners, a domain name consulting and digital strategy firm. Their survey on new TLD consumer preferences said:
"Survey participants exhibited a strong preference for navigating to .BRANDs when given the choice between .BRANDs and .GENERICS. Consumers are likely to embrace brand name gTLDs without too much hesitation and will expect to find relevant content there. Brand owners should keep this in mind as they roll out their new gTLDs to ensure that Internet users will find the content they are looking for when they begin navigating to .BRAND gTLDs."
3. Safeguard your brand supply chain
New brand TLDs can extend a "chain of trust" among your affiliates, partners and sales channels. By owning both sides of the dot, your company gets to decide which other entities may register a domain name ending with your brand.
This assures customers that they're dealing with a certified dealer or an approved agent. The advantages will be particularly evident in fields such as real estate, technology and software, insurance and consumer packaged goods. As with everything else Internet-related, new uses will materialize.
4. Stand out in a world of dot com's
No matter how catchy your domain name is, anything ending with dot com is just that — "another dot com." With a branded TLD, e.g. www.offers.yourbrand, every listing of your web address becomes a brighter billboard, helping you compete more effectively in the marketplace. The fact that we instinctively think of .com shows how hard it is to stand out when you use it.
Industry landscape overview – There are a total of 1751 new TLD applications, comprised of brands (635), generics (1060), and geographies (56). More than half of all brand TLDs fall into financial and technology verticals. Furthermore, 41% of brand TLDs were applied for by Fortune 500 companies, mostly in financial services, retail, technology and transportation.
If your company has applied for a .brand, what are you waiting for? Activate it today and start reaping these benefits and more. If you missed the application period, don't worry. Another is bound to open soon.
In the meantime, download Neustar's new FAQs of TLDs guide to get prepared and learn all about new TLDs.
Written by Jason Loyer, Product Management Director, Registry Services at Neustar. This post originally appeared on the Neustar's Insight blog.
NeuStar provides market-leading and innovative services that enable trusted communication across networks, applications, and enterprises around the world. (Learn More)
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