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Go Only for Big Bang gTLD Rebranding

Alex Tajirian

If you're considering rebranding under a new gTLD, go with a comprehensive big bang. A recent study by professors Dale Miller, Bill Merrilees, and Raisa Yakimova ("Corporate Rebranding: An Integrative Review of Major Enablers and Barriers to the Rebranding Process”) finds that success comes when senior management makes an unweaving commitment based on proactive analyses of the entire value-chain, with buy-in and input from employees and suppliers. Rebranding companies should not ignore the possible need to retool their product offerings so as to avoid confusing consumers — piecewise and reactive rebranding must be avoided. Wait for the right time and go all in. Typically, upper management rebrands on impulse, driven by opportunism, competitors' behavior, or sales pitches, not by necessity. Such decisions tend to ignore stakeholders' input, with no attention to financial requirements or the potential cost of rebranding failure. We already have one reported case of reversed rebranding. Something went wrong somewhere, and that is not necessarily the fault of the selected gTLD.

Managers need to stop listening to sales pitches. A high search-result ranking can result from many aspects of a website, not necessarily the gTLD's alleged advantages for search engine optimization (SEO). And the idea of rebranding for a better singling name ignores the imperative success factors outlined above. Fortunately, I am not the only industry member who has pointed out such false claims. But the claims still make it harder for the average company to determine who is right, and in the long run that can only harm the industry.

By Alex Tajirian, CEO at DomainMart
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