Home / Blogs

Don't Confuse Brand and Category-Label New gTLDs

Alex Tajirian

The domain name industry gets brand and label confused. A brand sums up what makes a company unique to its customers. A label tells what category a company goes in; it sums up what the product has in common with other products of that type. Sedan and SUV are category labels; Volvo is a brand, one that means safety to customers. Similarly Tesla Motors has its distinctive "Tesla" brand, but it introduces products to its users as "electric vehicles."

Another way of saying the above: generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) are indeed generic. New gTLD registries have marketed new gTLDs as innovative branding tools. But .club, .green, and .bank — to name a few — are not brands. Neither is .Berlin or .London. By marketing labels as brands, you are forgoing a key strategy, that of building a customer relationship that is distinctive and genuine.

Your brand can take in many labels. For instance, Amazon's brand gets a lot of mileage from a roster of labels such as .book, .buy and .spot. Nevertheless, it had applied for a number other new gTLDs, including .app and .cloud but was outbid by others.

The key is that each label must provide a clear product message. Avoid clutter. Companies in emerging markets may be better off by initially selecting multiple labels, as evidence from new entrants to the nanotechnology industry suggests. For example, a company can position itself in "micro-fluids," "nano-biology," and "nanotechnology," drawing customers under each heading. And most companies can hedge their bets by going multiple. Companies that adopt gTLDs that later lose appeal and/or are abandoned will incur additional losses. Thus, label diversification can be value creating.

In the second round of new gTLDs, picking future emerging dominant labels and brand competitors to .com will be a lucrative investment, albeit at a higher risk.

By Alex Tajirian, CEO at DomainMart
Follow CircleID on
Related topics: New TLDs
SHARE THIS POST

If you are pressed for time ...

... this is for you. More and more professionals are choosing to publish critical posts on CircleID from all corners of the Internet industry. If you find it hard to keep up daily, consider subscribing to our weekly digest. We will provide you a convenient summary report once a week sent directly to your inbox. It's a quick and easy read.

I make a point of reading CircleID. There is no getting around the utility of knowing what thoughtful people are thinking and saying about our industry.

Vinton Cerf, Co-designer of the TCP/IP Protocols & the Architecture of the Internet

Share your comments

Alex,I see this a bit different:First you Dirk Krischenowski  –  Mar 12, 2015 2:50 AM PDT

Alex,

I see this a bit different:

First you cannot mix .club or .green with .berlin or .nyc since the city names are already very strong brands while most generic words are not.

Second the city names are more like in your Amazon example. Amazon may run Amazon Prime or Amazon Movies. The same may apply to city brands. For instance the city of London has extended its branding of the term LONDON (font, colors) by putting just a dot in front of the brand. Understandably in the digital sphere LONDON has become .LONDON. Most cities are much behind the LONDON example but I guess that will change over time, as the advantages of this are striking.

To visualize it, just visit http://www.londonandpartners.com and http://www.dotlondondomains.london

Dirk

To post comments, please login or create an account.

Related

Topics

New TLDs

Sponsored byAfilias

IP Addressing

Sponsored byAvenue4 LLC

Domain Names

Sponsored byVerisign

Cybersecurity

Sponsored byVerisign

DNS Security

Sponsored byAfilias