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Brand Top-Level Domain and Brand Value

Guillaume Pahud

Brands are an asset and have a value for organizations, as they generate revenue: Customers are happy to pay a premium for a brand they love. They will show a preference and be loyal to a brand they trust.

There are various ways to estimate the value of a brand. An excellent point of reference is Interbrand, which for many years has followed the top 100 brands and publishes their value based on a combination of three factors:

— Financial
— Influence of brand
— Strength of brand

Apple, for instance, has an estimated value of USD 178 billion in 2016. DHL's brand value is estimated around USD 5.7 billion. The whole data and analysis can be found on Interbrand. The top 100 brands list is relatively stable, as 88 brands were already present four years ago.

Dot brand

Some brands have decided, in 2012, that their name should actually also become the global name for all of the digital assets, and registered their brand name as a Top-Level Domain. Google, for instance, located their new blog platform, where they post news and information, on the domain blog.google. That is a typical example of a branded top-level domain.

Most valuable brands own their dot brand

The most valuable brands have been applying for their brand names as a Top-Level Domain:

— 48 of the top 100 brands applied
— eight from the top 10 applied

BrandValue 2016 (Million USD)Dot brand

Some groups such as Microsoft, Apple or Google applied for more than one domain extension.

In 2016, the cumulative value of the 48 brands participating in the dot-brand program was of USD 1,205 billion. The cumulative value of 52 brands that did not participate in the program, was of USD 590 billion.

Brands owning their dot brand grow faster.

Between 2012 and 2016, some brands have grown impressively. Facebook's brand value was nearly multiplied by 6. Amazon's brand value has nearly tripled.

Amongst the 10 brands with the largest relative growth, 7 are dot-brand applicants:

BrandGrowth 2012-2016TLD Owner

Amongst the 10 brands with the largest absolute growth, 8 own their dot brand Top-Level Domain name. Disney is actually a bit special as they only applied for .ABC Top Level domain and not for their Disney brand name.

BrandGrowth 2012-2016 (Million USD)Dot Brand

The cumulative value of brands engaged in the dot-brand process grew globally more that the value of the other brands.

Dot Stories

dot stories is an activation platform that supports brands in their dot brand project, though the dot brand observatory research program, consulting and management systems for branded Top-Level Domains.

The brands and domains conference is a major event dedicated to dot brand, taking place on Dec 1 in Valencia (Spain), featuring speakers from major brands such as Philips or BBC.

By Guillaume Pahud, CEO. More blog posts from Guillaume Pahud can also be read here.

Related topics: Top-Level Domains, Web


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Great insights here Guillaume. I did a Andre Forrester  –  Nov 14, 2016 8:49 AM PDT

Great insights here Guillaume. I did a similar internal analysis of the top financial brands last year and my findings were similar that the majority of top brands also have a brand TLD.

Thanks Andre Guillaume Pahud  –  Nov 14, 2016 1:16 PM PDT

You are correct. From the top 100 brands, 12 brands changed between 2012 and 2016, but there is still the same ratio of brand TLD owners..

A very misleading article Jennifer Wolfe  –  Nov 15, 2016 8:24 AM PDT

Guillaume, I must respectfully disagree with you.  The data you have presented is very misleading as it seems to suggest some correlation between obtaining a Dot Brand in 2012 and brand performance in 2016.  A savvy CMO will ask the next logical question:  “what are those companies doing with their gTLDs and how did it help them with their growth?” The answer is a resounding “they have done nothing and the fact that they obtained a TLD has nothing to do with their growth and performance.” These companies have done nothing more than put up the required nic page and in some cases redirect a domain name to their existing Dot Com space.  I share with you a passion for the opportunities that exist in the Dot Brand space and the opportunities for real innovation and development.  I see many exciting opportunities for brands, but am concerned that when you present misleading information in this way, a C-Suite level executive will quickly poke holes in the theory and then the entire industry is discredited.

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