Dot-com Brand

by Tony Fannin, President, BE Branded  |

Current crowd-source wisdom says your site needs to be a .com. Yes, it is the most common web address by far. The .net is catching up, mostly out of necessity, for businesses to get their brand in the web address. This is called “top level” web addresses. This may all change in the near future. Recently, ICANN, the organization that regulates the world’s Internet domain names—yes, there is central coordination—approved changes that could allow anyone to register any name they like in almost any language as a web address. Now, instead of having to use one of those existing forms, users will be able to end their addresses with the name of their company, such as dot-Starbucks, or their city, like dot-Indianapolis.

What this means is, instead of having a suffix that doesn’t really mean anything, now you can reinforce your brand with your web address. Imagine being able to have your web site address as or BMW.NewYork? This will allow a brand to further communicate what they are about. It also opens up creative opportunities for businesses to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

Will there be some confusion and a learning curve? You bet, but I see a great opportunity for a more meaningful brand expression in one of your most important marketing tools, your web site. Even now, brands are creative in how they use web addresses, naming them after unique marketing campaigns. So, it’s really not much different except you are expanding the marketing opportunity to the suffix of your web address.

Who knows if this is going to really catch on. It’s definitely a wait and see. Also, the initial price is very hefty (there is a yearly fee to Icann of around $25,000. That comes on top of the costs of running the domain-name suffix, likely outsourced to a company already in the business, which can run anywhere from $15,000 to millions of dollars, depending on the number of users.) As with most things new, the early adopters pay a premium (remember VCRs costing over $500?).


About Be Branded

Tony Fannin is of President of BE Branded, an integrated marketing firm who helps clients BE Somebody to their customers. If you aren't somebody, then you are commodity.

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