Source: Tuesday, June 28th, 2011
Marketers debate usefulness of ICANN's new domain names
ICANN, the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers, announced plans to sell new domain names for about $185,000 apiece.
Why would anyone cough up that much when GoDaddy sells them for $9.99?
First, these aren't just any domain names and go well beyond .com, .net and .org. The new domain names, which are called generic top-level domains, or gTLDs, will allow a company to own what are being called .brand domains. Coca-Cola, for instance, could introduce a number of .coke domains; or a b2b marketer, such as DuPont, could claim the .dupont domain or a domain for Teflon or its other subbrands.
These new top-level domains will only be open to companies or organizations that go through a rigorous application process, which will begin Jan. 12. Those groups will also have to pay the $185,000 application fee.
"Today's decision will usher in a new Internet age," Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of the ICANN board, said in a statement. "We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration."
Not everyone agrees. Esther Dyson, a digital entrepreneur and former chairwoman of ICANN, expressed doubts. She told National Public Radio: "I think it's kind of a useless market; and, if I had $185,000, I'd spend it on something else."
Forrester Research principal analyst Jeff Ernst has also encountered reluctance from b2b marketing executives regarding the new top-level domains. On his blog, Ernst wrote, "Many marketing leaders I've talked with look at this as a nuisance and are skeptical about whether Internet users will embrace [the new domain names]."
Ernst himself sees value in the domain names. "I'm very bullish on this whole thing," he said, adding: "The big brands are going to jump on it right away."
Although most marketers have declined to comment publicly about their intentions, a handful, including Canon Inc. and Hitachi have disclosed preliminary plans to use top-level domains; Canon will use .canon, and Hitatchi will use .hitachi.
Behind the scenes, other marketers are exploring their options. Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services, a domain name management company, said it has been in touch with about 200 global brands that are contemplating various strategies with .brand domain names. The company said about 35% of these companies are b2b marketers.
There are many ways that companies might use a .brand domain, including it for the company name or a subbrand. Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services said 92% of the companies it has spoken with intend to use the top-level domain for their main brand; about 9% plan to use it for a product brand.
Ernst said that a company selling through distributors might reserve the .brand domain for its channel partners. "A company like Cisco or Motorola, which have huge distribution, could lend authority and security to a reseller who uses a .cisco or .motorola brand," he said.
Industry trade groups might apply for generic domains such as .insurance. Kanchan Mhatre, exec VP-digital brand services at Melbourne, said it would provide an extra layer of security in financial services for instance, if an association owned .bank. It would imply that a financial institution went through a vetting process to get the .bank domain name.
Another reason that a company might want to employ a .brand strategy is because it didn't get the domain name it wanted in the 1990s, when those name were first assigned. Or a company simply might want to prevent a competitor from exploiting the domain name possibilities.
"One reason they would do it is as defense," Ben Crawford, CEO of CentralNIC, an Internet registry services firm.
get the .brand buzz...
Etisalat secures top-level domain - TradeArabia.com
CentralNic Powers First New Top-Level Domains Announced by ICANN - CircleId.com
Expert view: Gavin Brown - dotnxt.com
New domain names to break grip of tech giants
The End of the Dot-Com Era? - cnbc.com
Dot-anything Web domain costs big .$$$ - cnn.com
ICANN's Domain Expansion: Why .Metallica Makes Sense - blog.forbes.com
Your .brand gTLD: hopeful registry partners go into marketing overdrive - worldtrademarkreview.com
How companies are coping with gTLD applications - managingip.com
DotBrand Solutions launches in the Middle East
DotBrand Solutions in Germany
How ICANN's Approval of New Domains Will Change the Web - mashable.com
Analysis: New Internet rules will spawn battle for "dots" - reuters.com
Forget .com, here's .coke - money.cnn.com
Experts clash on benefits of owning and managing .brand domains - v3.co.uk
Site Name Broker Preparing for Suffix Explosion
Hundreds of dot-brand domains predicted - theregister.com
New '.music' web domain worries recording industry - politico.com
Marketers debate usefulness of ICANN's new domain names - btobonline.com
Drinks firms could profit from internet expansion - just-drinks.com
ICANN Approves Custom Generic Top Level Domains - eweek.com
ICANN approves top level domain name changes - upi.com
ICANN Approves Generic Top Level Domains - enterprisenetworkingplanet.com
Here come the domains - bizmology.com
Goodbye .Com, Hello .Anything - portfolio.com
ICANN Vanity Domains: A Caution for Midmarket Firms - internetevolution.com
Top-Level Domains Will Help Web Growth & Reach - yousaytoo.com
.Branding: It's the End of the .com World as We Know It - brandchannel.com
Dot-Brand: Get those applications ready - mediapost.com
Money Radio 1510 Interviews Ben Crawford - New gTLDs: A New Era for Brands on the Internet
Are You Ready for .anything? Generic Internet Domains on the Way - pcmag.com
Ben Crawford: Why Trademark Owners Are Acquiring Their .Brand TLDs "Defensively" - blog.ud.com
A New Era for Internet Domains: Why .XXX Is Just the Beginning - mashable.com
Squawk On The Street: Has The Internet Out Grown .Com? - thedomains.com
The Big Bang in Domain Names Is Coming - The CMO Site
Here Come the .Brand Top Level Domain Names - Domain Name Wire
Introducing dot Brand Solutions - Launching Brands into a New Digital Landscape
Please direct PR enquiries to our London Headquarters on +44 20 33 88 0600 or via email at email@example.com