In today’s post, we’ll begin discussing some of the benefits of applying for and owning a branded gTLD. Thursday and Friday’s posts will cover risks.

BENEFITS OF OWNING A BRANDED GTLD

The ability to operate and control a branded space online.
New gTLDs will open up the space to the “right of the dot” in web addresses, meaning companies will have the opportunity to use fully-branded domain names. Owning the right of the dot means brands have full control over what appears at the left of the dot, or what is known as the second level. Brands can create whatever second-level domains they desire, without having to worry about whether or not it is already owned. For example, in the current domain name space, an auto manufacturer cannot register the domain Cars.com because it is already taken. But with new gTLDs, brands like Ford, Chevy, Mercedes and BMW can all own their own version of the “cars” domain: Cars.Ford, Cars.Chevy, Cars.Mercedes and Cars.BMW.

The ability to keep up with the digital Joneses.
Owning a branded gTLD will help brands keep up with competitors who pursue their own gTLD, and not fall behind. If, for example, Coca-Cola applies for .COKE and starts promoting domain names like Happiness.Coke, Refresh.Coke and Rewards.Coke, Pepsi could seem digitally old-fashioned in the eyes of Internet users if it sticks to Pepsi.com. Since ICANN has not announced when, or even if, it will hold a second application round, many brand owners will feel forced to apply in the first round in order to not be left behind. Owning a branded gTLD can also provide brands with the advantage of “future-proofing” their brands: in the event that new technologies and marketing innovations develop, brands will already have the framework in place to benefit from them.

The application process will be (relatively) pain free.
Anyone who has perused through the ICANN’s New gTLD Applicant Guidebook knows that completing and submitting a new gTLD application will be no walk in the park. However, applications for a closed-registry, branded gTLD will be among the easiest, cheapest and least objectionable applications submitted to ICANN, and will likely have a relatively simple time going through approval procedures so long as they are expertly prepared and filed.

These are just a few of the benefits brand owners can extract from branded gTLDs. Click here to read “Part 2: More Benefits”.

Josh Bourne

Josh Bourne

Managing Partner at FairWinds Partners
A Managing Partner for the business, Josh draws on his experience with brands and blogs on business solutions for the domain name space.
Josh Bourne
The Ups and Downs of Owning a .BRAND gTLD, Part 1: Benefits