It's quite unprecedented, unless you compare it to Day One of the world wide web. The dot brands are coming. Billions of dollars, yuan, euros and yen will be spent on promoting myriad memorable names like:
...And the internet will never be quite the same again.
Given the identities of the powerful corporate backers, the volume of commerce that will transact on dot brand domains like these is going to be large. A name like Cloud.ibm has compelling authority and impact. It's all about the Trust. And the memorability. The rise of the intuitive .brand strings is sure to drive major growth on the internet, as individual corporations shift from operating just a handful of domains to deploying hundreds if not thousands. Over time, this future activity will almost guarantee there are meaningful alternatives to dot COM domains.
In a revealing DomainSherpa interview, Xavier Buck, chairman of EuroDNS (while personally sceptical about the generic TLDs) emphasized his belief that the dot brands would account for a massive growth in domain registrations. He speculates that this could even potentially increase total domain registrations five fold to more than one billion over the coming decade:
The interview also contains a fascinating and original use of a brand domain being contemplated by one of the world's biggest freight companies. (Visit DomainSherpa for details.)
With direct experience in advising global corporations, Xavier Buck has advised some major brands in procuring their own dot brand domains, and recounted that a high level of enthusiasm and funds were available:
It seems that a lot of very successful and wealthy business people believe in the future of the new domain strings and are backing them with barrels full of real money. Make of this what you will. Know better if you want.
Famous domain investor and visionary Frank Schilling has pontificated about the power and influence of the big brands in the context of the way in which the dot COM string assumed supremacy over all other existing domain strings in the short history of the web:
In domaining circles, the rise of the dot co string has been much written about. While .co is actually the suffix for Colombia, its shared meaning with "co" (for company or commerce) has given it much greater value from this perspective. There are now around 1.3 million dot co domains registered. The dot co registry is credited with masterful and innovative marketing to achieve this outstanding result. Whatever they spent innovating and marketing to attain such a high level of success their spend will be massively exceeded by the publicity spend of the dot brand owning giants.
These companies will spend countless millions promoting their dot brand websites. These new sites will invariably be supplementary and deferential to their existing dot COM site(s). Particularly since the next round of new gTLD applications likely won't happen for several years. The visionary dot brand companies will have a three year advantage over their slow footed rivals to establish new sales channels, brand recognition and "cool factor" superiority. And they will take advantage of this opportunity.
There are many imaginative and unprecedented ways companies, armed with their own brand domain, will be able to operate. Canon is a visionary company applying for its own extension. Canon will be able to have a dedicated site for every single product in their catalog. It will be so easy to just go to camera.canon or eos.canon if you want to buy a new camera or simply refer to the specs and support. All with the complete trust you can associate with a top brand like that. Go to Camera.canon, and you know you have arrived at a reputable, trustworthy, secure online store since you are already familiar with their reputation. Lost your manual? Go to Manual.canon.
In a Forbes article by Chris Barth, Richard Stockton speculates that every Canon camera could automatically upload photos to each camera's preconfigured .canon website!
...This is just to illustrate the imaginative possibilities and potential of the new gTLDs ...Incredible ideas that have not yet been dreamed of.
Canon believes that their new proprietary dot brand will enable great marketing and branding opportunities, unify their internet presence, and build the highest possible level of trust. Here are some of their thoughts as contained in their application document for the .canon string:
Canon. Application for the .canon TLD string.
We'll soon see sites like Hotel.hilton, Hotel.marriott and Hotel.hyatt online. Those three companies have applied for their own strings. In contrast, Sheraton is not an applicant for their own string. Yet. It isn't hard to imagine Hilton, Marriott and Hyatt spending many millions on their brand sites in the next few years to try to leverage brand recognition, sheer prestige and market share (over Sheraton) with their forthcoming proprietary domains. Sheraton could lose momentum and brand credibility over this.
If you try to visit Hotel.sheraton, you will just get an annoying error message.
UPDATE Hilton has withdrawn their application for the .hilton string. SuperMonopolies believes this is a misjudgment and they will likely re-apply in the next round.
A big blunder has to have been made by Mastercard. There is no application for that name string. No doubt arch-rival Visa will try to leverage every possible advantage from their new domains like: Rewards.visa, Travel.visa, CreditCard.visa, Emergency.visa, Shop.visa, Lost.visa, Apply.visa and many others their marketing experts will dream up. Mastercard will look old-fashioned in comparison. Visa will have around three years to exploit this advantage before Mastercard will be able to obtain their own domain and try to catch up.
Facebook hasn't applied for .facebook, yet. That seems to be a blunder, they could have issued their billion users a free dynamic domain to strengthen their loyalty: YourName.facebook
The visionary companies who have applied for their own .brand will leverage their first mover advantage to outsmart their competitors.
How much money will the following auto firms all applicants spend publicising their new brand domains?
Alfa Romeo, Bentley, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Datsun, Dodge, Ferrari, Ford, Honda, Jaguar, Lamborghini, Landrover, Lexus, Maserati, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.
Who wouldn't be tempted to visit Luxury.jaguar or Perfection.ferrari?
Many of the applications for the new domains reveal some of the strategic intentions of many of the world's leading corporations. Here is what General Electric plans to do with their impending proprietary .gecompany string:
General Electric. Application for the .gecompany gTLD string.
Concluding, there will soon be many more great reasons, temptations and rewards to visit non dot COM websites likely in a game changing way.
The significance and implications of the coming dot city domains are similar to the dot brands, so they are discussed on this page too.
The sheer scale of the new dot city strings will add to the momentum of the dot brands. Many of the world's greatest cities will operate their own, regulated domain system. Given this strict regulation, these will surely be universally perceived as highly trustworthy, not something you would say about dot com domains collectively. Backed by governments, these sites will command immediate authority.
These city spaces are likely to be shared by government agencies, councils, NGOs, utilities, services as well as a plethora of authorized and carefully verified private companies and entities. Their deployment by governments, councils, utilities and other official organizations should ensure they are widely used.
So it's entirely possible that a mixed dot city domain ecosystem, while primarily aimed at local residents, could become a significantly visited space within those large cities. Over time, more and more people will spend more and more time visiting non dot COM websites. As examples, consider two transport websites that will likely rollout in London:
While Tube.london could end up having millions of visits by Londoners each year, Heathrow.london could have millions of visitors worldwide. (London is the world's number one travel destination with around 70 million passenger transits annually.) Here is a hypothetical mixed public/private selection of possible London domains:
Any number of them could conceivably become popular websites. It's hard to predict if many government departments with long, hard to remember .gov.uk domains will dual brand their addresses with names like those above. The Super Monopolies website has no objection to the dot city strings (especially if the city authorities can figure out an equitable way of allocating their domains).
The dot city domains will help break down the near-exclusive dot com habit.
SuperMonopolies.com A hypothetical analysis of the new top level domain names coming in 2013-14.
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