New gTLDs and What They Mean To Brand Holders!
Fueling the Internet’s next big boom.
As most everyone involved in the Intellectual Property and Domain Name Industry already know, in June 2011, ICANN approved the long awaited new gTLD fast-track program, officially launching a global program designed to allow anyone to create a new top level domain name extension. The policy was widely supported by the domain name community but harshly criticized by the trademark and IP community.
According to ICANN, “the program’s goals include enhancing competition and consumer choice, and enabling the benefits of innovation via the introduction of new gTLDs, including both ASCII and internationalized domain name (IDN) top-level domains.”
What does this all mean to you?
The new gTLD program creates many opportunities for brand holders to utilize the Internet and domain name system in a very unique and positive way. New .BRAND extensions can be created and used in numerous ways by companies to create new marketing channels and ways to connect and identify with consumers. The program allows these companies to carve out a new space representing their mark online.
The new gTLD program is not only for brand holders however. The community has seen an influx of many special interest groups as well as savvy entrepreneurs looking to cash in on this historical chapter of the Internet. Just as new TLDs .NET, .INFO, .BIZ, .PRO, .TRAVEL, and .XXX were introduced in the past by for-profit groups looking to develop the next .COM success, we will certainly see a new wave of top level domains aimed at scoring big with the general internet global audience.
The application window has recently been closed by ICANN on April 20thand the list of applicants and newly applied for extensions has not been released to the general public yet, however, industry estimates put the list of new extensions near 1,500 with about 2/3 of those being private .BRAND applications which most likely will not be available to the general public.
If you are a brand-holder and applied for your .BRAND, that’s great, but that’s only half of the story. What about all of those new gTLDs that will be available to the public?
It’s been widely publicized and promoted within the domain industry that applications have been submitted for new extensions such as .WEB, .SHOP, .GREEN, .AFRICA, .HOTEL, .PORN, .ADULT and many more. While many of these new domain name offerings may have strict application policies limited to specific groups of users (for example, hotel operators for .HOTEL, the adult industry or prior .XXX registrants for .PORN), many of these new gTLDs will provide the opportunity for anyone to register – with no restrictions – just like a .COM.
This creates some obvious challenges for brand and trademark holders.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is my brand’s reputation online a top priority?
- Does my company have a global business presence or are in the process of building one?
- Has my company had issues with cyber-squatting or counterfeit goods sold online?
- Is a major portion of my company’s brand awareness focused on the Internet or social media?
- Do the majority of my sales or customers originate on the Internet?
- Am I afraid of someone out there scooping up our brand names in these new domain spaces?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, then you probably have a very focused online brand protection strategy with your domain name portfolio.
It may be very proactive – registering everything you can get your hands on; or it may be conservative and reactive – only focusing on the countries and extensions you actually use in the places you do business and dealing with problems as they come up.
If you answered yes to the questions above, and you don’t have a strategy in place, you need one. Don’t wait until you have a problem to start working on your portfolio.
How can 101domain’s Brand Protection Services help you?
101domain has been helping major brand owners across the globe tackle these questions and the challenges that come with them for years. Our client strategies range from the aggressive – registering thousands of domain names in every TLD available worldwide – to conservative approaches – registering only domains that will be used and employing robust monitoring tools to keep an eye on the rest. We work with our clients to determine the best fit for their businesses.
This will be no different with the wave of new gTLDs about to hit us in 2013.
As an accredited registrar in nearly 120 countries worldwide, 101domain offers nearly every domain extension under the sun – gTLDs, ccTLDs, Internationalized Domain Names (IDNs), and of course, all the new gTLDs that will soon be available to the public.
Unlike much of the competition, we don’t charge a premium for “premium account management”, dedicated account managers, or simple DNS updates to your domain names. We let you access as much or as little as you prefer with your domain portfolio and we’re always just a phone call away when you need us.
Our dedicated account managers are there to serve you and offer the widest access to domain names and monitoring solutions found anywhere at prices that businesses of all sized can afford.
Talk to us today and let us show you how we can help you. Don’t wait until it’s too late!