Recently introduced, brand top level domains (TLDs) offer a range of opportunities for brands. Here are some of the potential benefits of brand TLDs...

Trust

A brand has complete control over who uses the .brand part of the domain. 

Customers would therefore know that any .brand is authorised and is not an inappropriate person or some phishing site. 

I can see this becoming very signifcant for the finance sector, for example, as it would reduce the risk of phishing. 

Personalisation

Many brands do not use content targeting; i.e. the same pages are shown to all.

There are a variety of ways in which a Brand TLD could assist the personalisation of people’s brand experience.

Running a top-level domain means the brand has complete control and authority to offer a variety of services:

  • The brand could offer opportunities for personal brand presences for its users with a ‘my.brand’ initiative e.g., Martintalks.brand
  • Personal emails could be linked to the Brand TLD e.g. martin@loves.brand

A note of caution should be sounded about a potentially negative impact on trust and search engine relevancy. If wide authority is given to users to have brand web presences they could abuse that right. 

Branding

Top-level domains such as .com, .co or .net are fairly meaningless to a brand.

Previously there used to be only 22 TLDs and around 250 country top-level domains such as .jp, but now gTLDs will become increasingly meaningless as thousands are released.

As a customer, knowing what toplevel domain to use will become increasingly difficult, as there will be so many choices.

Overall, .brand does present an easily understandable and clearly branded experience.

Ownership

Owning a Brand TLD will allow a brand to manage its own TLD rather than be a part of a large, generic group owned by someone else, such as a .com or one of the many new gTLDs like .club.

This gives a brand control in a number of ways:

  • All second level domains under the .brand must be approved by the brand.
  • Any attempt by an unauthorised company to use the Brand TLD can be blocked.
  • Any user of a .brand who breaches the brand’s terms of use can have the permission revoked by the brand and their website switched off without going to court and without delay.
  • Managing a brand’s own TLD means content about or created by the brand, its suppliers and affiliates will be protected by even greater security.

Data gathering

Data gathering is increasingly recognised as an important component of business, and owning domains allows businesses to gather their own data directly.

A Brand TLD will enable the brand to gather specific data on each second level domain it may grant, even if that domain is run by a third party partner.

It could also fix some of the data issues that are commonly experienced. Broken user journeys are often caused by lack of joined-up data from client to web.

Graham Charlton

Published 12 March, 2015 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

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