ADOTAS – The cocooned gTLD (generic top-level domain name) has started to spread its wings — soon it will show its color and become a butterfly. The well-guarded, fuzzy and slow progress has finally put some real power in the most anticipated metamorphosis, but the world still awaits some flying maneuvers. Mother ICANN has worked very hard to come to this stage.
It seems that mainstream global brands, their leading ad agencies, major laws firms protecting their complex intellectual property portfolios and creative services need to come forward and share in the showdown. So far the coyest debate and borderline fear-mongering — mostly about a flood of squatting, trademark defense posturing — need a head-on collision with factual issues of name identity marketability and suitability by gTLDs. The markets need point by point clarity to settle the confusion.
The conference events on gTLD have started and that’s excellent, but they have to build momentum and higher frequency as the world is a very large stage and a few gatherings of the same people speaking about the same topics will not make a dent. After the big announcement by ICANN in June, followed by a few thousand news items, the web has have gone quiet while corporations and senior management worldwide have no idea what will happen.
A quick survey of top senior marketing executives in North America by AARM points to “only 2% executives having some very limited or somewhat confusing ideas without any reasonable understanding of what a gTLD is all about.” The current buzz in the Internet columns, blogs and media is that it’s an $187,000 money grab, a threat to mega-trademarks and a move that will lead to a flood cyber-squatting. How wrong.
On the legal front, IBLS also did some research and found that legal practitioners trying hard to find simple approach to connect potential customers with highly suitable gTLD opportunities but missing out on any serious response. On the global naming complexities of branding, AZNA is also providing Executive Intelligence Briefings on such matters.
The lack of understanding on gTLD from the corporate world is the main problem. By and large, a very small group within the Internet technocrats and ICANN-related services, domainers playing with the domain after-markets and domain name registries that deal with highly competitive pricing for basic domain name registrations are all positively engaged.
The sum total of all these people if measured in tens of thousands is still an insignificant number for this serious global marketing issue poised to get the attention of hundreds of millions of businesses out there.
How fast will this cocoon hatch, how soon will it spread its wings and show off its real colors? It all depends on the spot lighted fast track orientation and, most important, when gTLD based models would demonstrate real global cyber-branding and create new image expansion opportunities.
The biggest surprise for the corporate world will be the sudden realization that there is no more room to file or their dream names have already been taken as the window for the first round closes. For the certain players, these will be big shocks and very major marketing setbacks.