The New Face of Global Branding: Evaluating gTLD Names

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ADOTAS – Based on the rules of naming and corporate nomenclature, my company, ABC Namebank, has applied its Name Evaluation Process to the entire list of 1,930 proposed ICAAN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) generic top-level domain (gTLD) names. Today, the finding on 542 English dictionary-based generic names, the most volatile and contested section of the entire list, is being released. This individual name-by-name evaluation process involves 10 key steps, such as assessing a name’s ease of use and recall based on its inherited alpha-structure, or its marketability if the name communicates single or multiple messages. Longevity assesses whether the name appears to have brandable values and also entices ownership by end users. “Stretchability” assesses whether the name appears to have elasticity to arch into other markets. Registrability issues were considered — although generic names are not trademark-able, some are even more diluted in varied terms, causing communication difficulties. Such stringent analysis and reviews can predict the performance and longevity of a name.

The 542 generic names were evaluated in each separate, multi-layered process, and the findings were grouped indicating their name trajectory in three key areas:

Safe Journey: Highly suitable names, where the name appears capable of delivering a clear message associated with the purpose, is easy to work with and posseses stretchability into expanding markets. 323 names, or 60 percent

Bumpy Roads: Moderately suitable names, where the name appears only capable of delivering its objective to a limited market and may impose a series of limitations. 49 names, or 9 percent

Lost in the Jungle: Unsuitable names, where the name appears to lack clarity and requires constant explanation to avoid confusion with other issues. 168 Names, or 30 percent



The results of single gTLD name evaluations were not made public.

Not all proposed names will be successful, as is always the case. Naming for success of any idea of any size, anywhere in the world, has become a very intricate maneuver. Despite all the technical brilliance behind the internet and communication archery behind the gTLDs, at the end of the day, a gTLD is a name. To the 2 billion (and rising) end users, it’s simply a name, something worth remembering, typing, referring, chit-chatting about or yelling. Any gTLD of any size, type or style anywhere in the world will only be struggling to climb the “tower of names,” will always hungry for visibility and therefore always subjected to corporate nomenclature and rules of naming. Hence it’s the alpha-structure that will decide its trajectory under a required protection umbrella. As all names are not created equal, the winners and losers are found lined up in different queues.

The ICANN gTLD naming topic is already very complex, and when aligned with marketing domination via name identity, it immediately creates fire. It’s also very naïve to see all this from a single vantage point, and unless one forms circles of highly qualified and multidisciplinary teams with passion and empathy, the topic will become stuck in rhetoric and the entanglements of half-knowledge.

The bottom line is, the domain name expansion is unstoppable, the global hunger for brand name visibility is irresistible and the clash of the two is now inevitable. We are at a serious crossroads and must discover the “tower of names” along with the global naming complexities while peeking at the upper stratosphere of super name identities. The right generic-name gTLDs are poised to do very well.

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