Thoughts on the gTLD Aftermarket Boom

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ADOTAS – What does June 13, 2012 tells us? Domain name expansion is a big game-changer, and marketers of the world will have to come to terms with their love and/or hate relationship with ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and equally make room for domain registries, registrars and ICANN, as they too will call the shots on global name branding and influencing intellectual property assets. The top brass of the advertising/branding agencies of the world will have some explainingto do about what happened to their fear-mongering and whether it ever justified. All corporate communications and business development practitioners will have to quickly learn the new skills and terms of the new trade to speak intelligently on the topic.

To cope with the new issues, a higher level of tactical education is charging toward global branding knowledge as a prerequisite to name identity domination over sleepy brands, while the aftermarket boom will not only start massive domain name multiplication — it will also start selective replication of new brands cascading toward “glocalized” customer touchpoints.

The game changers have landed, and here is the checklist for the key players.

The Big Name Identity Owners:

What were the main reasons for their teams to miss the gTLD train?
What will they teach their teams now to prepare them for next time?
What are the new types of marketing threats and possible safeguards against them?
How solid are their name identities, and how are they structured for what platform?

The Dot Brand Applicants:

What progressive gTLD name branding patterns they have planned for success?
What style and shape will their name identity take down the road, and why?
What level of selling and pricing structures will be the right balance and why?
Will their names grow or shrink in time, and how do they prepare for name dilution?

The Dot Generic Applicants:

What’s the right price for their cherished name identity in an auction?
What is the right selling price of their subdomain names, and why?
What are the best models to create powerful generic name brands?
What are new ways to promote generic names in a trademarked world?

The Dot Destination Applicants:

When and how will this become the next big agenda item in Mayoralty elections?
How will they mobilize their communities to share the destination branding process?
What level of scrutiny will be required to not to create their own internal trademark battles?
What are the nomenclature secrets to ensure high value of the destination brand?

The Domain Registries:

What level of marketing and name branding proficiencies are now offered by their firms?
What level of educational support will they offer to an ever-expanding customer base?
When and how do they fully engage as name branding powerbrokers?
Will too many GTLDs and too many sub-domain issues confuse your marketing?

The Domain Registrars:

What level of value added services will be offered to customers in a complex aftermarket?
What level of corporate nomenclature issues will their frontlines be able to handle?
How far will they play on assisting name identity domination versus cyber-squatting?
Where are new levels of profitability hidden in the aftermarket complexities?

The Global Domain-ers:

What are the new guidelines when domain prices become totally unpredictable?
How do you create new winners and how do you safeguard old established domain properties?
How do you measure the impact of gTLDs on the upper end of the dot-com kingdom?
What will be the new expectations be by en users about gTLD domains and sub-brands?

The Trademark Law Firms:

How many of your big clients missed the gTLD train and why?
What level of name-centric education are you offering to the applicants and prospects?
Have they declared their position and come to terms with trademark conflicts and squatting?
Have they identified the vast aftermarket opportunities for their firms?

The Branding & Advertising Agencies:

Have they decided to project positive messages with expertise on gTLD naming matters?
What can you demonstrate to align their customer base for the next round?
What level of internal education is being carried out on global naming complexities?
Have they identified the immense new business opportunities around gTLDs yet?

The Corporate World

Have they figured out what just happened and do they have qualified people to explain all this?
Are they ready to face their love/hate relationship with ICANN and its consequences?
Have they identified the internal beneficiaries of the “don’t rock the naming boat” syndrome?
Are they aware of the name-centric applications and market domination via name identity?

The ICANN World:

When will million-dollar operation, operate like million-dollar operations? When will $350 million operations behave as such?
How do you to cope with tough naming questions and keep applicants happy?
How and when do you announce the next window a with simplified process?
How do you take charge of global confusion on the internet’s ownership?

Recommendations:

Each player has to position itself with the right trajectory to capture the market, the right knowledge, while skilled teams should bring the biggest bang. The naming game has advanced; intellectual prowess would be more in demand than fancy decorum, global knowledge would be more critical than myopia. At the end the gTLD is all about naming and how are they stretched over the global canvass. The ICANN gTLD 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 single vantage point of view and unless one forms circles of highly qualified and multidisciplinary teams with passion and empathy the topic will get stuck in rhetoric and the entanglements of half knowledge.

Discover the fastest way to become an expert on some of the key topics and assemble the right team to cover for the missing links. Address these issues in the boardroom only when certain level of knowledge base has already been passed on. Be bold enough to recognize and identify half-knowledge champions before they kindle their own bonfires. Adjust rapidly and move forward or be prepared to get pushed aside. The game changers will take over.

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