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gTLDs: Rebellion at the Dotcom Kingdom

Written on
Feb 3, 2014 
Author
Naseem Javed  |

ADOTAS – Since the invention of the Internet, suddenly the word ‘dot com’ became the single most powerful word of the century. It has been relentlessly promoted by hundreds of millions of businesses worldwide as their most cherished dotcom web address. It has been typed, uttered and chatted hundreds of millions of times each and every day, year after year. No other word could claim such usage in the daily activities amongst the populace of global e-commerce. The success of this suffix is also reflected in the sale of 120 million plus dotcom domain names worldwide, ensuring its 99% image supremacy in the global market place as the most powerful and credible suffix of all times to date. But now there is a grand rebellion at the dotcom kingdom.

Starting January 2014, ICANN, the governing body of the Internet started rolling out a fresh new army of some 1500 new “generic top level domain” suffixes called gTLDs the likes of .wine and .cheese to .rockets and .stones. These new suffixes will start flexing their muscle at each other and start a fresh new domain spring. The entire list can be viewed at www.icann.org .This revolutionary and rebellious force is poised to change the landscape of global ecommerce and bring colorful collage of zillions of new name identities. As a disruptive force, it will lead a new age of global domain name usage and alter the corporate nomenclature scene forever. Just like the first shockwave decades ago when the Internet brought a new twist to global corporate communications and introduced brand new elements to business models.

The excitement and intensity of this topic is being discussed in simple and non-technical language in Dubai on March 12, 2014.

Example, the owners of the gTLD dot loan will let the public choose like easy.loan, small.loan, business.loan, dubai.loan etc.  Now imagine thousands of such new name brands times the 1500 master roots. An amazing new picture emerges. Equally this threatens the old fashioned or long and dysfunctional brand identities.

Unlike the early start of domain name which grew slowly over years and later suddenly caught fire, here a massive influx of new game changers will blanket all over the world almost overnight. The question of the day will be ‘what’s your name identity’ and how can you prove if it will successfully skate in all directions in the maze of global digital highways. The answers will make direct impact on the value of the organization.  Any name-combination lacking luster or incapable to swing from platform to platform will be left behind. Remember at the dawn of internet those companies which resisted domain names, websites, emails and e-commerce simply faded away.

The selection of your corporate nomenclature will define, whether you are in the race for a win or lost somewhere in between the cracks. The powers of your customer acquisition technology based on nomenclature and cyber savvy skills will determine your image supremacy in the market place. The complexity of digital mazes and endless bandwidths will make last century names almost obsolete. Global marketing and branding will be shifted from logo-slogan to domain name centricity. Long and twisted names will be replaced by cute and simple, easy to type and remember name identities. A new age of post social media and branding will also emerge.

The Dotcom Empire will retain its luster. The reputation of top quality dotcom domain names will increase in power and stature as they will clearly stand out in the new jungle. The highest mortality will be the longest names, where tens of millions of dotcoms are currently gasping; Long or meaningless names like ‘thebestsilkontheplanet.com’ will be simply replaced by silk.nyc or silk.shop. thebestusedcardealsindubai.com will become cars.dubai or used.cars Such simple solutions will become overnight darlings to the public at large all over the world. The numbers of new dotcoms purchases and renewals of existing names both will sharply decline in favor of new options. Good and meaningful dotcom names will remain the high quality bench mark domain names while new gTLDs will provide newer styles naming options to divert traffic.

The Beneficiaries

  • The Number Game: Any good new gTLD will attract tens of thousands or millions of new users to allow cheap new entry into the global cyber space where dotcoms were either unavailable or too expensive to buy. Based on the mathematical progression models some 100 million new dot names extensions can emerge suddenly and create an exotic name identity explosion.
  • The Power Game: There are power brands and they have purchased their own names as a suffix, like Canon acquired dot-canon and such players will have a distinct advantage over competitors as they will flex their muscle and try out new frontiers. Others who missed may have to wait further 3-5 years when the next window of applications reopens. Hundreds of generic and dictionary words like dot cake, or dot shoes will the most powerful trading hotspots all over the world. Some 50 City brands like dot dubai and dot paris will create their own amazing landscape to support their local populations and showcase their global cyber access and city-branding stature.
  • The SME Game: There are some 100 million Small Medium Enterprises all over the world, which never had the real opportunity to secure high value dotcoms and create cute and simple name brands, now suddenly they can doodle to their hearts content and secure right name combinations to serve their needs. The power of such grass roots movement will make impact on global trade and distribution. A boom to SME and equally an opportune time for the giants with hundreds of names already in use to get their nomenclature issues sorted out. The surge of additional domain names will reflect in billions of new web pages and additional tactical needs for search engines queries. The mega brands will have their work cut out, locked into old fashioned names they will have to make major adjustments; evaluate, modify or change the name to deal with new millennium issues. The new age knowledge on the marketing and branding will become a serious qualification issue.

 

The Enemies

  • The Fear Factor: Right from the start, the advertising agencies of the world declared war on the entire gTLD domain name expansion and rejected the model with full opposition. Despite the fact that they were situated in the best place to take the lead and advance the new age digital movement but their fears originated by the dramatic shifts from logo-slogan centricity to high level corporate nomenclature. The global trademark practitioners also took a back seat and feared about the exaggerated trademark confusions.
  • The Greed Factor: When there are open registration policies, there are always abuse of freedom and cybersquatting and frauds happen. The cyber-squatters wishing to snatch names in advance and later sell to highest bidders while defense registration services offering advance layers of domain name registrations as protection have found this a great long term revenue streams with captive markets.
  • The Image Factor: A good name is a good name and can be proven within seconds but a bad name is not a bad name in the eyes of the beholder and therefore opens to subjective preferences. The owners of bad names refuse the see the customer’s point of view. The worlds of rusty and old names dominate the global businesses today. With massive digitalization such names are now increasingly becoming useless; companies, branding agencies and trademark agents are often in denial and insist on protecting the old legacies and remains of the name equity. Close to 90% of all the names in global use either as big or small brand name identities will eventually have to evaluate their name power and marketing logic to cope with these new frontiers.

The Adjustments

  • Understanding Naming Expertise: Decades ago any name would work, not any longer. Years ago you would pick a name over a chit-chat, hear-say or over a BBQ but not any longer. There are extremely complex issues that require solid experience and well defined formal expertise to open any discussion on naming. For worthy project globally workable able names are mandatory or else the company spends most of its time in dodging issues and losing cash. Naming expertise is no secret, just requires hard work and formal training like any other serious skill. Know the difference and become a global naming expert fast.
  • Understanding Name Ownership: All top names are owned as assets and can be proven in few seconds. Majority of names for being highly diluted, identical or confusing are not owned and used by millions under an illusion of self-claimed ownership. Currently there are 100 top heavily diluted names like United, National or Premier that are being used by some 100 million businesses all over the world. Study the issue in depth and figure out the reasons of such waste. Evaluate your true ownership of your name identities.
  • Understanding Naming: So long any one can name, learn to identify the difference between professional and amateurish naming, learn the various methodologies and types and styles of naming, create a formal balanced logical approach and eliminate widely random name selection exercises. Seek out the best articles from the thousands on the Internet and study few books. Lead the teams and create iconic naming and follow the five star standard of naming. All of this can be done as the future of your name identity and its image presence depends on it.
  • Understanding Aftermarket Boom: Seek out expertise on the styles and structuring of name roots that will create special face-book type social clubs of particular gTLD name holders as this area alone will become a wave of engaging selected and captive audiences.  Seek out specialized help and become an expert in post-gTLD aftermarket boom. The sudden emergence of new services, options and new iconic name identities will get a lot of attention.




Naseem Javed is the author of "Image Supremacy" and founder of ABC Namebank.

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