No More .com – Brand Your Own Domain Name
ICANN, the body that coordinates Internet names, has approved one of the biggest changes ever to the Internet’s domain name system. The change will allow companies/brands to own their own name after the dot—rather than using .com or .org. Effective January 12, 2012, companies will be able to create URLs with a branded touch, such as .nike, .mtv, or .newyork.
This is a huge opportunity for brands to gain more control over their online presence. From a marketing perspective, owning your own generic top-level domain (gTLD) will:
-Send visitors more directly to parts of your website
-Eliminate confusion with common URLs
-Allow you to join sub-brands under one umbrella domain name (i.e. instead of ford.com/cars/mustang, brands can simplify with: mustang.ford)
-Make it harder for counterfeiters, phishers and scammers to take your brand (i.e. it’s only Bank of America if it says .bankofamerica)
-Eliminate the issue of choosing a domain name that isn’t taken for a promotion or new product. (i.e. if Nike has a new shoe called Fast Treads, they don’t need fasttreads.com, they can use fasttreads.nike)
-Make every domain name available (if you own the gTLD)
In order to secure your own gTLD:
-Cost will be $185,000 per application
-Organizations/companies/individuals will have to show legitimate claim to the name
-Applications will be accepted from January 12, 2012 to April 12, 2012
We realize that this branding opportunity may not be an option for all companies or brands, but we predict that the cost will decrease in the future, making this option a reality for more small and mid-size businesses.