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Don’t Confuse Brand and Category-Label New gTLDs

The domain name industry gets brand and label confused. A brand sums up what makes a company unique to its customers. A label tells what category a company goes in; it sums up what the product has in common with other products of that type. Sedan and SUV are category labels; Volvo is a brand, one that means safety to customers. Similarly Tesla Motors has its distinctive “Tesla” brand, but it introduces products to its users as “electric vehicles.”

Another way of saying the above: generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) are indeed generic. New gTLD registries have marketed new gTLDs as innovative branding tools. But .club, .green, and .bank—to name a few—are not brands. Neither is .Berlin or .London. By marketing labels as brands, you are forgoing a key strategy, that of building a customer relationship that is distinctive and genuine.

Your brand can take in many labels. For instance, Amazon’s brand gets a lot of mileage from a roster of labels such as .book, .buy and .spot. Nevertheless, it had applied for a number other new gTLDs, including .app and .cloud but was outbid by others.

The key is that each label must provide a clear product message. Avoid clutter. Companies in emerging markets may be better off by initially selecting multiple labels, as evidence from new entrants to the nanotechnology industry suggests. For example, a company can position itself in “micro-fluids,” “nano-biology,” and “nanotechnology,” drawing customers under each heading. And most companies can hedge their bets by going multiple. Companies that adopt gTLDs that later lose appeal and/or are abandoned will incur additional losses. Thus, label diversification can be value creating.

In the second round of new gTLDs, picking future emerging dominant labels and brand competitors to .com will be a lucrative investment, albeit at a higher risk.

By Alex Tajirian, CEO at DomainMart

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Alex,I see this a bit different:First you Dirk Krischenowski  –  Mar 12, 2015 9:50 AM


I see this a bit different:

First you cannot mix .club or .green with .berlin or .nyc since the city names are already very strong brands while most generic words are not.

Second the city names are more like in your Amazon example. Amazon may run Amazon Prime or Amazon Movies. The same may apply to city brands. For instance the city of London has extended its branding of the term LONDON (font, colors) by putting just a dot in front of the brand. Understandably in the digital sphere LONDON has become .LONDON. Most cities are much behind the LONDON example but I guess that will change over time, as the advantages of this are striking.

To visualize it, just visit http://www.londonandpartners.com and http://www.dotlondondomains.london


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