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DOTZON Study: Digital Company Brands 2023

DOTZON presents the sixth edition of the Digital Company Brands study. After having introduced the study in 2018, DOTZON continued to expand and enhance the underlying data to display how companies successfully use their Digital Company Brands. The Digital Company Brand is the digital dimension of a company brand and mirrors the “digitalness “of a company.

For “Digital Company Brands 2023”, all companies worldwide that have their own internet extension were once again analysed. A good 450 brands currently have their own digital company or product brand on the internet - in the form of a so-called “dotBrand”. Based on 7 KPIs, the 24,515 registered domains were analysed. The KPIs consist of quantitative values such as the number of registered domains, use for e-mail communication and the relationship between resolving and non-resolving domains, qualitative values such as search engine performance, visibility and links were were also taken into account.

Changes compared to the previous year

There have been some changes in this year’s “Digital Company Brands 2023” study, with the food retail industry dominating this year’s top rankings. The French supermarket chain Leclerc, with its .leclerc extension, took first place for the first time. It is followed by the German supermarket group Schwarz (Lidl, Kaufland) with the ending .schwarz. With .audi, only one of last year’s top three was able to take a top position.

The fifth, ninth and tenth places are taken by three newly placed company brands: French people can reach the consultants of the French financial services provider MMA under their respective names and the .mma extension, meaning that .mma is once again in the top 10. The Danish pharmaceutical company .lundbeck currently has over 250 domains under its .lundbeck extension making it fort he first time in the top 10. The digital company brand .allfinanz is represented in the top 10 for the first time, with consistently good rankings for the number of registered and resolving domains as well as domains secured with HTTPS.

The French .bnpparibas, German .dvag, Spanish .seat and US .goog and .neustar are no longer represented in the top 10 ranking of “Digital Company Brands 2023”.

Digital Company Brands Ranking 2023

1st place: .leclerc

The internet extension .leclerc was delegated on 27 February 2015. E.Leclerc is a French co-operative and supermarket chain and, after a seventh place in the previous year, is now once again in the top spot. The reason for the ranking are two second places for resolving domains and the use for e-mail. Other good rankings for visibility contribute to the top position.

2nd place: .schwarz

.schwarz was delegated on 10 December 2014. The Schwarz Group includes Lidl and Kaufland, making it the largest retail company in Europe and the fourth largest worldwide. The group uses the .schwarz extension mainly for corporate communications. Three good rankings in the criteria of new domain use and the visibility secures .schwarz the second place.

3rd place: .audi

.audi was delegated on 17 November 2015. The company uses the almost 1,700 domains under the .audi extension to provide German Audi dealers with a standardised domain for customer communication. After several first places in previous years, the German car manufacturer has secured a third place this year. The top position in the Sistrix ranking and two second places for the number of registered domains and encrypted domains have contributed to this.

4th place: .weber

.weber was delegated on 18 December 2015. Saint-Gobain Weber GmbH is a German building materials manufacturer and subsidiary of the French “Compagnie de Saint-Gobain”. Weber has improved by ten places compared to the previous year and is therefore once again represented in the top 10 ranking. This position is primarily the result of good rankings in terms of the number of resolving domains and use for e-mail.

5th place: .mma

.mma was delegated on 12 March 2015. MMA, formerly Les Mutuelles du Mans Assurances, is a French insurance group based in Le Mans. French people can reach the financial services provider’s advisors under their respective names. Therefore, the .mma extension has once again achieved a ranking in the top 10 with fifth place. The many registered domains contribute to this, as does the top position for domains used for e-mail.

6th place: .google

.google was delegated on 4 September 2014. Google initially used its own extension only very cautiously, but has increased its use in recent years. Google owes its improvement from eighth to sixth place to its good ranking in the Sistrix performance and the top position in the Tranco listing.

7th place: .abbott

The internet extension .abbott was registered on 24 July 2014. Since then, the US pharmaceutical company has been using its own extension with around 360 domains. Compared to the previous year, Abbott is now in seventh place after taking second place last year. This is due to a fifth place in the number of domains accessible with HTTPS and good positions in the Sistrix and Tranco rankings.

8th place: .cern

The .cern extension was registered on 13 August 2014 for the nuclear research institute CERN based in Switzerland. It continuously uses its own top-level domain for external communication. The institute achieved eighth place thanks to its many resolving domains, good domain visibility and HTTPS encryption.

9th place: .lundbeck

Lundbeck is a Danish pharmaceutical company based in Copenhagen. Its dotbrand .lundbeck was delegated on 13 July 2016. After a slow start with only a handful of domains in 2019, Lundbeck now operates over 250. The reason for its ninth place - 14 places better than the previous year - is its good position in the number of resolving domains. A good ranking in the number of newly used domains and domains used for email contribute to the ranking.

10th place: .allfinanz

Allfinanz Deutsche Vermögensberatung AG has been operating its dotbrand .allfinanz since 26 . September 2014. It is part of Deutsche Vermögensberatung AG (DVAG), a financial sales organisation operating in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and is one of the largest insurance distributors in Germany. The .allfinanz company brand is represented in the top 10 for the first time, following 29th place in the previous year. Good rankings for the number of registered and resolving domains as well as domains secured with HTTPS contribute to this.

Remarkable implementation & outlook

With one exception (.cern), all dotBrands in the top 10 each use over 150 domains that are visible in the digital space and in real life. In contrast, pioneers such as .axa and .barclay, which used their endings early on, did not make it into the top 10. The French banking group SNCF, which operated one of the most visible addresses with www.oui.sncf, has since been overtaken by Audi and Google, among others.

For corporate communications, the dotBrand offers many new opportunities to communicate flexibly and precisely. This could be the annual report, which has found a new home at annualreport2022.kpn or geschaeftsbericht.edeka. Also, intuitive domains such as www.brand.sandvik, www.research.sony, openscience.cern and www.corporate.epson communicate content to the point.

Other companies that have not yet applied for their own dotBrand may want to take advantage of these opportunities as well. For this reason, after application rounds for new top-level domains in 2000, 2004 and 2012, ICANN is planning on opening a new application window within the next few years. The application conditions are still being worked out but could be quite similar to those from 2012. With the new application round, every company will once again have the opportunity to apply for its own dotbrand—from start-ups to global corporations.

DOTZON is an international management consultancy for digital identities. The detailed study “Digital Company Brands 2023” is available at www.dotzon.consulting/studien (in German).

By Katrin Ohlmer, CEO DOTZON

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