Most business owners who have a website will have heard by now of the new general Top-Level Domain (gTLD) program being operated by the custodian of the internet, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).
There have already been around 170 new gTLDs delegated by ICANN since November last year and ICANN is working its way through the rest of the 870 or so which have passed evaluation or are subject to objection. The new gTLDs can be roughly sorted into three types – brand names, generic and geographic names. Many are language specific and in non-English characters.
Some of the new gTLDs that have already been delegated are .thai, .coffee, .pink and .Sydney.
Large brand owners have applied for their brand names such as .toyota and .nab and will operate these as restricted registries. Many others will be available for purchase to the general public following initial sunrise periods. These are to allow trade mark owners to get in first to register second level domains on particular gTLDs that incorporate their core marks.
If you have a business or trading name that consists of two or three words with the last being a generic term, then you should consider registering a second level domain name once the string becomes available. That way, your business name appears as your entire domain name – so if you trade as Flat Earth or Sexy Shoes now, why not look into registering www.flat.earth or www.sexy.shoes as your new domain name?
Other possibilities are presented to business owners by the chance to register a common generic or descriptive phrase such as www.2020.vision or www.power.tools. This may make sense for your business if using this phrase will be logical and easy for your customers to remember in order to find your website.
Please let us know if we can help you in developing your strategy for protection of your brand or in taking advantage of the new marketing possibilities presented by this domain name explosion. Reports of the coming death of the .com are perhaps greatly exaggerated, but as in any land grab, there are opportunities to be considered.