Why this domain name expert has stopped talking about domain names

Why this domain name expert has stopped talking about domain names

Why this domain expert has stopped talking about domain names

By Tony Kirsch
Head of Professional Services, Neustar

I’m lucky enough to spend my working life helping some of the world’s largest brands drive their .brand TLD projects.

The excitement and the challenges of this space stem largely from the fact that this is a new innovation; and when you’re working with something truly groundbreaking, naturally there’s an element of “learning as you go.”

And I’m not afraid to admit, sometimes we get things wrong.

The more I talk to .brand owners, the more they’re teaching me where the value of .brands is.

And newsflash: it’s not in domain names.

We’re becoming more and more aware of the potential of .brands as a true disruptor in digital marketing. While on a basic level, a .brand TLD allows an organization to rethink its domain name strategy, the business and marketing impacts of this asset are much more far-reaching.

But in order to execute on this, we need to get the senior marketers and brand managers on board. 

And until now, I (and perhaps we as an industry) haven’t done a great job of that.

For many in the .brands space, the challenge of engaging internal stakeholders in .brand projects is heightened by the jargon, history and technical nature of the domain name industry.

While some technical details are of course necessary, it’s easy to lose people in the chaos of domain name language – from ICANN to gTLDs to DNS to second-level domains.

So we’re changing the conversation.

Instead of ‘domain names’, we’re realizing the power of talking about ‘improved customer experience’.
Instead of saying “you can create this new domain”, we explain how “customers can find what they want faster and more intuitively”.
Instead of talking about websites and web pages, we talk about your holistic digital presence, and the identity it conveys to your audience.

More and more, we’re finding our discussions with .brands now include senior marketers and those in charge of branding and customer experience. 

And we’re quickly discovering that the story we’ve been telling just doesn’t land with this audience…and neither should it.

Because the truth of it is, that .brands are not about domain names.

And talking about domain names to your marketing team could be what’s killing your .brand project.

I spoke about this recently in a presentation at the Global Domains Division (GDD) Summit in Spain.

It’s a message that’s resonated so strongly, we’ll continuing the discussion at an upcoming .brands webinar on June 1st – check out more information here and register to attend.

If we as an industry want to see .brands succeed, we need to speak the language of our key audience: the marketers. Not only that, but we need to recognize that the value of .brands doesn’t lie in domain names, and instead build an approach that looks holistically at marketing, branding and online identity.

My name is Tony Kirsch and I’m a domain name junkie. But the first step is acknowledging the problem – and committing to discovering a better road ahead.

GoDaddy acquired Neustar's registry business as of August 3, 2020.

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MakeWay.World is the online hub for news, resources, tips and inspiration on .brands from global dotbrand experts.

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Another future-minded .brand site from Google

Another future-minded .brand site from Google

Another future-minded .brand site from Google

By Tony Kirsch
Head of Professional Services, Neustar

Earlier this year, I wrote about the exciting launch of Google’s environment project microsite at www.environment.google. The company made a big splash in announcing its renewable energy targets, attracting widespread media coverage and drawing plenty of interest to the topic.

As I wrote at the time, the fact that an initiative of such significance to the company was being housed on a .google domain spoke volumes about the importance of the TLD to the brand’s identity – and over the last year or so they’ve expanded their use of .google with numerous other initiatives such as www.blog.google, www.design.google and www.domains.google to name just a few. 

Last week we saw another evolution of the .google namespace with the release of a new site that promotes its continued expansion into Artificial Intelligence (AI) – which was a hot topic at the recent Google I/O conference.

The site can be found (not surprisingly) at www.ai.google.

“Last week we saw another evolution of the .google namespace with the release of a new site that promotes its continued expansion into Artificial Intelligence (AI).”

Google I/O – its annual developer conference – attracts thousands of attendees each year, flocking to hear from high-profile speakers “exploring the next generation of tech”. 

At the I/O conference this year, AI technology was one of the first subjects of the keynote address, in a presentation that opened with a short film about the power of ‘an idea’.

On the www.ai.google site, Google writes that its “mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, and AI is enabling us to do that in incredible new ways – solving problems for our users, our customers, and the world.”

My slightly biased view of this is that the use of www.ai.google makes the microsite itself highly accessible and is an excellent opportunity to highlight the new technologies being promoted by Google such as Google Lens and Google Jobs in the future. 

There is no denying that Google’s scale and profile have great power in drawing attention to the .brand space, and in using its .google domain with this site it is sending a strong message – when you’re launching something new, that is important to your brand and your company, your .brand Top-Level Domain should be a part of the equation.

GoDaddy acquired Neustar's registry business as of August 3, 2020.

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www.crushology.sandvik

www.crushology.sandvik

www.crushology.sandvik

Sandvik has created a microsite with resources related to quarrying, presenting its idea of ‘Crushology’, a scientific approach based on its experiences in this field.

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www.annualreport.sandvik

www.annualreport.sandvik

www.annualreport.sandvik

Sandvik has created an easy-to-read digest version of its annual report and presented this, along with access details for the full report, on a new microsite on its .brand domain.

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www.developer.nab

www.developer.nab

www.developer.nab

The National Australia Bank (NAB) has opened its APIs for developers to access, in order to “empower developers to create the next generation of innovative customer experiences.”

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MakeWay.World is the online hub for news, resources, tips and inspiration on .brands from global dotbrand experts.

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