What Microsoft’s Cole Quinn aspires to as President of the Brand Registry Group

What Microsoft’s Cole Quinn aspires to as President of the Brand Registry Group

What Microsoft’s Cole Quinn aspires to as President of the Brand Registry Group

By Tony Kirsch
Head of Professional Services, Neustar

If you’ve read my blogs, followed my Twitter, or even come within earshot of me over the last couple of years, you’ll know I love to talk about .brands.

So it thrills me when I meet someone who is as passionate and as willing as I am to talk all things branded domains.

cole quinn microsoft brand registry groupCole Quinn is the Senior Program Manager, Corporate Domains, TLDs and DNS at Microsoft, overseeing its eight .brand TLDs including .microsoft, .skype and .xbox. On top of this, he’s also recently taken the reins of the Brand Registry Group (BRG), as its newly-appointed President and Chairman.

(Disclaimer: I am also a member of the BRG’s Board of Directors and its Secretary, in my capacity representing our .brand TLD, .neustar)

I caught up with Cole to chat about the BRG’s history and how it is working every day to advocate for brand TLDs. Stay tuned for a future piece where Cole and I go into more detail on the benefits of .brands and why more organizations should be taking advantage of these assets.

Tony Kirsch: Can you give us a little history of the Brand Registry Group?

Cole Quinn: The BRG was formed in 2013 when a number of major corporations foresaw the need to work collaboratively within the domain industry to support the specific requirements and needs of brands arising through the new TLD application process.

Since then, we’ve grown to about 40 members representing over 70 new TLDs. These members come from around the globe – roughly half from Europe, a third from North America and about a fifth from Asia. In addition to our regular members, we’ve created an Associate Member status for those companies that don’t have their .brand TLD yet but intend to apply for one in the next round.

The requirements to become a BRG member are pretty straightforward; our members all have a trademark that matches their TLD and have no intention to sell the domains to the public. In addition, our members’ main operational interest is outside the domain name industry. This was a really important characteristic when forming the BRG bylaws, as the organization felt it was important to carve out a space in the industry that would be representative of our common interests while also avoiding contention with those that have other vested interests.

skyscraper building against night sky with neon pink lights

TK: What are the major benefits for brands in joining the BRG?

CQ: The BRG’s purpose is to support the collective interests of the members and help them drive maximum value from their .brand TLD investment. We do this in two main ways; advocating for our members within the ICANN community, and informing and educating our members so they feel confident and able to engage with their own organizations.

In terms of advocacy, it’s vital that we provide a collective voice. It’s not just Neustar, or Microsoft, or BMW or any other individual brand. The things we do carry more gravity and momentum when we do them as a group. Our members can have as much or as little engagement in the BRG’s activities as they wish individually, but we’ll continue to deliver value, provide insights and advocate for their collective interests even if they don’t have the cycles to participate as much as some others might.

Informing and educating is also really important. The world of ICANN can be difficult to navigate if you’re not used to it – and many of our members aren’t. We essentially provide a set of quick guides to explain the basics of what’s required from .brand TLDs. Even if members outsource parts of their operations, we want to help them understand what’s always going to be required of them as a Registry Operator, and share best practices for managing those accountabilities.

For the individuals that are part of the BRG, this also helps elevate them within their own organization by making them the subject matter expert and empowers them to engage with internal leadership to help develop strategy.

world globe showing africa and europe

TK: What are the main priorities on the BRG’s agenda at present?

CQ: We have two key categories of activity we’re focused on currently – policy development, and Registry operations and best practices.

Policy development is vital and is essentially where the BRG evolved from – for example, I don’t believe Specification 13 would even exist without the BRG’s lobbying for the different business models associated with .brand TLDs. Now, we’re acting as a voice for .brands on issues that impact .brands differently, such as CZDS/zone file access requests. It’s important we have discussions around how brands can comply with ICANN’s requirements without creating commercial risk, such as having to divulge domains created during pre-marketing/pre-launch activities.

In terms of .brand Registry operations, as we move further away from the new TLD application process and companies are looking to activate or operationalize their TLDs, it becomes apparent that we need to develop best practices and share our learnings. For example, we’ve developed a condensed quick guide to help brands develop their understanding of their Registry Agreement. We’ve also collaborated with the ICANN Global Domains Division to produce a Registry Operations handbook, which is a very helpful navigational document for .brand Registry Operators.  Ultimately, we aim to provide guidance and promote a conversational community where our members can easily understand and fulfill their role as a Registry, and learn from others so we don’t all experience the same painful challenges without the benefit of lessons learned and continual improvement.

TK: You’ve recently become the President of the BRG. What are you hoping to achieve under your leadership?

CQ: There are a number of initiatives on my radar but one significant one is to continue focusing on and increasing inclusivity in the BRG. This underscores our values as a group, and it has struck me that there are organizations that may have missed the first round of TLD applications due to a lack of awareness or lack of business modeling. There are a lot of underserved regions, particularly in the global south – so I’m steering our membership development conversations in a direction that intentionally considers those people and organizations.

We need to figure out how to get in front of these groups, how to present the .brand community to them, and how to qualify them – all within the finite resources of our organization. BRG members are all volunteers with day jobs, so we need to be smart with our time and resources.

It’s tough work, but it’s exciting to me when I think of breaking out of the ICANN ‘establishment’ and finding new businesses that might be able to leverage their .brand TLD in the next round.

graffiti in gothic font reading 'together we create'

Cole is a passionate, considered and well-informed advocate in the .brands space and a great fit for the BRG. As a member of the BRG Board of Directors myself, I find it deeply valuable to hear his insights on how we as an organization can better represent, support and promote .brands as a whole – and how our group should evolve alongside the industry in which we operate.

Anyone interested in more information on the Brand Registry Group can visit the website at brandregistrygroup.org, or feel free to reach out to me directly – I’d be more than happy to discuss how BRG membership can support your company.

Cole and I spoke at length about .brands and the enormous potential he sees for organizations to make a meaningful, long-term investment in their digital brand through these assets. Stay tuned for the next installment of my chat with Cole where we delve further into this topic.

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About MakeWay.World


The digital landscape has changed, and disruption is no longer just for startups. In today’s increasingly cluttered market, some of the world’s biggest organizations are turning the tables on digital and taking back control of their brand. A .brand Top-Level Domain creates new pathways to forge stronger connections with your customers. With your company or brand name to the right of the dot, you gain an unprecedented level of control, flexibility, and security for your digital presence – in addition to endless new possibilities for creativity and innovation. Make way for branding that cuts through the clutter. Make way for better customer experiences and real, meaningful connections. Make way for a new evolution in digital. Make way world, for the digital superbrand. MakeWay.World is the online hub for news, resources, tips and inspiration on .brands. Whichever direction your .brand takes you, MakeWay.World provides the insight and guidance to get you there.

Get in touch


We are commited to providing the latest information regarding .brand TLDs and any interesting news around Registry solutions for brands. If you have a story or press release to share, an update for our Showcase, or questions about anything on the site, please contact us at dotbrands@registry.neustar

Copyright ©2016 Neustar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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.brands Spotlight: DVAG

.brands Spotlight: DVAG

.brands Spotlight: DVAG

The .brands Spotlight series takes a deep-dive into interesting facets of the .brands space, looking at Stats Hub data to find insights about how .brands are being used across different industries, regions and organizations. This Spotlight piece focuses in on German financial services company DVAG’s use of its .brand TLD.

Summary

German financial services company Deutsche Vermgensberatung Aktiengesellschaft (DVAG) has registered more domains under its .brand TLD than any other organization, and almost all of these are already in use. Its strategy of creating high volumes of domains and redirecting these to existing, deep website content is a great example of how a .brand can complement an organization’s digital strategy without impacting existing assets.

Key statistics

Total domains registered

2,014

  • Proportion of active domains (resolving or redirecting) 97%
  • Growth in domains registered over 6 months 45%
  • Growth in domains in use over 6 months 46%

Overall rank by domains registered

1st

Key use cases

Industry spotlight: Improved navigation & a consistent brand experience

Redirects simplify website navigation

With individual pages for its financial advisors, countless customer service pages, several social media profiles and more, there is a lot of detail throughout DVAG’s website and other digital assets. Like many big brands, creating meaningful and accessible pathways to this content in order to attract and engage customers can be difficult, and often relies on search engines, shortened links or internal navigation and site search tools.

96% of DVAG’s .brand domains redirect to existing locations online. The majority of these are on DVAG’s primary website, dvag.de – often resolving to long, complex URLs that would otherwise be impossible to advertise and expect customer recall. By creating .brand domains for these pages, DVAG has built simpler pathways to this content without impacting its existing websites or relocating any website assets. Some examples include magazin.dvag, finanztag.dvag and tv.dvag.

In addition to content on its own sites, DVAG has created ‘shortcuts’ to its social media and other online profiles, allowing it to keep the DVAG brand front-and-center, even when outside its owned digital assets. For example, fb.dvag forwards to the corporate Facebook page, flickr.dvag takes visitors to its photo collections on Flickr, and youtube.dvag redirects to DVAG’s YouTube channel. This consistent experience not only reinforces the brand at all customer touchpoints, but also trains customers and audiences that .dvag is the pathway to authentic, trustworthy DVAG content online.

Highlighting talent with virtual business cards

Several of DVAG’s redirecting domains contain the name of a financial advisor, which then redirects to a deeper page of content. For example, Investment Adviser Jürgen Peters has a personal profile page at jpeters.dvag and financial advisor Annett Weigel can be contacted at annett-weigel.dvag.

This strategy has two major benefits for DVAG. Firstly, as a company that relies on the expertise and professionalism of its consultants to further its brand in the real world, this dynamic can be continued in the virtual world by aligning these personalities with the DVAG brand through individual, branded domains. Close alignment of the brand with the team means that every time customers have a positive, offline experience with a consultant or advisor, loyalty or positive sentiment in the DVAG brand can be built by extension.

Secondly, the ability to raise a personal profile and build your position as a thought leader can be an appealing perk for many employees. Offering public-facing staff their own branded profile page as part of the broader DVAG website could contribute to attracting and retaining quality talent for the company.

Conclusion

DVAG’s widespread redirects strategy cleverly utilizes brand domains to create meaningful, memorable pathways to deep website content while also building a consistent brand experience for anyone engaging with DVAG online. It is a great example of incorporating .brand domains into a broader digital strategy without impacting existing website assets, and in fact further strengthening these tools in the process.

Subscribe

Stay up to date with the latest .brand news and views by entering your email below.

About MakeWay.World


The digital landscape has changed, and disruption is no longer just for startups. In today’s increasingly cluttered market, some of the world’s biggest organizations are turning the tables on digital and taking back control of their brand. A .brand Top-Level Domain creates new pathways to forge stronger connections with your customers. With your company or brand name to the right of the dot, you gain an unprecedented level of control, flexibility, and security for your digital presence – in addition to endless new possibilities for creativity and innovation. Make way for branding that cuts through the clutter. Make way for better customer experiences and real, meaningful connections. Make way for a new evolution in digital. Make way world, for the digital superbrand. MakeWay.World is the online hub for news, resources, tips and inspiration on .brands. Whichever direction your .brand takes you, MakeWay.World provides the insight and guidance to get you there.

Get in touch


We are commited to providing the latest information regarding .brand TLDs and any interesting news around Registry solutions for brands. If you have a story or press release to share, an update for our Showcase, or questions about anything on the site, please contact us at dotbrands@registry.neustar

Copyright ©2016 Neustar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy | Legal

.brands Industry Report: Everything you need to know about .brands [August 2018]

.brands Industry Report: Everything you need to know about .brands [August 2018]

.brands Industry Report: Everything you need to know about .brands [August 2018]

The August 2018 edition of the .brands Industry Report explores how Audi is using its brand TLD, Microsoft’s Cole Quinn on the Brand Registry Group and Google engineer Ben McIlwain on how HSTS preloading could be a great security measure for .brands.

Subscribe

Stay up to date with the latest .brand news and views by entering your email below.

About MakeWay.World


The digital landscape has changed, and disruption is no longer just for startups. In today’s increasingly cluttered market, some of the world’s biggest organizations are turning the tables on digital and taking back control of their brand. A .brand Top-Level Domain creates new pathways to forge stronger connections with your customers. With your company or brand name to the right of the dot, you gain an unprecedented level of control, flexibility, and security for your digital presence – in addition to endless new possibilities for creativity and innovation. Make way for branding that cuts through the clutter. Make way for better customer experiences and real, meaningful connections. Make way for a new evolution in digital. Make way world, for the digital superbrand. MakeWay.World is the online hub for news, resources, tips and inspiration on .brands. Whichever direction your .brand takes you, MakeWay.World provides the insight and guidance to get you there.

Get in touch


We are commited to providing the latest information regarding .brand TLDs and any interesting news around Registry solutions for brands. If you have a story or press release to share, an update for our Showcase, or questions about anything on the site, please contact us at dotbrands@registry.neustar

Copyright ©2016 Neustar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy | Legal

mold.canon

mold.canon

mold.canon

A Japanese site for Canon Mold Co., Ltd, hosting company history and information on production bases, cooperating companies and major shipping countries

Subscribe

Stay up to date with the latest .brand news and views by entering your email below.

About MakeWay.World


The digital landscape has changed, and disruption is no longer just for startups. In today’s increasingly cluttered market, some of the world’s biggest organizations are turning the tables on digital and taking back control of their brand. A .brand Top-Level Domain creates new pathways to forge stronger connections with your customers. With your company or brand name to the right of the dot, you gain an unprecedented level of control, flexibility, and security for your digital presence – in addition to endless new possibilities for creativity and innovation. Make way for branding that cuts through the clutter. Make way for better customer experiences and real, meaningful connections. Make way for a new evolution in digital. Make way world, for the digital superbrand. MakeWay.World is the online hub for news, resources, tips and inspiration on .brands. Whichever direction your .brand takes you, MakeWay.World provides the insight and guidance to get you there.

Get in touch


We are commited to providing the latest information regarding .brand TLDs and any interesting news around Registry solutions for brands. If you have a story or press release to share, an update for our Showcase, or questions about anything on the site, please contact us at dotbrands@registry.neustar

Copyright ©2016 Neustar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy | Legal

tech.mango

tech.mango

tech.mango

A microsite from fashion brand Mango, showcasing the intersection of fashion and technology throughout the company.

Subscribe

Stay up to date with the latest .brand news and views by entering your email below.

About MakeWay.World


The digital landscape has changed, and disruption is no longer just for startups. In today’s increasingly cluttered market, some of the world’s biggest organizations are turning the tables on digital and taking back control of their brand. A .brand Top-Level Domain creates new pathways to forge stronger connections with your customers. With your company or brand name to the right of the dot, you gain an unprecedented level of control, flexibility, and security for your digital presence – in addition to endless new possibilities for creativity and innovation. Make way for branding that cuts through the clutter. Make way for better customer experiences and real, meaningful connections. Make way for a new evolution in digital. Make way world, for the digital superbrand. MakeWay.World is the online hub for news, resources, tips and inspiration on .brands. Whichever direction your .brand takes you, MakeWay.World provides the insight and guidance to get you there.

Get in touch


We are commited to providing the latest information regarding .brand TLDs and any interesting news around Registry solutions for brands. If you have a story or press release to share, an update for our Showcase, or questions about anything on the site, please contact us at dotbrands@registry.neustar

Copyright ©2016 Neustar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy | Legal