.brands Spotlight: Insurance industry

.brands Spotlight: Insurance industry

insurance industry spotlight dotbrand domains insurers

.brands Spotlight: Insurance industry

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 the global insurance industry.

Summary

The insurance industry is the largest sector in the .brands space in terms of total domains registered. This is perhaps more impressive when considering it includes just 34 TLDs – ranking it fifth in this regard behind the information technology, banking & finance, telecommunications and automotive industries. While average usage is very high, this is influenced heavily by just a handful of brands that make up the large majority of activity within the sector.

Key statistics

Total TLDs delegated: 42

Including TLDs from

AXA        STATEFARM        ALLSTATE       MMA       PRUDENTIAL

Total domains registered

Average domains per .brand

  • Industry percentage of all .brands 25% 25%
  • Proportion of active TLDs (more than 2 domains registered) 55.9% 55.9%
  • Proportion of active domains (resolving or redirecting) 94.7% 94.7%

Key use cases

Industry spotlight: MMA displays a clear strategy

While there are over 2,000 .brand domains registered in the insurance industry, 95% of these are contained in just five TLDs – and lead heavily by French-headquartered company MMA (MMA IARD SA).

Over the last year or so, MMA has registered 1,759 domains in its .mma TLD, 97% of which are active. The vast majority of these are redirects, set up as part of an extensive strategy using locations and regions to direct visitors to local broker information. For example, the domain antibes.mma displays contact details and product information for Antibes, a region in southern France.

This is a clever way for MMA to implement its .brand TLD and use it to create more localized experience for customers, in a similar strategy to that used by Audi.

Redirects, redirects, redirects

Though by far the dominant player in its sector, the MMA model of registering a large volume of domains and setting them up to redirect to existing content is illustrative of the industry as a whole. In fact, of the insurance industry’s 2,185 registered domains, 92% are redirects. Behind MMA in terms of registered domains is Esurance Insurance Company’s .esurance, which has only one non-resolving and 145 redirecting domains. Similarly, Prudential Financial Inc.’s .pru and .prudential TLDs have a combined 142 redirecting domains out of 144 total; and all 20 .allstate domains redirect to existing locations on Allstate’s website.

Where MMA’s redirect strategy is based largely on geographic locations, other companies like Allstate and Esurance have opted to set up redirecting domains based on product and service offerings, such as auto.allstate, claims.allstate and homeowners.esurance, marrying relevant, deep content to insightful, short URLs.

dotbrand spotlight stats hub

Conclusion

As a highly complex industry with a wide range of detailed products and services, insurance companies by their nature tend to have large multifaceted websites that would otherwise be very difficult to navigate and would force customers to rely on third parties like search to find the information they need. The current usage of .brand domains within the insurance sector shows a clear trend towards redirect strategies.

This approach can provide memorable, meaningful pathways to deeper website content that improves the customer experience and also reinforces the brand in the link. With one of the highest rate of domain usage than any other industry (94% vs industry average of 67%), the insurance sector – and a few key players in particular – is leading the way in this regard.

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

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Amazon Web Services Targets Startups and Creators With .aws

Amazon Web Services Targets Startups and Creators With .aws

build on aws amazon web services dotbrands

Amazon Web Services targets startups and creators with .aws

By Tony Kirsch
Head of Professional Services, Neustar

It will come as no surprise to those who’ve read my blogs that I get pretty excited about seeing .brand domains launch. 

At Neustar we’re all in on promoting .brand usage in any industry, from all around the world and as such, we’re always watching closely for any signs of new domains on the horizon, trawling for case studies or any hint of new activity. 

So imagine my surprise when a brilliant .brand example jumped out in front of me at JFK airport.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently launched a campaign around its AWS Cloud solutions, appealing to startups, creators and ‘builders’. The catchy tagline “Build On” rounds out the branding nicely – and the go-to location for information is the new address www.buildon.aws.

The campaign includes a great video that speaks to ‘the new builders’ of today’s startups and big businesses, as well as billboard and other display advertising at major airports and train stations throughout the US. All these efforts use the www.buildon.aws call-to-action.

build on amazon web services aws dotbrand

“Widespread advertising using a .brand domain is still something we’ve seen only sparingly, and Amazon has gone big here with its buildon.aws campaign.”

Credit where it’s due

This is an extraordinary effort from AWS. As I’ve written in the past, we’re under no illusion that changes to branding in major organizations is easy. In fact, my entire job revolves around slowly but surely making the case for brands to change their approach to branding, marketing and online navigation. And that can be a gamble – it’s no easy feat and I acknowledge that.

And that’s why I’m so impressed by this launch from AWS – for a brand as established, recognized, and customer-facing as Amazon this must have taken a lot of effort.

It takes guts to see the potential benefits of .aws to the brand as a whole. It takes trust that customers won’t be deterred by an unfamiliar domain. And it takes some awesome forward-thinking to rethink customer experience in this way and consider how to create the most memorable, meaningful call-to-action possible.

Back to advertising basics

I’ve written before about the considerations required for using .brand domains in advertising, and how a simple ‘back to basics’ approach to advertising theory can remind us of the most important aspects of audience, medium and recall.

AWS has done an excellent job here of applying solid ‘old-school’ advertising principles to a ‘new-school’ asset. And who would expect less of Interbrand’s number five ‘Best Global Brand’, especially one highlighted as one of the top growing brands in 2017?

You don’t get to a position like that by sticking to the status quo, and Amazon has really shown its mettle here.

For example, the decision to include ‘www’ in the call-to-action is a clever tool to avoid any possible confusion around the new .aws extension and to reinforce audience education that this is a legitimate address.

Also, given the ads appeared largely in locations where people are commuting, recall is vital for the success of the campaign – so the ‘build on’ branding and a call-to-action that sticks in audience’s minds are essential.

Throwing down the gauntlet

With almost 9,000 domains registered under .brand domains, momentum is undeniably growing. In fact, this isn’t even the first domain on .aws – Amazon has also created specific product domains like www.ecs.aws and www.kinesis.aws.

However in this burgeoning space there is still an opportunity to be a ‘first mover.’ Widespread advertising using a .brand domain is still something we’ve seen only sparingly, and Amazon has gone big here with its buildon.aws campaign.

It’s truly impressive to see a brand of this size get a campaign like this off the ground using its .brand domain.

And it’s not a stretch to say this serves as a challenge to other .brand applicants: tackle the challenges of internal engagement and take advantage of the unique branding opportunities offered by .brand domains – or be left behind by those who are.

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

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Upcoming webinar – .brands 101

Upcoming webinar – .brands 101

Upcoming webinar: .brands 101

You may have heard that over 550 big brands have a .brand Top-Level Domain (TLD), such as .microsoft, .ford and .barclays. But what exactly is a .brand TLD, and what can you do with it?

Following our successful .brand update webinar in June, we’re pleased to bring you another webinar that goes ‘back to basics’ on .brands. 

Register for this webinar to hear:

• An explanation of what a .brand TLD is in plain English (also perfect for bringing co-workers up to speed)
• Why some big brands have a .brand, and what to do if you want one too
• The different models being utilized with .brand TLDs
• The five real reasons .brand should be used

Come along for a great refresher on the fundamentals of .brand TLDs – or invite your colleagues to introduce, educate and inspire them about the .brand movement!

 

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

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Mid-year .brands review: 2017 off to a brilliant start

Mid-year .brands review: 2017 off to a brilliant start

mid-year review .brands dotbrands dot brands brand TLDs

.brands mid-year review: 2017 off to a brilliant start

By Tony Kirsch,
Head of Professional Services, Neustar

If you’ve read my blogs in the past, you’ll know that I’m really passionate about the benefits that .brands can deliver to organizations and their customers.  mid-year review

We are now half way through 2017 which provides us with an opportunity to have a good hard look at the data and reflect on the last six months in the .brands space.

Here is the punchline – it’s pretty damn impressive, and for a variety of reasons.

Let’s be frank – supporting an innovation such as the .brand movement is not for the faint hearted and the continual momentum we’re experiencing is great reward for those of us that have ‘stayed the course’ (with only maybe the occasional wavering!).

mid-year review .brands dotbrands dot brands brand TLDs
mid-year review .brands dotbrands dot brands brand TLDs

.brands are asking questions, and moving ahead

I’m privileged to be one of the few who has a job that is completely dedicated to this type of .brand engagement, but I can tell you that we are being asked more and more informed and targeted questions about how to optimize their .brand strategies each and every day.

All the while, organizations like Google, Audi, CERN, Bloomberg, Canon, Microsoft, and Lamborghini have launched .brand sites this year already and continue to pave the way – and that’s just a handful of them.

I think that the most important elements of .brand domain names also include the diversification of usage. Building microsites on .brand domains is still strong, but the use of .brands in alternative methods such as vanity/redirect strategies, social media, internal tools, email and full site transitions are also growing significantly.

To illustrate my point, check out the Showcase at MakeWay.World where we highlight the variety of global examples of .brand usage. It’s growing every day and the stats below speak for themselves.

mid-year review .brands dotbrands dot brands brand TLDs
mid-year review .brands dotbrands dot brands brand TLDs

The facts behind the facts

As noted above, the number of brands that have gone beyond creating the mandatory ‘NIC’ page and have registered at least one other domain under their .brand since January 1 has grown by 17 percent.

Importantly, there’s also been a greater than 23 percent increase in the number of .brands with more than 20 domain names registered – showing that there is growth at the upper end of the spectrum as well. This includes brands such as Microsoft, Bentley, Philips, AXA, Saxo Bank and BMW to name a few.

Some of the more active industries include insurance, which collectively have now registered over 1,800 domains; automotive with over 1,000 domains and information technology with just shy of 1,000.

We’re more thrilled than ever that we were able to launch the Stats Hub on MakeWay.World earlier this year, as the numbers paint a very clear picture of the .brands space and are now available to anyone to explore.

.brands making headlines

The .brands space has also received some great coverage in industry and broader media so far this year.

– ClickZ published a three-part series on .brands that culminated in a webinar featuring myself, Matt Dorville of Major League Baseball and Katie Hankinson of VaynerMedia.

– India’s biggest bank announced its plans to move to .sbi, which was reported on by Domain Incite.

– Domain Name Wire looked at how Major League Baseball is planning to use its .mlb domain names.

– Domain Pulse reported on the French national railway’s plans to move to its .brand TLD.

– I was published in B&T commenting on the Australian Football League’s use of .afl for its historic women’s league competition.

Moving forward

In just the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen new .brand sites from the likes of Google, Audi, Leclerc and Allstate, which says to me that the .brands space isn’t slowing any time soon.

Of equal importance is the fact that the majority of conversations we’re having with .brand owners are more and more about how to use their .brands, rather than why. They’re looking for practical advice on integrating with social media channels, rolling out email addresses and communicating with staff and clients about changes to web addresses.

That will be our focus for the remainder of the year here at Neustar, and we’ll share this on MakeWay.World.

And of course, let’s hope that these next six months continue to drive digital branding and that we can really move forward towards another application round for others who would love to join this movement – maybe even by the end of 2018?

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

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.brands Spotlight: Insurance industry

.brands Spotlight: Automotive industry

.brands Spotlight: Automotive industry

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 the global automotive industry.

Summary

The global automotive industry produced over 94.9 million vehicles in 2016, and is considered one of the world’s most important economic sectors by revenue. As an industry of such magnitude which has by definition been built on a foundation of constant innovation, it is no surprise that the automotive sector is one of the most highly represented in terms of .brand TLD applications and subsequent usage. While automotive brands in some geographic regions are more active than others, overall the sector is emerging as a leader in .brand adoption.

Key statistics

Total TLDs delegated: 42

Including

AUDI        BMW       FERRARI       HYUNDAI       TOYOTA

Total domains registered

Average domains per .brand

  • Industry percentage of all .brands 13.8% 13.8%
  • Proportion of active TLDs (more than 2 domains registered) 41.6% 41.6%
  • Proportion of active domains (resolving or redirecting) 74.4% 74.4%

Key use cases

Industry spotlight: Audi leading the way

Of the automobile manufacturers using .brand TLDs, Audi is the clear leader, registering over 600 domains, 75 percent of which are actively resolving or redirecting.

Audi’s usage of its .audi TLD is interesting and varied. The resolving domains on .audi, which total over 440, include product and campaign pages, redirects to existing content and assets, links to corporate information pages and shortcuts to local dealer websites just to name a few.

Take for example the Audi dealership in the medium-size town of Leipzig.

While the URL for the specific dealer (www.audi-zentrum-leipzig-sued.audi) appears longer than one might expect, its performance in organic search is clearly the goal – which it appears to be achieving.

Other more intuitive examples include the July 2017 Audi Summit, which is hosted at www.summit.audi, while the brand’s social media profiles can be accessed through vanity URLs such as www.twitter.audi and www.facebook.audi. Links to .audi domains have been widely publicized in social media posts.

Audi is not the only German automotive brand to have adopted .brand domains. In fact, of the six top automotive companies by .brand domains registered, four of them are from Germany. BMW features highly in the ranks, with the motor group collectively registering 55 domains of which 82 percent are currently active. MAN SE follows closely behind, also with 55 domains.

So why is Germany so highly represented in terms of .brand TLDs in the automotive sphere?

As many would be aware, Germany is a country known for its technological innovation, with a great deal of investment every year in research, development and education. In addition to its strong automotive industry which was responsible for manufacturing around 6 million vehicles in 2016, the country’s broader desire for continual technological advancement has embedded innovation into Germany’s culture and economy.

In fact, the prominence of German companies in the top-performing automotive .brands may be linked to a wider trend of European uptake in .brand TLDs. Certainly in the automotive industry however also identifiable in other sectors, European brands are among the most active in terms of .brand domain registrations and usage.

One potential reason for this may be that European brands and consumers are more ‘primed’ to use alternate domain extensions, with .com being less ubiquitous than in the USA. European consumers would be very familiar with websites under .uk, .de or .fr to name a few, and perhaps have more day-to-day experience with a range of domain options beyond .com. This may then impact European brands’ openness to adopting .brand domains as an alternative that can encompass all geographic regions and remains relevant without requiring a separate domain for every location.

dotbrand spotlight stats hub

Conclusion

Representing 14 percent of all .brand domain registrations, the automotive industry is highly represented in the .brand space. It also has one of the highest proportions of active domains, indicating that usage of .brands in the sector is significant.

However this ranking is supported largely by the efforts of a few key players that are leading the way, with 85 percent of the industry’s domain registrations coming from just five brands.

As an industry, the automotive sector is not without its challenges. As threats emerge in changes to the global economy, challenger companies like Uber and new technologies such as self-driving cars, the automotive industry as a whole is facing an environment of ‘disrupt or be disrupted.’ By its nature, the automotive sector has always been one of technological advancement, however more and more auto manufacturers are needing to think more like tech companies in order to stay relevant in the swiftly-evolving market.

We’ve seen evidence of this in the future-minded projects launched from some of the world’s most established automotive brands. This year Ford announced a five-year, $1 billion investment in the development of a self-driving car; while General Motors acquired a similarly-focused organization in 2016.

In this regard, it is not surprising to see automotive brands looking for opportunities to innovate in their marketing, digital and customer experience as well. In projects like BMW’s www.next100.bmw campaign, we can see .brands finding a place among the culture of innovation that has become synonymous with automotive manufacturers since their early days.

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

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