.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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.brands Spotlight: Insurance industry

.brands Spotlight: Google

.brands Spotlight: Google

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 search giant Google’s use of its .brand TLD.

Summary

One organization applied for more new Top-Level Domains than any other. That organization also happens to be one of the world’s most ubiquitous and innovative brands and is widely regarded as the global leader in digital. That’s right, it’s Google.

After applying for over 100 TLDs (including 17 .brands such as .chrome, .android and .youtube), the world remains highly interested in their strategy. This Spotlight piece will focus specifically on Google’s use of the .google TLD to date.

Key statistics

Total domains registered

  • Proportion of active domains (resolving or redirecting) 67% 67%

Number of domains in Alexa

Key use cases

Industry spotlight: Aligning corporate priorities with a .brand

If it’s valuable, it’s on .google

Google has clearly taken a ‘quality over quantity’ approach so far in its use of the .google TLD. As covered before on MakeWay.World, the assets Google has chosen to transition or launch on .google domains to date all relate to significant corporate programs, future-focused projects and community-based offerings.

One of the first domains Google launched was when it reconciled a number of varying company and product blogs into a single location, entitled ‘The Keyword’ and hosted at blog.google. At the time, this was pitched as the place to go in future for all information on Google products and services – a significant asset to tie to the .google TLD. [Read more about blog.google here]

Shortly afterwards, a new microsite dedicated to information and resources relating to Google’s environment and sustainability goals was launched at environment.google. Similarly, this was a case where a project of great importance to the company was aligned with the .google TLD – tying the domain to the future of the organization and the brand. [Read more about environment.google here.]

This trend has continued throughout Google’s site launches, creating a strong association between the .google TLD and projects that are imperative to the future of Google’s operations and brand value.

New releases, new domain

Another pattern that can be seen in Google’s .brand launches so far is the release of new products on .google domain. Some .brands have shown a reluctance to move existing digital assets without significant planning and strategy for maintaining SEO ranking and other accrued authority, however introducing new properties on a .brand TLD is a good way to maximize search indexing and educate users in a streamlined manner.

The earliest such introduction was Google’s domain Registrar service launched in tandem with its TLD applications – which is hosted at domains.google. However newer offerings have quickly expanded beyond the domain name space, with Google’s artificial intelligence-focused, venture capital fund at gradient.google and broader AI projects site at ai.google.

A good omen for search?

The SEO performance of .brand domains has been the elephant in the room since the release of new TLDs, with organizations keen to establish whether keyword-rich domains offering additional information through the inclusion of their company name would help boost search ranking in the long term.

Google’s own .brand domains are an interesting case study in how relatively new domains using a relevant, branded extension are thus far performing in search.

Search ranking example – as at September 2017

google SERP search ranking SEO example design dotgoogle dotbrands ai artificial intelligence

Obviously, .brand domain launches from Google carry particular weight as examples to the broader community, as its willingness to adopt this branding asset may be a good sign for the future treatment of .brands in search. How this will develop in future will continue to be a fascinating space to watch.

dotbrand spotlight stats hub

Conclusion

Google’s use of the .google extension is a wonderful sign of the power that .brand TLDs can bring to companies of any size.

In their use of .google, Google is showing a methodical approach can reap dividends as it continues to launch new products, transition supporting services and align corporate programs and activities to the future of its brand. Google shows having a measured approach to introduction which is rooted in measurement and customer education is key to success.

On a broader level, the possible implications of Google’s .brand launches for the treatment of new TLDs in search are incredibly fascinating and makes this particular .brand TLD one that is watched closely by the industry as a whole.

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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