The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) earlier this week has approved a plan to increase generic top-level domians (gTLDs) from the existing .com, .org or .net accounts to long domains which could theoretically be anything at all.
As noted in a press release, Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN said, “Today’s decision respects the rights of groups to create new Top Level Domains in any language or script. We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind.”
Aside from allowing website names to exist in scripts like Cyrillic, or Chinese characters, or Indian languages (which in itself could have a huge impact), on a more prosaic note, this could also allow companies to own a .brand domain, where instead of ending in a .com, the brand identity is made apparent. Not only does this reinforce the brand, but also makes it simpler to create new web sites, without having to hunt for available names out of a limited subset.
Vivek Bhargava, CEO Communicate2 feels that this new move would open up great opportunities for brands to create a better web presence. He said, “Nowadays the brand's digital marketing strategy is moving from just managing websites to handling web presence of their brands. Corporate domain names would allow a brand to have many new things and handle their web presence in a more better and organized manner. A brand can have different domains, instead of links, for different purposes such as – customer service, careers, products and so on.”
Bhargava also said that this would help brands in search optimization as well. Search results on Google, Bing and other search engines, can now reflect better results for the brands, with very specific webpages coming up for the search terms.
Chhaya Balachandran Aiyer, CEO, BC Webwise, said, “The simple aspect of .brand domain is brilliant. This opens doors for a whole new way of domain branding, information access to consumers. Imagine www.music.coke, or www.sports.reebok. This makes branding/ recall/ reach so much easier as far as domain names are concerned and I am pretty excited by the possibilities.”
But not all marketers are excited about the move. Shankar B, COO Ignitee Digital, said, “I do not think the corporate brand domains would help brands very significantly, because what matter beyond a point is, the content of the website. If the content is not as compelling, the brand domain will not help the brands as much. Many a times, people consume brands and do not even know about the parent companies. So when people search for a brand, say Oreos, it would still be the name of the brands, rather than the parent company, Kraft foods.”