After years of planning, policy making and more than a $1 billion invested to date, the first Top Level Domains (TLDs) began hitting retail shelves last week.
We are at the beginning of an Internet taxonomy shift where content, services and communities will form on name-based areas of interest.
IT IS BIG
More than 1,300 unique string TLD registries are coming to the Internet. It is a massive expansion with generic strings such as; .club, .wiki, .skiing, and geographic strings including; .nyc, .london or .moscow, and more than 600 brand strings including; .rogers, .bmw, .nike, .gucci and .google, who will innovate in proprietary name space ecosystems.
What does the future hold in terms of innovation? Well, no one really knows and that’s the fun part.
What we do know is registries bring new capabilities that will enable innovation. Just as broadband, mobile or social before, new registries bring capabilities that have never existed before. This is particularly true for closed brand registries.
The proprietary brand registry is a new Internet entity. Never before has a name space been owned. It offers enhancements in security, control, authenticity, data capture and analytics, ecosystem creation and superior branding. The future is in the hands of many of the world’s most innovative companies, including Google, Amazon and Microsoft, which applied dozens of registry strings.
If you are app-centric, you may believe that domains don’t matter. That’s because you don’t get it. Google, Amazon and Microsoft do get it. Proprietary brand registries have huge potential as engagement platforms to innovate how brands market, sell and deliver services through partners and channels.
WHAT WILL BRANDS DO?
Brands will deploy use cases to support their business objectives. This includes channel.brand to deliver consistent messaging to their many points of presence. They will deploy one to one services through exclusive and secure customer.brand or service.brand sites. Then there is the simple use case to improve major campaign response rates with clear, concise and memorable keymessage.brand destinations.
For example, when a high-end BMW comes off the line, auto-create VIN.bmw and secure that endpoint with DNSSEC and SSL. When the dealer sells that car, map VIN.bmw to owner.bmw. Now BMW has a connection with the vehicle and customer. This could feature overnight service checks, software upgrades, delivery of value added services to enhance value and build stronger relationships.
As brands grasp the benefits of a proprietary registry, they will build proprietary ecosystems, integrate registry capabilities with best of breed technologies and deliver something that is new, better and different.
CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Given the magnitude of change and boundless opportunities, it’s time to plug in and get thinking.
For brands, you need to ideate with the changing TLD ecosystem to drive new communications, marketing and sales opportunities to differentiate your online engagement.
For technology companies, there are huge opportunities for growth to integrate apps, social media, mobile, gaming, networking, CMS and a host of technologies to jump-start a brand’s marketing, customer service and channel priorities.
Are you ready for the new TLD landscape?