Monday, November 19, 2018

Communication agencies have no .BRAND approach

I strongly believe that .BRAND new gTLDs are an ultra strong branding and communication tool, so as a lonely wolf having my business often ending at agencies with no idea of the real benefit to operate a .BRAND domain name extension, I decided to approach famous communication agencies with that following speech:
Hey: "a .BRAND new gTLD is the strongest branding tool that Internet ever invented: what's your approach when talking to your clients about it?"
(of course, I adapted the level of speech)
Some answers received
I simplified the answers received from some of these agencies with bullet-points:
  • If the subject of creating a personalized domain name extension is something that most have heard about, it is a question that came to them from their clients, not as a suggestion by them.
  • When the subject is on the table, it does not go farther than creating the .BRAND new gTLD through a partner. Basically:
    • The agency says it has knowledge but uses a third party service provider for this;
    • The service offered is to submit an application, no more ("let's see when the TLD will been delegated");
    • One agency tells her client she has knowledge to offering such service, basing her speech on how the .BRAND Top-Level Domain (live today) has evolved long after it was delegated. Today's result is absolutely not what was in the initial offer;
  • If offering to create the .BRAND new gTLD, and I mean by this securing a client and offering to do the follow-up up to the next applicant guidebook, with a lot of "bla, bla", there is no offer to create scenarios to use the extension...when precisely "this" should be the service offered today by a communication agency;
  • Generally speaking, the first person I spoke to didn't understand what I was talking about in terms of branding so I had to explain a lot. In that case, it generated a lot of interest...but Round two is far away...
Familiar with but no offer

Many agencies are familiar with the subject of .BRAND new gTLDs but none that I met with have an internal offer. Basically, it is something that they will consider but still, there is no written content about it: no program, no documentation, no product sheet presenting what a .BRAND domain name extension is, no reference to it in what "communication consultants" talk about when referring to a communication strategy.

I also pinged two consultants from prestigious communication agencies via LinkedIn and asked the question is such "tool" was considered in the branding or communication strategy that they refer to in their profile. They should be my clients.

10 years after
I must be living in a different world because we're almost 10 years after the first round of the ICANN new gTLD program and there are many .BRAND new gTLDs to have launched and operating their own domain name extension. In the financial sector for example, All Finanz, Credit Union, BNP Paribas, Bradesco, Barclays, Discover, Bloomberg and a lot more in other industries are truly using their own domain names, and if the trademarks keep registering more of them, it means that very few are taking the advantage when a lot more could (I am referring here to the .BRAND applicants which are not using the product they acquired years ago).

All communication agencies offer more or less the same and none really differentiates from others. I still don't understand why they are not using this fantastic product to promote their name, offering something different.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Companies related new gTLDs are a good business

Once a month I update the volumes of domain names registered according to a specific subject or category. I allocate a certain number of extensions to each category so such process allows me to see if, in each category, domain name extensions meet with adoption of not. In the category that I created for Companies, it appears that registrants (end users) tend to buy these domain names. Generally speaking, the volume of domain names registered in these extensions does increase.

This report is my personal choice on extensions in which I believe that companies should secure their domain name with and this is what I noticed from the October/November report:
  • There's not so much red in the report compared to other reports:
    • In blue, registration volumes increase significantly;
    • In red, they decrease.
  • Six extensions have more than 100,000 domain names registered and from that list, only .APP kept growing and never saw a decrease in its volume of domains registered. The TLD has now more than 330,000 registrations.
  • I think that the .EMAIL is an absolute "must have" for obvious reasons.
  • The .WORLD new gTLD also exists in its Chinese script, the .世界 Top-Level Domain.
  • The .COMPANY new gTLD also exists in its Chinese script, the .公司 Top-Level Domain (this one stands for "business organization actually".
  • The .BEST new gTLD changed hands recently and its volume of registrations is growing again. I registered jovenet.best.
  • The .APP and .PAGE new gTLDs belong to Google and are growing fast, none lost registrations since they were launched.
  • Some TLDs are confusing: the .WEB is coming but .WEBSITE and .SITE are already here. In total, the .WEBSITE new gTLD gained 2,000+ registrations since January 2018 and I wonder if this is not a bad sign for this registry.
  • The .CONTACT new gTLD sticks to one single domain name registration: I don't understand the strategy for this TLD and I think that "finance" is the issue.
  • Four extensions only have less registrations in November 2018 than what they had in January from the same year.
  • The .COMPANY and .商标 (".trademark") are on the right track and just "keep growing" in numbers.
  • The .集团 (corporate group) lost half of its registrations since January 2018.
  • Note that at the moment you are reading this report, the .ONLINE new gTLD passed the one million domain name registrations.
  • This one is to please Jean Christophe: the .INC new gTLD is launching.
Read the full report. If you believe that a TLD is missing from that report, please contact me.

Monday, November 12, 2018

A .BRAND new gTLD Round in October 2019?

I just attended the IGF ICANN Open Forum from 12 November 2018 in Paris. I was "intrigued" by a publication that I read on CircleId a few months ago and wanted to ask the ICANN Board the question myself.

A new gTLD service provider proposed the ICANN an indicative application period for .BRAND new gTLDs starting 1 October 2019 and ending 12 January 2020.

That's early, but if such date is suggested, I strongly believe that it is feasible. So I asked the ICANN Board the question, and Avri Doria answered me.

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Automotive new gTLD business is exciting

I recently updated the Automotive new gTLD report for the month of October/November 2018 and I am excited to note that:
  • There are 60 new gTLDs dedicated to the automotive industry.
  • Lots of Trademarks have applied for their own string and major luxury car manufacturers have created their .BRAND new gTLD:
    • Lamborghini;
    • Bentley;
    • Jaguar;
    • Bugatti;
    • Lexus;
    • Maserati;
    • Ferrari.
  • Surprisingly, some Trademarks are missing: Porsche, Tesla, Mercedez-Benz, Peugeot, and Renault (and probably a few others) but I would not be surprise that they submit their .BRAND new gTLD application in the future.
  • 38 "known" car Trademarks have applied for their .BRAND
  • 5 of Car Trademarks new gTLD applications were withdrawn.
  • After 6 years in limbo, it is still unknown if the .RAM new gTLD will ever see the day.
  • Some Car trademarks register a lot of domain names:
    • AUDI created 1,386 domain names ending in ".audi" for its personal use;
    • MINI created 653;
    • SEAT created 651;
    • LAMBORGHINI created 200;
    • And BMW created 117 domain names.
  • Tires: 1,144 domain names ending in ".tires" have been created!
  • Lots of domain names from automotive businesses are being registered at the moment in the .BEST domain name extension (they cost less than $10 per year until January 2019 at some accredited registrars).
  • Unless I missed something, Volkswagen is the only Trademark to have created an IDN: it's the .大众汽车 and its stands for Volkswagen in Chinese.
  • Update: there seems to be a limited interest in generic TLDs offering a plural AND a singular version of the extension:
    • .AUTO (423 domain name registrations in total) and .AUTOS new gTLDs (62 registrations);
    • .CAR (362 registrations) and .CARS (321 registrations) new gTLDs.
  • The new gTLD with the highest number of domain name registered is one dedicated to selling domains to the general public: the .TAXI new gTLD and it has 6,263 domain names created.
Read the full report.

Monday, November 5, 2018

The .ING new gTLD is a crazy idea

Please see no offence in that Title because this new gTLD could be an innovation.

Reading the newsletter from Corporate Registrar CSC, I noted that the .INC new gTLD is about launch (in January 2019, the 16th). For the note, the .INC Top-Level Domain "the definitive domain ending for business".

Not alone
There are many TLDs for the business and I listed them in the new gTLD report dedicated to Companies, but another interesting thing to me is that the TLD is similar to two others: the .INK (for writers to tattooists, to print shops), and the .ING new gTLDs also exist.The .IN country code Top-Level Domain (for India) is a pretty close one too. I wrote the list of similar Top-Level Domains here for those interested.

The .ING new gTLD is a surprise
First I thought that the .ING was the .BRAND new gTLD from the same Bank: you know..."ING", but it's not. It is an extension created by Google and its description is rather surprising. The application explaining the project says:
The proposed gTLD will provide the marketplace with direct association to the term, ʺing,ʺ a common suffix utilized to denote the gerund form of a verb (singing, sleeping). The mission of this gTLD, .ing, is to provide a dedicated domain space in which registrants can enact second-level domains that provide content related to the registrantsʹ usage of the term ʺing.ʺ Charleston Road Registry expects these uses may include but are not limited to offering content that is centralized around a second-level domain name, such as sail.ing or cook.ing.
What a strange idea to develop a new Top-Level Domain. I admit innovation here and I also see the possibility to shorten domain names more. Now...will that work and catch the attention of the public?

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Real Estate new gTLD business is average

I just finished the update of the Real Estate new gTLD report and noticed a few things:

  • Real Estate Trademarks are not present in this business and very few applied for their personalized .BRAND new gTLD.
  • Only Fresenius uses its domain names ending in ".fresenius", with 40 domain names registered in October 2018.
  • The .REALTOR grows in number and is the highest in this category in terms of domain name registered with a total of 45,566 this month.
  • All new gTLDs dedicated to Real Estate, but the .REALESTATE new gTLD, have lost registrations - at least once - since January from a month to the other. Note that it does not mean that their registrations have decreased since then (I excluded TLDs with less than 100 domains registered for this calculation).
  • 7 of these Top-Level Domains have less domain names registered in October 2018 than what they had in January : this is a bad sign to me.
  • One TLD had more than 55,000 registrations in January, it now has a little more than 2,000 (...)
  • Would I buy a .MAISON domain name if I sold houses in French: an innovative business model should be invented just for this TLD ;-)
  • The .LOFT and .MLS new gTLDs stick to one single domain name registration but were delegated in August and April 2016.
  • I just noticed that none of the .HOME applications (11 of them) passed and were either withdrawn or not approved so I'll definitely change them to "withdrawn" in the monthly report.
  • There are more .VILLAS than there are .HOMES domain names (...)
Check the full report here.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Another reason to register "jean.best"

I went to my registrar and tried to register my first name for my blog but unfortunately, my name is short and it appears that I won't be reach enough. The .BEST Registry is launching a promotion and I just grabbed jean.best for €9 instead of more than €93,000.00 for the same name ending in ".blog".

It cost me €9 to register jean.best at https://www.dynadot.com


This is a promotion so I registered for 2 years. Later I explain why ;-)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Law Enforcement Agencies WILL have authority on Registrars and Registries

This one is for European Law Enforcement Agencies only, and no matter what the GDPR says (this article was first published on CircleId).

Introduction
Accessing Whois information and acting on a litigious domain name is becoming a nightmare for law enforcement agencies. Law enforcement agencies must have an access to the information provided by registrants in the Whois database and, in specific cases, have authority to act FAST on a domain name. The EU has a solution for this and it's coming in 2020. Is this mechanism welcome now the GDPR is causing problems to law enforcement agencies trying to do their job? I'd say...yes it is.

What it is
The Regulation (EU) 2017/2394 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2017 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004. It is directly applicable in all Member States.

What it does say
A few things that I extracted from the regulation:
  • Competent authorities should be able to request any relevant information from any public authority, body or agency within their Member State, or from any natural person or legal person, including, for example, payment service providers, internet service providers, telecommunication operators, domain registries and registrars, and hosting service providers, for the purpose of establishing whether an infringement covered by this Regulation has occurred or is occurring.
  • Where no other effective means are available to bring about the cessation or the prohibition of the infringement covered by this Regulation and in order to avoid the risk of serious harm to the collective interests of consumers: where appropriate, the power to order domain registries or registrars to delete a fully qualified domain name and to allow the competent authority concerned to register it.
Coming in 2020
This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from 17 January 2020.

The regulation is available here.

Register your Trademark using an agent.