Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Communication agencies and ".BRANDs"

What is the job of a communication agency but to help other companies with their communication?

New gTLDs belong to communication
At least, it is what I thought until I noticed that - as an independent new gTLD consultant - I started to receive more calls from communication agencies with that question:
"M. Guillon, we receive a question about creating a domain name extension and we would require your help to answer our client."
"M. Guillon, our clients asked about creating his extension and we have no clue what he is talking about, can you please help us so we don't look like idiots?"
I am often amazed to note that communication agencies don't really worry about domain names when I am able to tell a customer with a new project: "if the domain name you want to register is taken, then consider changing the name of your company or your Trademark". And I do not necessarily refer to new domain names from the ICANN new gTLD program here.
A domain name is where it all starts for a company on Internet so "yes": we're talking about serious communication here because what follows is a sound in someone's mouth, a domain name written on a visit card; on paper press: it is what readers will try to remember to find a company's website on Internet.

Communication agencies don't know about ".BRANDs"
Who, more than communication experts, want to deliver innovation to their client? As a new gTLD expert with a degree in marketing and communication, I strongly think that communication specialists need to be educated, and I don't mean to be "trained" here but educated first: the first step is to comprehend what a ".BRAND" domain name extension can bring to a Trademark instead of leaving it with just a "hey it's too expensive".

There are plenty of reasons why a .BRAND new gTLD can benefit to a Trademark or a company (precision, branding, SEO with generic domains, control of the security, identity...) but isn't one of best selling point to own a personalized domain name extension, the possibility to initiate TODAY, the online future of a company?

Existing ".BRAND" new gTLD applicants
Many have had their extension since 2014 but they don't use it. We are in 2017 and the next round of the ICANN new gTLD program won't start before 2020 (more or less): isn't it time to initiate a strategy to be in place when competition starts from scratch in the next application round of the ICANN new gTLD program? A .BRAND personalized domain name extension is an opportunity to get years ahead the competition but it requires...to start...to be in place on time.

I checked the list of the FRENCH new gTLD applicants and few .BRANDs use their extension. I feel they miss an opportunity to become a game changer: in the travel industry in particular when -  and this is just one example - so many geographic domain names could be used! Do communication agencies only know how a .BRAND can be used? And if they don't, isn't it time?

No need to replace the existing
A .BRAND does not necessarily require to change it all and replace the existing strategy (when there is one). It first requires to sit behind a table, check which scenarios can be put in place, what the objectives of a company are and where does that company wants to be in 5 to 10 years: at the exact same place facing the exact same online communication problems as its competitors, or a few years ahead having demonstrated strong innovation?

Looking forward to innovate? Talk to Jovenet Consulting.

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