Monday, November 19, 2018

Communication agencies: 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.

Register your Trademark using an agent.