The Guilty Pleasures of Internet Branding - A New Era of Premium '.Whatever' Is Upon Us
ICANN, the organization in charge of domain names, approved new guidelines earlier this week to allow businesses, entrepreneurs and organizations to register the domain extensions of their choice. And (almost) anything goes, think, .apple .technorati .youGetTheIdea. The current 22 generic-top-level domains such as .com .org (the rest) and the other 250 country-level suffixes (.co.uk and .ca for instance) won’t be trolling the net by themselves for much longer; it all starts from January 2012.
But don’t get too excited. Mega brands will be the likely bidders. The fees are astronomical, to cover the costly and lengthy set-up; waiting lists could last for years, since there is a time window for submissions, and domain approval examinations will apply to prevent potential trademark infringements.
Whether early adopters will struggle with email migration, SEO and ranking issues doesn’t interest me now. Instead, I would like to focus on the unnecessary expense, in spite of the comments, by industry experts, on “brand and consumer intimacy”. I welcome variety, but I have to wonder if ‘freedom of domain extension’ can really justify its place in any given Marketing strategy. So I am now eager to see if the new ‘.change’ era will have a real impact on businesses' profitability.
Given the current status of the global economy - and the array of sloppy brands with delivery problems, like cyber insecurity - companies could allocate more funds to tackle the real issues, which could directly affect their bottom line. Among priorities, such as R&D, is indeed the protection of their clients’ data. Meaning, I wouldn’t expect to see a fancy ‘.sony’ anytime soon, unless its platform became hacker-free. But seeing that not even government organizations can keep up with the intruders, what we might see, soon enough, is a ‘.weRule’ from LulzSec Group. In today's world the question is, would the Internet collapse if companies didn’t flaunt their egocentric personalized suffixes? Well, I think I know the answer to that one... [.Wink].