Companies that applied for their own Top Level Domain from ICANN’s new Domain Extension Program may have a competitive edge when it comes to mining data in the future.
A key indicator of this opportunity is that Google and Amazon both made bold moves, applying for 101 and 76 new top level domains, respectively. They understand that tracking data across a large portfolio of new Domain Extensions will drive important business strategies.
While both Amazon and Google have many generic top level domains, they also have coveted brands for their own exclusive use, such as .GOOGLE, .GMAIL,. YOUTUBE, .ZAPPOS or .PRIME, among many others. Beyond Google and Amazon, half of the top recognized brands in the world decided they would apply to operate their own Dot Brand.
Those brands that opted-in have five reasons why they can do more with data in the future:
1. Drive Behavior in an Exclusive Internet Neighborhood
In a Dot Brand environment, the brand has exclusive use of their top level domain. What’s important to recognize here is that a top level domain is not just a domain name; it is a technology platform at the root zone of the Internet. So Nike or Apple, for example, can build out a closed digital eco-system in their .NIKE or .APPLE space.
This means they can design their Internet neighborhood to drive traffic patterns in new ways that simply were not possible before. If you compare it to building a new community, they can create the roads and the destination spaces users will follow.
2. Respond to Trends and Track Results Differently
Brands with their own closed Internet neighborhood can immediately respond to social trends. If something new pops up that McDonald’s, for example, wants to respond to related to healthy eating at fast food restaurants, they don’t have to check to see if a domain name that makes sense is available or bury it somewhere deep inside their existing Mcondalds.com space, they can actually immediately roll out that socialtrend.MCDONALDS or healthylunch.MCD and build on the trend that users started.
While there is no question consumers are mobile-centric these days, the ability to drive consumers across mobile into a traditional online space with an immediate response to emerging trends can provide additional and new data points. By immediately putting up these new spaces, McDonald’s can track data about this trend not just in social media, but also in its own space.
3. Bold Statements Made Easy for Consumers to Go Direct
Memorable spaces and landing pages mean consumers might go directly to the digital address versus using a search engine. For example, if you see the Experience.BMW billboard in Los Angeles, BMW can track if that billboard is working and if consumers are directly going to the digital address in their own space versus through organic or paid search.
4. Internal Search Queries Have More Punch
In a closed Dot Brand, the brand can also know if Internet users are searching for something that does not exist or is not provided. Once consumers begin to learn about the Dot Brands and trust them, they can search for something directly in the .NIKE or .APPLE space. If Tiffany’s sees that a lot of people in a certain geographic region is looking for a MOTHERS.TIFFANYS landing page, and they don’t have one, they can immediately put one up and respond to those search trends.
5. Future Forecasting
In the closed Dot Brand environment, the ability for the brand to truly architect a digital world for their consumers becomes a blank canvas in a space they fully own. In a .Com or Co.CC space, companies rent their domain name every year and are limited by the current web site architecture and infrastructure. In a Dot Brand, they own the entire neighborhood and can dream of and innovate new ways to build their digital world to drive behavior, track data and immediately respond with an increased ability to forecast the future or respond to rapidly changing environments.
What’s important about all of these data advantages is that this requires future thinking and breaking down old assumptions about the existing paradigm to imagine new possibilities in the always changing digital landscape. When the many brands that did apply for a Dot Brand all start using their new digital assets, including powerhouses like Google and Amazon, consumer behavior will shift.
When that shift occurs, Dot Brands have a unique ability to capitalize on this future data trend immediately versus those companies that did not and have to wait for another opportunity to buy their Dot Brand from ICANN, which is likely several years away.
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