The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has opened the door to the creation of new generic top-level domains (TLDs). Now, in addition to the 22 existing TLDs ranging from .com to .uk, any terms can be chosen for a TLD, although these new domains will not be available until 2013. So, in a couple of years, be on the lookout for Web sites like kim.kardashian or cool.music.
It’s still too early to say how the new ICANN ruling will turn out, but for now, I see both good and not-so-good aspects.
The not so good:
The key issue is the effect that ICANN’s recent move may have on brands. In most cases, there’s no need to rush into creating generic TLDs, particularly for companies that either cannot afford the cost and effort to maintain their own domain or would struggle to do so. For large firms with strong brands, particularly those that have already had legal issues regarding their domains, leveraging the generic TLDs to protect the brand makes sense. Firms that are not in the same brand recognition category as Nike, IBM or Ford must determine if a real competitive threat or quantifiable opportunity exists. In either case, a cost/benefit analysis should be done — comparing the expense and potential ROI of a generic TLD to other marketing initiatives.
Matthew Papertsian is Service Director, EGS at SiriusDecisions. His over 21 years of experience includes developing, managing and executing multi-touch, multi-trigger, inbound and outbound campaigns for enterprise sales, OEM, channel, services and training teams. Follow Matt on Twitter @matthewpaper