The fantastic thing about being a part of Future Trend Domains™ is that you get to see the “guts” of what the rest of the innovative world is thinking about regarding their technological and social advancements. Why? Because FT domainers do research daily on what’s new and coming up soon before everyone else knows about it. This means prodservs, not ICANN-based profiteering hopdiggities. And of course, we all support ICANN’s ability to make the right decisions with our domains.
One thing the Future Trend Network™ (FTN™) members don’t focus on is the spastic “gold rush” to new TLD’s, especially anything that ICANN wants to sell. More gTLD’s? Really? Anybody remember the .CO gold rush two years ago? Andrew Allemann wrote a very informative “warning” about these types of “new extensions”. What an IMPACT that made! This is going to be hard for me to write about because I have several friends deeply investing in this new “hey, get your own extension for only $185,000!” Since most of us can’t do that, we’ll just have to accept that when we want to buy a Ford truck, we have to remember to go to our browser and type in “Truck.Ford”.
Problem is, it will take a decade for the billions of people on the internet to begin to say “Okay, what was that brand again? I think they own their own domain extension. Do I put a dotcom on the end of that domain? Sheesh, I wish I could remember it. I’ll have to wait until one of their $100 million ad campaigns come out and REMIND me of the company’s new gTLD.”
Smart money is still on — “we could just type in “Fordtrucks.com” or just TRUCKS.com, and the even more educated and cheaper choice of simply creating a subdomain “trucks.ford.com”. How hard is that? Big trick to throw off these new ICANN “gold-plated eggs” is to simply ask them: “What about subdomains? Cheap, easy… and basically the same thing as your gTLD domain extension useless but huge moneymaker.”
And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? ICANN opening up a dumb idea that will appeal to brand owners, and at that $185k pricing, LOTS of money for ICANN.
The problem is for most educated domainers who have been in the business for at least five years or longer, we can’t trust every damn “new” extension that comes out. Most of us won’t admit we trust ICANN. Now think of why ICANN is creating this new “opportunity” for major corporations to fall into the very trap that traditional advertising gives them: Promoting their brand by traditional advertising methods. In effect, there is absolutely NO benefit for companies to buy gTLD’s as a domain extension to represent their “BRAND”. If they have the money, then sure, go for it to say you have it. Using it as an advertising vehicle? Not so smart.
I found an incredibly informative article regarding what these new gTLD’s are about, and how to really understand what they will do and may not do. Even this article doesn’t go as far as I do in pointing out the futility and expense for these domains. There isn’t a person in the world, no domain “expert”, who can predict the success of buying your brand as a domain extension for $185,000, as opposed to spending the same amount on simply buying your generic PRODSERV domain dotcom for probably half as much, depending on the prodserv. Download this PDF document that explains objectively about these “brand domain extensions. BTW, isn’t it worrisome to these people that over 80% of Premium NATURAL one/two word dotcom domains defining generic phrases are still owned by DOMAINERS and haven’t yet been sold to the companies who need them? Nah, like Embee said, there’s a lot of people who’ve made lots of money that you’ve never heard of. Why should they talk? They got the money and they split the scene. Ever see Bob Parsons appearing at domain conferences, running his own domain “investment” blog, or simply being a part of the domain name promotion that would benefit thousands of domain investors? Nah… He’s already got his money.
Are companies thinking that buying their BRAND all over again as a domain extension is going to help them promote their products? Of course they think that, along with their Madison Ave Ad agencies convincing them to do it… since those brand extensions have to be promoted somehow, and the MAAA knows exactly how to sell those services to their clients. With ICANN’s new gTLDs, every ad agency is exhaling a sigh of relief.
The whole secret behind owning DOTCOM Premium domains is the “backbranding” your company gets by “intuitive” promotion within a faceless consumer/business demographic who are looking for a certain product, and NOT a certain brand. This is just a fact of logic. You want multiple paths to bring you to the product owned by a specific brand, and you want to do this inexpensively. You don’t want to just buy your brand online, AGAIN, and then try to market that brand again and again using… yes, traditional, short-lived advertising and marketing methods.
This brings us back to the DOTCOM juggernaut of marketing power. Nothing beats it. Companies can buy their brands all they want, and even buy these new domain extensions as generic keywords, but everyone will be typing in keyword DOTCOMS for years to come, which will force competition between the two. So let’s set up an example for now:
EXAMPLE TEST: You want to buy a refrigerator, and you know that a good way to find the best website for refrigerators is typing in “123refrigerators.com” — (i added the “123″ so as to not promote the domain directly).
RESPONSE #1: Whoever owns that domain probably is in he business of selling refrigerators, or at least has spent a lot of time building out a website giving its visitors a very good look at their potential options. Or maybe it’s just a PPC site because it’s still killing it that way. He/she probably would not sell that domain name for less than $1 million. If that was the case, then the owner of the domain knows something the buyer wishes to have.
RESPONSE #2: A company like “AMANA™” (NOTE: This is an example and in no way meant as fact for the company used in the example) marketing department says in a budget meeting “The guys that own “123refrigerator.com” won’t sell that keyword domain for less than $1 mill. However, we can buy “.Amana” for only $185,000. This is much cheaper, I advise we get our own domain extension and use it in our traditional advertising.”
RESULT: If Amana follows Response#2, they’ve just purchased a useless “brand” extension that still needs to be promoted through other advertising methods. So they form a website with a new product they’re launching, like “Icecubemaker.Amana”. Next step for Amana is to contact their ad agency and say, “We’re launching this product that pumps out different sizes of ice cubes, and we’re calling it “the IcecubeMaker” refrigerator. We have the domain name “icecubemaker.amana” domain name we want to use. Any suggestions on how we can get people to remember the NAME of our new product, and the name of our company, put the two together and type it in as a “domain name” to lead to our website?
I can’t go on any further with this because even talking about it sounds stupid to me. I think anyone with an IQ over 100 will understand the futility of continuing to buy, or invest, in branding a domain extension as a brand, for a brand that already exists.
FACT: Backbranding your products with keyword generic dotcom domains IS the sole power on the internet, and will be for years. Problem is, the people that have the best NATURAL domains are still pulling in significant PPC payments monthly, so they aren’t jumping up to invest in trying to sell those domain, or even build them out.
That may not apply to all of us, (it doesn’t), but this new “brand gTLD” ICANN pipedream is going to make a lot of domain buyers and consultants think about the last decade when:
.biz, .info, .me, .us, .com, .mobi, and about 25 other “gold rush” ccTLDs and gTLDs were promoted by those big boys with the money to try to convince the rest of us that DOT COM IS DEAD.
How many of you are ready to buy the Brooklyn Bridge?