What is a dotBrand?
And does your organisation need one?
What is a dotBrand?
Simply put, a dotBrand is a Top Level Domain, like “.com” or “.org”, but has your organisation’s name or product to the right of the dot – .apple, .microsoft. Embedded into the root of the Internet, your organisation has control over everything that sits to the left of the dot, giving you the flexibility to register and use any domain.
DotBrand domains are often registered to help organisations attain their objectives more effectively via new business products and services, marketing campaigns, customer experience, email, technology and provides flexibility for future innovations. A few domain name examples of existing dotBrands include:
Six reasons why a dotBrand may benefit your organisation?
Over 500 dotBrand applications were received in last round of New gTLDs (held in 2012). Their business cases was often driven by one or more of the following six reasons:
Flexibility and adaptability
words to the left of the dot reflect your business, products, marketing campaigns and email while providing complete flexibility for future ideas
Standing out from the crowd
with an exclusive space of the Internet, organisations become market leaders creating a competitive advantage
as a controlled name-space, a dotBrand is a giant signpost reflecting greater safety and protection that inspires confidence when engaging on an organisation’s websites, marketplaces and communications
Capturing data and insights
extend your ability to capture and manage customer data and gain valuable insights to improve conversion rates
Strengthening digital branding
everything deployed in the dotBrand space reinforces recognition and credibility of their brand
Protecting their brand
as part of their overall domain name strategy, businesses value protecting their brand right at the top.
Factors to consider before applying
Obtaining and operating a dotBrand is more of a commitment than standard domain names. Dotbrand registries exist at the root of the Internet, where security, stability and resilience are paramount. Each applicant must demonstrate their operational, technical and financial capability to run a registry and comply with specific requirements.
Organisations need to consider a variety of factors before applying, including:
How will a dotBrand support your organisation, align with your future business strategy and deliver value?
What are the risks and how do you mitigate them throughout the application process and future operations?
Prospective applicants should familiarise themselves with the Applicant Guidebook
Understand the costs and budget accordingly.
What resources will you need to manage, develop and operate your dotBrand registry?
How will you track and measure the resulting benefits of your dotBrand?
The Applicant Guidebook provides step-by-step guidance for applicants including information and documents required to apply, details of the financial and legal commitments along with guidance on what to expect during the application and evaluation periods. Following a review of the rules and processes of the 2012 round, an updated Applicant Guidebook that incorporates all of the changes will be published for the next round.
Building a business case to apply for a dotBrand
A dotBrand allows you to build a better, more efficient and trusted ecosystem.
Capturing the value a DotBrand delivers in financial terms can often be difficult to quantify when evaluating the business case. Every business is unique unique, requiring an individual assessment of how a dotBrand aligns with their products, marketing and overall business strategy.
During our 2020 webinar series, Peter LaMantia, CEO of Authentic Web Inc., presented a model to help quantify the increasing total cost of ownership of managing domains(including DNS, transport layer security certificates and brand protection) versus dotBrand ownership, resulting in significant cost reductions over a five-to-ten-year period. Additionally, he explains how innovative opportunities can be quantified to generate revenues and return on investment for an organisation’s dotBrand business case.
Which functions should you involve within your organisation?
A dotBrand offers benefits across entire organisations including marketing, social media, email, communications, IT, etc. And usually have a cross-functional team helping to drive the changes and to maximise the value received from their dotBrand.
What are the types of risks to consider when applying for and operating a dotBrand?
Organisations should consider the risks that could affect their application and operation of their dotBrand. These include but are not limited to:
String contention – When assessing what string to apply for, it is worthwhile to consider the likelihood of other applications being submitted for the same (or similar) string. There are a variety of ways to resolve string contentions but require additional time, resources and costs and may be resolved in an auction whereby the highest bidder wins the string. Often, this is not the case for dotBrand applicants but a risk they should be aware of.
Objections – Each application has the right to be challenged and could receive objections. Applicants should consider if and why their application may attract objections and how they would respond to challenges.
Name collision – This occurs when an attempt to resolve a name used in a private name space (e.g. under a non-delegated Top-Level Domain) results in a query to the public Domain Name System (DNS). The overlapping of private and public namespaces may result in collisions with unintended results or harmful consequences. ICANN published guidance for identifying and mitigating Name Collision which is available here.