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BRG Analysis: dotBrands in Japan


Japan has a reputation for fostering innovative companies whose products and services are coveted around the world. With technology at the forefront of many of these organisations, it stands to reason that Japan is highly represented among dotBrands, and its brands are leading examples of how dotBrands can be used.


There are 46 total dotBrands based in Japan, with the technology and automotive sectors representing a large portion of these. As industries that live and die on constant innovation, research and development, they are primed to be early adopters of new technologies. More than three-quarters of Japan’s dotBrands are in use in some form, from standalone sites to redirecting domains.


Technology company Canon, perhaps best known for its camera and printer products, moved its global homepage to global.canon in 2016, followed by a transition of all its corporate email addresses to @mail.canon in 2018. Its press release about the email change included a clear explanation of the dotBrand and its benefits for authenticity and security online. Canon now has 64 registered .canon domains in both English and Japanese, including microsites like creativepark.canon and myid.canon, as well as country-specific landing pages such as vn.canon for Vietnam and in.canon for India.


Some of the other strongest users of dotBrands in Japan include material manufacturer Toray, which uses a number of product-specific domains such as sportstextiles.toray and dermizax.toray; electronics company Ricoh, and heavy equipment manufacturer Komatsu. As well as a dotBrand homepage at home.komatsu, the company has created a dedicated site for the Komatsu Mining Corp. at mining.komatsu.


We’ve written previously that companies outside the U.S. may be more inclined to consider alternate domain extensions due to their historic use of more country code domains rather than a dependence on .com. This may be a contributing factor in Japan as well, whose companies truly play on the global stage and may wish to extend their digital presence beyond .jp.


However the opportunity to innovate and streamline the digital experience for customers and partners also stands out as a major motivator for Japanese brands who are among the most tech-savvy in the world.

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