BRG Analysis: The top 10 dotBrands you may not have heard of (but can learn a lot from)
As dotBrand advocates, it’s only natural that we get excited when a large, well-known brand launches into using branded domains.
We have been blessed to have so many amazing use cases from household names such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Nike and Apple over the last few years (you can find our blogs on some of these here). It’s why we have tended to focus on the attention this can draw and the credibility it instills to boost the dotBrand space for everyone.
However, it’s not always the biggest brands who are leading the way when it comes to dotBrands. Some organizations, while perhaps smaller or lesser known compared to the aforementioned global giants, have identified many strategic benefits of their dotBrand for their business. These said brands are actually leading the way when it comes to a range of diversified activities that we think is really important to share also.
Particularly as we approach the next round of new gTLD applications, we’re likely to see some ‘copycat’ strategies from new dotBrand owners seeking to cherry pick the best ideas from today’s dotBrand users and seek to implement it for their organization. Amongst other things, this data highlights a focus on redirecting domains which appears to be generating significant ROI for the companies using dotBrands at scale - food for thought for future applicants and others about to explore their own dotBrand strategy.
So here is a list of the top 10 dotBrands users globally today that we want to share with you, many of which are not necessarily global household names, yet still have plenty to teach us from their innovative efforts to date.
Die Deutsche Vermögensberatung or ‘DVAG’ is a German financial services company headquartered in Frankfurt. DVAG has long been at the top of the list for dotBrand domains registered and uses its domains for a wide range of services, individual pages for staff members as well as access portals to login-only information, backed by the security of an exclusive and recognisable domain. Some examples include karriere.dvag (careers), fb.dvag (shortcut to its corporate Facebook page) and teamblog.dvag.
Total domains: 5926
Skipping past Audi in the list of dotBrands by total domains, next on our list is MMA, a French insurance company. Many of MMA’s domains are based on branch locations, redirecting to information on the primary corporate site. Domains like combourg.mma, maromme.mma and gardanne.mma provide clever, branded shortcuts to localized details for customers. The .mma domain is also used for project and campaign-based microsites such as imaginons.mma, which encourages innovative ideas and collaboration on new projects; or fondation-entrepreneurs.mma which hosts information on the MMA Corporate Foundation of Entrepreneurs of the Future.
Total domains: 1663
Based in Germany, Allfinanz offers financial coaching and wealth management services for private and corporate customers. It stands to reason they are highly represented on this list of dotBrand users as the company is a subsidiary of DVAG. Following their lead in dotBrand domain usage, one of Allfinanz’s strategies is to create microsites for individual consultants and advisors, such as patrickschmidt.allfinanz or fm.allfinanz - which function as digital, branded business cards for its team.
Total domains: 1446
E.Leclerc is a French hypermarket chain with more than 800 stores, primarily in France but also elsewhere in Europe. Last year we wrote about E.Leclerc’s biggest dotBrand move to date, when the brand sponsored the red polka dot jersey for the 2022 Tour de France. The sponsorship exposed millions of viewers to the exact-match e.leclerc domain, which the brand has adopted as its primary website and call to action. Similar to others in this list, the majority of E.Leclerc’s other domains are redirects, many to store locations providing localized information under the .leclerc digital banner.
Total domains: 1110
SEAT is a Spanish car manufacturer and possibly a surprise to some that it appears so high on the list of global dotBrands. However, while it is perhaps not the most well-known car brand outside of Europe, it is actually a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, whose automotive brands are some of the strongest users of dotBrand domains in the world. Following the pattern of other dotBrands, SEAT’s domains include redirects to details on local dealerships, but there are also .seat domains for corporate information such as code.seat and its homepage can be accessed via inside.seat.
Total domains: 764
The first American entry on our list, Neustar is a technology company with data and tech services for marketing, fraud and communications. Neustar was a strong advocate of dotBrands through its former domain name registry business so it stands to reason it was early to move on branded domains. However, even since selling its registry business to GoDaddy in 2020, the company has maintained its position in the top ten dotBrand users globally. The company’s website lives on home.neustar and it uses a number of unique domains for projects, events, campaigns and sub-brands, such as nohype.neustar, bravenewworlds.neustar and trustedcall.neustar.
Total domains: 679
ACO Group is a German-based manufacturing company that specializes in drainage technology. Founded in the 1940s, ACO now has a presence in more than 47 countries and employs more than 5,000 people. Its dotBrand domains link to a range of microsites and campaign pages, such as technologycentre.aco, swm.aco (surface water management) and buildingdrainage.aco.
Total domains: 346
Another German entry in our list, the family-owned Schwarz Group is a retail company which operates supermarket and grocery chains around the world. While Schwarz may not be a household name, its Kaufland and Lidl grocery stores would be well recognized by many. Schwarz uses its dotBrand domains for a range of corporate pages, including its homepage at gruppe.schwarz, jobs.schwarz and techblog.schwarz.
Total domains: 343
Abbott Laboratories is a US-headquartered healthcare and medical research company which produces nutritional products, diagnostic equipment and other medical devices. With a global presence, many of Abbott’s dotBrand domains include local landing pages for each country, such as ie.abbott for Ireland, de.abbott for Germany and ind.abbott for India. Abbott also uses dotBrands for microsites and service-specific pages, including coronavirus.abbott to explain its work during the pandemic and nutrition.abbott for its nutritional products.
Total domains: 336
Headquartered in Copenhagen, Lundbeck researches, develops, manufactures and sells pharmaceuticals worldwide. With a specialty in neuroscience, Lundbeck’s products focus on treating those with diseases of the brain. One of the primary ways Lundbeck uses its dotBrand domain is in advertising career opportunities at the company, using jobs.lundbeck as a recruitment hub for job vacancies worldwide.
Total domains: 228