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BRG Analysis: Toyota's dotBrand


Following the trend of strong dotBrand usage in the automotive industry, Toyota is another organization using its dotBrand domain to connect with international customers online.


The Japanese car manufacturer launched the domain global.toyota a few years ago as the new central homepage for its global business. The site hosts corporate information such as investor updates, sustainability improvements and recruitment opportunities.


Toyota is not alone in using the ‘global’ tag with their dotBrand. In fact, it is one of 30 organizations who’ve created the same domain, including fellow automotive brands Honda and Suzuki as well as household names like Barclays Bank, Canon and Philips.


Trends in dotBrand usage such as these show how the use of clear, consistent signposting to online locations can help customers easily navigate a brand’s online information. The term ‘global’ is actually the tenth most common term registered in dotBrand domains, following behind the likes of ‘www,’ ‘home,’ ‘careers,’ and ‘mail.’


Top 10 most common dotBrand domains

Domain

Number of dotBrands

www.brand

68

home.brand

65

go.brand

43

my.brand

40

careers.brand

37

cloud.brand

34

mail.brand

33

api.brand

33

jobs.brand

30

global.brand

30

As well as the global domain for its international business, Toyota has also begun targeting local markets with a localized domain. The sverige.toyota website hosts news and press releases specific to Sweden (the domain translates to ‘Sweden’ in Swedish). Again, this is an example of how brands can use the endless possibilities of domains in a dotBrand to create intuitive URLs that reach customers regardless of location and language.


This model would be easily replicated for other locations, at either the country or even city level. Location-based domains are yet another trend we’ve observed among dotBrand users and that Toyota has cleverly tapped into. We’ve written before about Lamborghini’s use of this strategy, registering dozens of locally-based microsites that provide information on dealerships and services in various countries and cities. This appears to be a popular strategy in the automotive market, with Audi also following suit with sites like frankfurt.audi, in.audi and de.audi. Similarly, healthcare and medical research company Abbott Laboratories navigates its international presence by offering specialized sites for each country in which it operates, such as australia.abbott, de.abbott and ie.abbott.


While Toyota may not be the most prolific of dotBrand users in terms of domains created, its thoughtful use of domains that are reflected in global dotBrand usage trends show there is some real strategic thought going on behind .toyota.

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