BRG Industry Analysis: dotBrands in Germany
Updated: Nov 19, 2022
Looking at dotBrand usage around the world, one country stands out for its volume of domains and the diversity of organizations using their dotBrand: Germany.
Let’s take a closer look at how German brands are leading the way.
In excess of 10,700 domains have been registered to date, with German-based brands creating more dotBrand domains than any other country by far.
One company, financial services firm DVAG, accounts for more than half of these, with more than 5,600 domains in total. What’s more, the vast majority of these are in use. DVAG has several strategies in place for its dotBrand, most involving redirecting domains to create branded digital shortcuts. For example, many of DVAG’s financial advisors have their own domain which forwards to their online profile, acting as an online ‘business card’ – such as jpeters.dvag. Other redirects include DVAG’s social media profiles (such as fb.dvag) and corporate pages such as careers (karriere.dvag).
Aside from DVAG, many other German brands are using their dotBrand domains in unique and innovative ways. Iconic automotive company Audi has created more than 1,700 domains, including landing pages for individual car models (such as a7.audi and q2.audi), corporate pages (weare.audi) and customer service portals (live.audi). Automotive brands Mini, Volkswagen and BMW have also started creating and using dotBrand domains.
Other German brands to have joined the dotBrand movement include building manufacturer ACO, logistics firm DHL and pharmaceutical company Stada.
So why is Germany such a leader in dotBrand usage? One reason could be the lower reliance on .com in Europe as a whole. While many more US-based brands have acquired their dotBrand, the dominance of .com in the American digital market, as well as user behaviour, means converting customers to a new extension could be a harder task. However in Europe, ccTLDs like Germany’s .de are much more common alongside legacy TLDs like .com, potentially leaving them more open to new options.
The type of organization could have an influence as well. For example, Germany’s top dotBrand users include several automotive brands, known for their innovation and tech-savvy, as well as being willing to change with the times to stay ahead of the curve. This could prime them to be natural early adopters of dotBrands and ready to introduce a new digital experience for their customers.
There may be many factors that influence Germany’s dominance in the dotBrands space, but one thing is for certain: there is much to learn and be inspired by in the way German brands have embraced dotBrand domains. For stronger branding, better customer experience, simplifying domain portfolio management and increased cyber security, we should look to Germany.