If you’re anything like us here at FairWinds, you’re visiting this blog while taking a break from parsing through the lengthy list of new gTLD applications that ICANN published yesterday on Reveal Day. And if you’re anything like the clients we work with, you know that the biggest takeaway from all the data is this: the way all brands do business online is about to change.
On Tuesday, the day before Reveal Day, FairWinds hosted a workshop for brand owners at the Harvard Club in New York City titled, “The Next Chapter of New gTLDs: Brand Owners’ Guide to New gTLDs after ICANN’s Reveal Day.” Over 50 major brand owners gathered to hear from FairWinds and from brand executives, as well as to discuss their plans regarding new gTLDs after ICANN unveiled the list of applications. You can see the agenda here.
Attendees included representatives from both companies that applied for their own new gTLDs, as well as those that opted not to invest. Brands from both groups are understandably concerned about second-level domain name registrations, both the potential possibility for cybersquatting and the potential cost of registering in so many new gTLDs. While some expressed excitement at the possibility of establishing a presence in new online spaces, many are worried about how they will be able to scale their current practices across hundreds, if not over 1,000, new extensions.
But it wasn’t just anxiety about the unknown that ruled the day. Many attendees are excited about or intrigued by new marketing possibilities presented by new gTLDs. Marketers and brand owners will need to be strategic in determining which new names matter and which do not, but they also recognize that certain new gTLDs have the potential to bring in new types of business.
As we said before, the most resounding message that came out of the workshop was that new gTLDs are going to change the way all brands do business online. The next step is to figure out how. Here at FairWinds, we’re busily going through and analyzing the list of applicants and the public data attached to each application. We’ll be continuing to publish more insights and thoughts here on the blog, so keep checking back with gTLD Strategy.