Did new-GTLDs head off in the wrong direction?


Did new-GTLDs start of on the wrong foot from the beginning? Most seemed to have stepped off in the basic direction of “we're like dot-COM, but we're not dot-COM” - setting themselves out as second class citizens from the beginning.

This seems to be missing an opportunity to redefine the technical, computer-code, nature of domain names and in doing so carve out entirely new markets.

In a country where everybody travels by bus, launching a different, but inferior bus, on the basis that the order book for the market leader is full but you can buy from us instead, may get you some business, but launching a car is almost certainly going to result in more success.

Some of us are old enough to remember the days of MS-DOS, so we also remember the terrible “8.3” file name structure we were all bound into. Wasn't it such a relief when Windows came along and we could, at last, give our files the kind of names that humans find useful.

Before ICANN introduced the first wave of new-GTLDs, all top-level domains looked like geeky computer code – therefore, mostly, so did the names of web sites and their domain names – and web-shorteners are mostly even worse. But the new-GTLDs gave everybody the opportunity to move away from that – but was this opportunity seized?

Dot-CLUB is one of the more successful of the new-GTLDs, but its hard not to feel they missed a trick when they chose to brand their web site, when they could have gone with something more meaningful like

We are now starting to see some interesting new start-ups populating this territory. UK company Names.of.London with their brand have identified the ubiquitous three-word-phrase, widely used in advertising and marketing for many years, as a business opportunity for carving out a new and innovative market for new-GTLD domain names.

With domain names like, Just.for.Men, City.of.London, Two.For.One, Mayor.of.London, Week.of.Fashion, they have identified an opportunity offered by new-GTLDs that sets them apart from the geeky code of the traditional domain name.

Whether this particular idea floats or not, only time will tell – but one thing it does show us is that what the new-GTLDs need to do less of is sitting about moaning that they are second best to dot-COM, and what they need to do more of is getting creative – identify what sets them apart, and push their USP.

Surely pushing your USP is Chapter-1, Page-1 of the Encyclopedia of Marketing?



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