Evaluate the Real Risks and Benefits of gTLDs

What would you do if you could secure your brand in an innovative way? Not just as, but truly own the entire web address with an entirely new domain structure that would allow you to own “.yourbrand.” Would you apply?

Your fellow marketing professionals are facing this same decision as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, better known as ICANN, began accepting applications for generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) last week.

The debate over whether gTLDs represent a new era in branding and creativity began when ICANN announced the program in June 2011. Proponents, including AdAge, argue that gTLDs offer significant opportunities, including the ability to create a global brand platform and secure the brand against imposters. Detractors believe the program actually will increase the channels for squatters to infringe on trademarks and that it is prohibitively expensive. Even as the application window opened, the debate continued.

To help marketers winnow the fact from hype, Forrester Research recently published a report addressing some of the major concerns on each side of the issue. They found that companies that evaluate a strategic plan now might save time and money down the line.

“You must go into this decision with your eyes wide open to the real risks and benefits of owning a dot-brand gTLD as well as the risks of not applying,” Jeff Ernst said in the report.

Download the free Forrester report for more thoughts on the benefits of applying for your own gTLD.

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Erin Bush

About Erin Bush

Erin Bush is the Managing Editor of Neustar Insights. She blogs about big data, social media, STEM and other industry trends. She can be reached at, or you can follow her on Twitter @ErinSlick.

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