Many expect the Brand applicants are to lead the new gTLD charge by bringing consumer awareness to the new gTLD program.
To the extent consumers start seeing advertising on domain names using new gTLD’s , consumers may become much more aware of new gTLD domain names.
However company’s are still using what I call the “indiscriminate dot” in its advertising, marketing and branding which is only going to confuse consumers even more.
At the recently held TRAFFIC conference I sat in a session where a domainer from New Jersey in the audience was commenting on trucks she was seeing driving around everywhere where she lived, which was a restaurant supply company, that she said already had a new gTLD as it corporate name.
The domainer went on to say the name on the trucks was US.Foods, and how memorable and brandable the domain was on all those trucks and that she now got the whole new gTLD thing
The problem was I knew the domainer was wrong, while there were applicants for the new gTLD of .food there wasn’t an applicant for .foods.
I was right
But the domainer was right too
She indeed had been seeing trucks driving around displaying the US.Foods logo:
This is of course not the only instance where companies have branded around a logo that contains a indiscriminate dot.
Another company, The Company Lab, which is an accelerator which is helping a lot of start ups also uses an indiscriminate dot in their logo:
So while there is of course a .Co domain name extension there is not an applicant for .Lab. This is another piece of marketing from the Company Lab Site:
Co.Lab seems to really like using the indiscriminate dot in their products and marketing materials and uses the brand CO.STARTERS on their site as well which you can check out by clicking here.
Even company’s in the domain space looking to take advantage of the new gTLD program by selling services or products related to the program (this company runs an alternative root system) are going to wind up confusing people.
Here is the logo from AnyExtension.com
Of course Sony’s Make.believe is the oldest example of this:
Sony has even use the same marketing idea of an indiscriminate dot, even when it matched an actual domain name that was in existence that they didn’t own:
Nestle Candy has a bar called Bar One, check out the logo:
There are of course plenty of more company’s that use an indiscriminate dot to advertise products for other branding purposes.
So while the Brands can lead the consumers out of the new gTLD confusion they can lead them right back into the fog.
reminds me back in the 90’s i’d occasionally see places using “.COM” in their name even though they didnt own that web address.
Tom Gilles says
If Booking.com wants to keep sending potential customers to Booking.Yeah, they’ll just alienate and annoy potential customers.
will it just be slightly annoying or “alienating” ?
the fact that people are actually trying to go to booking.yeah proves people will learn eventually.
any clearer now? (ok im kidding, still not enough information to determine 🙂
It would be confusing if someone tried to type in the url in the browser address window
But in the future, it is more likely that users are typing into a search box on their mobile device.
To these folks, it will appear as if Sony owns .believe. I’m sure they will police any trademarks with .believe.
Jeff Schneider says
It has been proven over and over again that online consumers who are confused go on auto pilot and instictively check out the .COM Franchise Address.
Gratefully, Jeff schneider (Contact Group) (Metal Tiger)
Tianna Buckwalter says
Interesting to come across this as the Creative Director of the aforementioned CO.LAB (The Company Lab).
First a slight correction—the Orlando image didn’t come from anywhere on our site. However, you are correct in that our brand names and marks for CO.LAB and CO.STARTERS do include the dot. We find that in our case, the punctuation in our name highlights the most important part of our brand—that we create companies. We have also found that our target audience is smart enough to correctly assess the difference between a company name and a url. And as our urls are nearly always listed clearly and separately alongside the brand, there is even less room for confusion.
Of course, there always has been and will continue to be confusion with gTLDs. In our case we’re willing to risk some confusion amongst the masses to stand out more with our target audience.
Regards, Tianna Buckwalter
Creative Director, The Company Lab (CO.LAB)
PS: In several places in your article, company’s should be companies.
Enjoyed your post, Tianna.