I See .brand Making Dot Com Stronger and Hurting Other tlds

Jun 20 2011

I’ve read the stories of the sky falling for domain owners from most major media entities talking about the new tlds that will be introduced. A move that to me, only strengthens the dot com brand and puts a hurting on the other tlds.

For a mere cost of a million dollars over 10 years (the commitment time) a person can now have their own branded tld.  The number of people that would be interested/can afford this is very limited.  Large corporation and speculators.  No different that the tlds that are being brought out now.  Touted as helping consumers with more choices, the reality is that these are only being set up to bring in more money for ICANN and investors in the new tlds.

When new choices are brought in, in any market, the newer introductions are always the first hurt.  I see dot info, tv, biz, and even dot co losing sales to the new tlds.  Dot com on the other hand.  It makes it even stronger.  It is the king and when their are more followers, the king gets stronger.  Todaro had this great comment over at TheDomains,

“look down at your keyboard. it was created in 1871 as a technical advance over the original typewriter created in 1869 because the most used keys kept knocking into each other and getting stuck. 90 years later in 1961 ibm introduced the selectric… no keys at all… just a ball with letters on it. since that time there have been untold new and truly better keyboards created with serious financial backing. none have achieved even 1% market penetration. now everything is computerized but here’s a hint… things tend to stay the way they are… at least until they change. you’re not buying space on the internet… you’re buying space in people’s heads.

And I have to agree.  This sounds great but the reality is it will just be more, not better.  You’re merely moving the dot to the left and creating more confusion.  Now it will be fragerfactor.blogspot instead of fragerfactor.blogspot.com.  Dot com loses one address in this conversion and it still makes the user a lackey to the brand that owns the tld.  True unique individuality will just as difficult with the all the users of the brand domains as it has been for the dot biz people.  The dot com owners will always be considered the superior domain.

As a pure dot com owner (mostly) I don’t think it will matter at all to me.  The true test will be watching Google try and figure out all the new additions.  In short, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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Outsmarting the Dumb, Outworking the Smart

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  1. Ceasar

    I think you have it exactly right.

    It eventually becomes obvious .com is needed to get everyone on the same page, so to speak. Total confusion will cause surfers to revert to an experience that rewards them, meaning you type in a .com and there is a site more often on one of those than any other extension percentage-wise.

    Enough bad surfing experiences into other extensions will frustrate everyone.

    I also think that the other extensions will suffer, including .net and .org.

    I’ll add one more thought: .com, even with the world’s best efforts, is still a cesspool. What makes anyone think any other extension will be anything as close to as good as the .com cesspool? They will all fall short and be total wastelands, never living up to .com.

  2. theo

    I happen to think that ccTLD’s will also gain from the same reasons. Here in Europe .COM is non exsistent. But ccTLD’s can’t turn on the tv or radio or they are urging me to visit whatever.nl and in germany , poland it is all the same..
    Can’t open up a magazine or the brand in question shows the ccTLD even if they have the .COM in question. Usually a redirect to a sub .COM domain.

    .INFO or .BIZ or .ORG you never see those around here. And the samething will happen to the new gTLD’s

    Though i bet big brands will secure their own TLD for sure. But they will keep it private. Least most of them. Maybe Apple will offer free .APPLE’s when you buy an IPAD 5 in the future to their customers.

  3. Dan

    There will be loyalty among communities to their corresponding TLD, and away from .com. Those who use country-codes may understand this better than Americans who don’t (.us is a poor example).
    For marketing to a UK audience, many advise a .co.uk address. So it may be with other communities.

    Though this is not to deny that .com will remain first choice where the target is wider than one particular community.

  4. David J Castello

    I’ve recenlty been to UK, Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria and Germany. I would not say dotCom is no-existent. Especially with businesses. Far from it. I always check the billboards on the roads and freeways. On the other hand, if you’re talking about personal usage you may have a point.

  5. Dean

    I don’t follow the logic of the above two previous comments. The only option anyone has outside of their native ccTLD is .Com. Is someone in Germany going to use .It or any other countries ccTLD as a secondary choice if the name they wanted is already registered in their native ccTLD? I think not, this will only make the .Com more of a universal extension.

  6. Dean

    One other thought… as a branding and marketing strategy it would be brilliant for someone like Apple to have their own extension. Mike@.Apple would be cool. in terms of branding and advertising, retaining customer loyalty, but not everyone wants to be associated even with their favorite product all the time. Strategically it could be useful to have your own brand extension, but it’s use and appeal is limiting.

  7. Acro

    I’ll start by saying that the Selectric reference is a failed analogy and the rest of the Tadaro copy is nebulous as well.

    That being said, I believe that the original three TLDs com/net/org have never been stronger and this won’t change with the introduction of a handful of commercial gTLDs and several other corporate ones. The only thing I’m surprised about is that Rick Schwartz kept quiet today. It would have been a great opportunity to state exactly that.

    1. Post author


      I don’t agree with the failed analogy. The keyboard hasn’t been improved in 30 years. Many attempts and yet mine looks exactly the same. A little softer though

  8. Dan

    eg. If targeting a product at chess players, maybe they will react well to a .chess address.

    If your target audience is wider then you will prefer .com.

  9. theo

    David J Castello i admitt i do not watch that many commercials i just watch what i see on the road and barely a dot com. But when i flip over a magazine i only see ccTLD’s. Today i got a client who wanted to move .FR domains.. And these where all related to big players like asus , terratec etc etc . And they all had their .FR and that ccTLD is rather restricted. Course you do see .com now and then wich keeps me believe in .com as the universal domain. On the otherhand i seen a shift from .com to ccTLD’s due to the ICE seizures…

    Acro/Theo yeah i sorta expected some words from Mr. Schwartz. On the other keep in mind approval only applies for brands and cities.. Cities mightbe more of a worry then the brands.. Though we will still have to see how it all pans out.. I am not all to happy about the can of worms ICANN opened up and i am rather suprised that all the GAC concerns where sorta swept away. Sure you can deal with it when it is needed but some stuff is way to generalized in the proposal .. Lawyers gonna be the big winners here for sure,.

  10. RickyRoss

    I’m eagerly awaiting a post from Rick Schwartz aswell, very surprising that he hasn’t said anything. No doubt he’ll surprise us any moment now.

    .com won’t be stopping any time soon, it’s still going to take a few years before people start getting used to .whatever – but there is definitely uncertainity, and good reason for it.

    If .com comes out stronger out of all this, so will ccTLDs. Hell, thats the reason why we’re called speculators, if we knew the answers we wouldnt all be so concerned about this. Things do stay the same, Land in California is still Land in California, but it’s a fact that paradigm shifts do happen, and they take time.

    Time to start taking those “low ball” offers a bit more seriously.

  11. DomainerJ

    This whole thing is much ado about nothing.

    The new gTLD’s will ultimately be a huge .FAIL and will go the same way as .Museum, .Aero, . Travel, .Jobs, .Coop and .Mobi.

    A lot of money will be lost figuring that out, but oh well. A fool and his .Money are soon parted.

    Keep buying .COM’s my friends. They are the oceanfront property of the internet and will continue as such well beyond 2014, the estimate rollout of the new gTLDs.

  12. Snoopy

    At the end of the day all these new extensions will be the domain equivalent of swap land, non ideal places to develop with the attraction being cheap land. I think think that will have a minor effect on .com, after all there will be more choice so is going to have some effect even if small, there will also be more domainer dollars going into these at least in the short-medium term.

    I think the main effect will be felt with similar alt extensions, .tv, .cc, .us, .co, .info etc. If there is 30 “swampland” extension now how will things be when there is 2000 similar extensions? It is a similar revenue pie getting cut smaller and smaller in my view.

    .net will likely retain some position of prominence (I think it is going to suffer) but stuff like .tv or .co I think will be seen as one of thousands of other extensions rather than being seen anything special.

  13. Abid

    @DomainerJ i totaly agree with you and i don’t see reason to worry about. .COM is king, and whatever happen, for sure it will stay that way for long long time.

    Failure of .pro .museum .travel … is very good example.

  14. Bob

    Ultimately, it is all opinion, we do not know what effect the new gtlds will have, you can make the argument that diluting the tld space will bring to attention that there are more extensions out there than dot com,or as has been said many time, it may indeed strengthen dot com.
    My personal view is the status quo will remain, extension like dot com,dot org etc will not be effected, cctlds such as .co.uk..de etc will remain king in their respective countries, above the dot com, extensions like .tv,will gain a little momentum giving its universal meaning,however .biz,.info etc will lose traction and become even less relevant than they are at this time.
    The argument dot com is king is true to a point, however, i agree that dot com is not all powerful in Europe,.co.uk,.de,. are kings in their own country and European countries are not as afraid to use other extensions as America.
    I see many articles, replies etc from people with an agenda to protect their assests in light of the release of the new GTLDs, but ultimately it is all guess work at the moment ( some educated, some not), i think an open mind is the way forward, move with the times and embrace the future, for the record, i have a portfolio of dot com,dot tv,dot org and .co.uk names, i don’t know how this portfolio will be affected by the new GTLDs but CHE SARÀ, SARÀ

  15. Abid

    Just found great tweet from @SedoBroker:
    “Remember who got rich during the gold rush? It was the pick and shovel makers. The gold will always be in the ground. It’s called .com”

    Yeah, brings my strength back. LOL

  16. Samit Madan

    Can’t have it both ways Shane, as much you would wish it.

    If .brand causes existing gTLDs/ccTLDs to lose value, .com will be the hardest hit considering it also features the highest valuations.

    This will actually provide a price boost to existing extensions, specially ccTLDs, where valuations still haven’t peaked.

    1. Post author

      But I will Samit.
      There are many cases where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and this will be one of them. I don’t disagree with your ccTLD values perhaps increasing, but this isn’t as simple as a mathematical formula based on present and future valuations. There is one International domain, dot com. ccTLDs are regional and although they may increase in value, it will always be largely comprised of local buyers and sellers. Not a lot of Americans and Australians buying and selling .pl. There very well could be some incredible money to be made in .pl but it is more difficult for “outsiders” to become involved.

  17. Alex A

    I don’t have any worries about .COM losing ground due to this. .COM was the first widely accepted domain extension. Everyone remembers who came in first in a race, and may remember who came in second. But memory fades after that. The same goes for brands that become generics, mainly because they were the first to become successful in their field. Do you ask for cellophane tape, or Scotch tape? Do you ask for a Kleenex or facial tissue? And then there is of course the word “Coke” which could be a generic for just about any kind of soft drink.

    .COM falls into the same category. It’s what people expect a company to have as an extension, because it was the first widely-accepted extension. I can type in McDonalds.COM or Microsoft.COM or Xerox.COM and know what I’ll get.

    These new extensions are being marketed, as many products are marketed, with fear as a motivator. Fear that if a company doesn’t get their name as an extension, they aren’t completely protecting their brand. But even if companies like Canon and Hitachi grab their extension, what do people type to the left of the dot? Canon.canon? It’s so much easier to just keep typing what we’ve been typing all along. Canon.com.

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