Name identity is the most important and valuable component of a brand [Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)]
(Gulf News (United Arab Emirates) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Dubai
There was a time not too long ago when people didn't know - or care - for websites or bother with emails. Cast your mind backâ€¦ it wasn't that long ago.
Now, we all have a fair idea of how entwined we are in the â€˜world wide web' and the social media sites that have sprung up as an extension of our communication tools.
When internet came into existence, people did not know what it was, they never knew what a website was and they never knew how an email works.
Now we all know what internet has done to our lives and how we have changed, and how it has changed the businesses. Look at the social media platforms now and how it was five years ago.
So much so, domain names have to play catch up given the swelling ranks of web sites and their users, There are around 160 million active websites, and 111 million of them are dot coms.
All this is about to change with more than 1,300 new domains going through the final stages of launch. This project is being overseen by Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which manages domain names and IP addresses and which has been working for eight years to make this a reality.
Akram Atallah, president of ICANN, has said the programme will enhance competition, innovation and choice in the domain name space. It will allow new companies to enter the market.
"The best way to protect your brand is not to chase every gTLD (generic Top-Level Domain) out there; it is also to provide "brand awareness" so that anyone looking for the brand knows where to find you," said Atallah. "Therefore, nobody will be looking for you at the wrong places. That is the most effective way to provide brand identity and protect it and this is what the community has done to the programme,."
So, what should a new website armed with a new domain name do to go about capturing attention? "Many new good brands will certainly appear and capture the traffic while the other is why it is important for small businesses, because it provides unbelievable opportunities to create a new change and something that can grow into large money trees and create a powerful brand," said Naseem Javed, founder of Toronto-based ABC Namebank International.
"I have been monitoring the global generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) progress for the last 12 years and advising organisations on how to prepare for the upcoming changes and capitalize on the massive digitalization," he said.
"Organizations are also simply not aware that an extra letter added or chopped off from their name may have already shifted the force of desired message into some unknown confused meaning and turning customers off," he said.
A gTLD is the cheapest bargain in marketing communications today. The right gTLD name in the right combination is the cheapest, fastest and most powerful tool to create hyper visibility and global presence. Unlike the introduction of the first-generation domain name, this one is a very sophisticated maneuvre.
The gTLD programme is right now closed and nobody can buy a gTLD name for the next three to five years. Those who bought earlier made very smart moves. "The advancements in domain names will support the next generation of Internet users. We are creating more space for growth in online," Atallah said.
Javed said the entire gTLD is now coming as a tsunami and it has two fronts - one for organisations to understand what it is and the other for consumers to understand what the hidden opportunities are and how it will become very big.
It all started from January this year and by end of this year, there will be hundreds and hundreds of new gTLDs running around.
Cyber presence is the new power; if consumers and organisations need a cyber-presence then they need to have a good domain name.
Short names are the best in the new gTLD programme to attract traffic even though there is no limit. Simple names are like "icing on the cake".
"Combining these two works provided the names are yoursâ€¦ If the names are shared and commonly used, then a short and simple name will have no value," Javed said.
Asked what will happen to the current inventory of domain names, Javed said "dotcoms" will remain. But long and complicated names with dashes and numbers will disappear.
The good dotcom names will "increase their value because there will be a lot of confusion with so many new types of names coming. So dotcoms will stand out like a shiny example of a good and old stable nomenclature policy," Javed said. "I have been urging people to become a domain naming expert as quickly as possible. Marketing and business expansion all over the world will be determined by how good your names are in this high-speed of wired community.
"dubai, .abudhabi and .arab will play a very power role towards the Expo 2020 and in creating global identities."
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