Branding Blog

Internet branding adds exclusivity & expense with Branded Domains!

Written by Dale Berkebile | Thu, Jun 23, 2011

That's right branded domain names! Now your probably wondering what does this mean… "branded domain names?" or isn't our current domain name a "branded domain name?". For some I would say yes and for others I'd say no. If you got to the name game late or bought your domain name unstrategically, your brand name may not be in your domain name. Obviously if you are reading this article on our site, you probably know the getBrandwise.com domain. On one hand this is a branded .com domain name, but not nearly as branded as the new branded domain names that were announced on Monday of this week.

The days of .com, .net, .org, .co, etc. are changing. You will soon be able to purchase your brand name, company name or industry name as the end of your domain. For example Nike might purchase the .nike domain name.

Why is this so important? That is a good question. This is a new concept to most so it will take some time to fully understand the best way to use these branded domain names. Early on I think it will play out well for the Nikes, P&Gs and other large companies who have a big product line. I would think they would use it to continue to brand themselves when they promote their products.

So let's say Nike wants to promote the latest Air Jordan, they create a site based only on the Air Jordan and this website could be www.airjordan.nike. As I am writing this it is funny to say .nike. I always want to end URLs with .com since this is what rolls off the tongue due to using .com for 17+ years. Obviously there will be some time to get used to this new domain structure, as every domain will have a different domain name ending.

From a branding perspective this is really huge! This type of domain will really help build your brand within your domain even more so than you are now able to do. As with any serious branding efforts though, there is a cost that goes with this.

These new branded domain names are going to cost a ton of cash in the grand scheme of the current domain world. Filling out an application to get one of these domain names is rumored to start at $185,000. That is a pretty hefty application fee so you can understand how this is going to be focused towards the current super brands and companies looking to become super-brands.

If you apply and get the branded domain name of your liking the next step is technical setup. This is rumored to be $100,000 for the set up and then the annual cost is rumored to be another $100,000 per year. Wow! That is a lot of dough, right? Of course it is. But there is a lot of value in a really solid brand. This would be one part of what increases the intangible brand value that truly increases a companies market value. Building brand equity allows a company to sell at a much higher rate than having no-brand equity. So for the companies serious about their brand this will be a drop in the bucket, but for those small companies this would be a huge undertaking.

It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. So I'd love to hear what other people think about branded domains. Who do you think will be the first company to buy, set up and launch their new branded domain? Share your thoughts below.