4 Digital Brand Protection Tips Every Marketer Should Know

In an unprecedented move that will change the way everyone uses the internet, traditional .com domain names are being challenged by the introduction of more than a thousand new alternatives. These alternative domains are intended to better target both business owners and their customers. But how significant are they and what options do brand and trademark owners have to protect their online presence?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit body that oversees web addresses, is launching over a thousand new internet suffixes, called generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). These new domains are intended to better organize the internet.

As every marketing professional knows, a company’s name, along with its service and history, is the brand. It’s critically important for the brand to be promoted and protected online. This new era of the internet will directly impact search engine optimization, sales and marketing for brand and trademark owners in virtually every industry.

Here are four tips that every marketing industry professional should follow in order to protect their brands and trademarks in this expanding internet landscape:

1. Learn about new domains before they launch. In order to get the most out of an online presence, it’s important to know when the new gTLDs that are of interest to your consumer base will become available for claim or purchase. By monitoring for new gTLD releases, brand owners can effectively decide how better to use the internet to market their business. Check out the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) website as well as other resources like www.calzone.org to learn more about these launch dates.

2. Be strategic about registration. As important as it is to seek out TLDs that help your brand strategy, it’s equally as important to protect your business or brand name from domains that could send the wrong message to prospects. Making sure your company isn’t associated with certain TLDs (e.g., .SUCKS, .WTF, etc.) can be done through various brand protection programs being offered. Domain registries like Donuts offers a brand protection program for its 200-plus TLDs and ICM Registry offers a domain matching program for its TLDs (e.g., .XXX, .PORN, etc.).