New Top-Level Domains Create Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, Part 2
Myth No. 3: Consumers will be lost online. There may be “do I add a .com to the end of that?” questions at first, but .brands have the potential to improve the way consumers navigate the web and the way businesses organize information online.
Claims that additional TLDs will lead to mass confusion underestimate the intelligence of today’s consumer. The history of the internet is about consumers quickly embracing change online. Massive industries like online retail and online banking wouldn't exist if consumers weren’t adaptable.
Let’s look at the recent launch of the .co TLD as a generally available, worldwide domain. .co sold 1 million domains in its first year of availability and we saw immediate adoption of .co domains by such major internet properties as Google (g.co) and Twitter (t.co). In fact, leading online retailer Overstock.com actually named an NFL stadium in Oakland, Calif. o.co Stadium as a result. Adoption of new TLDs hasn't impacted these major brands.
Simple and memorable .brand domains will create a far more effective bridge between offline and online media, helping brands generate increased direct website traffic from targeted advertising campaigns. A recent study revealed that among consumers using search engines to find brands online, two-thirds have wound up visiting a different website than intended. Marketers understand that easy recall and navigation are critical, particularly as mobile device usage rises. Friendly domain names like yourname.amazon or toys.amazon offer better personalization and navigation, which ultimately means more traffic to sites.
The full utility and effectiveness of additional TLDs will develop over time and with consumer education, but there are sufficient benefits for a wide range of organizations to dig deeper in order to make an educated decision.
Kanchan Mhatre is senior vice president at Melbourne IT Digital Brand Services, which helps global brands assess and optimize the opportunities presented by .brand domain names and mitigate online reputation risk through online brand protection. Kanchan can be reached at Kanchan.email@example.com.