What does 13 June 2012 tell us? Domain name expansion is a big game changer and marketers of the world will have to come to terms with their love or hate relationship with ICANN and equally make room for domain registries, registrars and ICANN, as they too will call the shots on global name branding and influencing Intellectual Property assets.
The top brass of the advertising branding agencies of the world will have some explaining to do about what happened to their fear mongering, and also, if it was ever justified. Corporate communications and business development practitioners will quickly have to learn all the new skills and terms of the new trade to articulate intelligently on the topic.
To cope with the new issues, a higher level of tactical education is charging towards global branding knowledge as a prerequisite to name identity domination over sleepy brands while the aftermarket boom will not only start massive domain name multiplication, but it will also start selective replication of new brands cascading towards glocalized customer touchpoints.
The game changers have landed and here is the check list for the big key players:The big name identity owners:
The dot brand applicants:
- What were the main reasons for their teams to miss the gTLD train?
- What will they teach their teams now and how will they prepare them for next time?
- What are the new types of marketing threats and possible safeguards?
- How solid are their name identities and how are they structured for whichever platform?
The dot generic applicants:
- Which progressive gTLD name branding patterns do they have planned for success?
- What style and shape will their name identity become down the road and why?
- What level of selling and pricing structures will be the right balance and why?
- Will their names grow or shrink in time and how will they prepare for name dilution?
The dot destination applicants:
- What's the right price for their cherished name identity in an auction?
- What is the right selling price of their sub-domain names and why?
- What are the best models to create powerful generic name brands?
- What are the new ways to promote generic names in a trademarked world?
The domain registries:
- When and how will this become the next big agenda item on Mayoralty election?
- How will they mobilise their community to share the destination branding process?
- What level of scrutiny will be required to avoid creating their own internal trademark battles?
- What are the nomenclature secrets to ensure high value of the destination brand?
The domain registrars:
- What level of marketing and name branding proficiencies are now offered by their firms?
- What level of educational support do they offer to an ever expanding customer base?
- When and how do they fully engage as name branding power brokers?
- Will too many gTLDs and too many sub-domain issues confuse their marketing?
The global domainers:
- What level of value added services can be offered to complex aftermarket customers?
- What level of corporate nomenclature issues will their frontlines be able to handle?
- How far will they play on assisting name identity domination vs cyber-squatting?
- Where are new levels of profitability hidden in the aftermarket complexities?
The trademark law firms:
- What are the new guidelines when domain prices become totally unpredictable?
- How to create new winners and how to safeguard old established domain properties.
- How to measure the impact of gTLDs on the upper end of dotcom kingdom.
- What will the end-users' new expectancies be regarding gTLD domains and sub-brands?
The branding and advertising agencies
- How many of their big client's missed the gTLD train and why?
- What level of name-centric education are they offering to the applicants and prospects?
- Have they declared their position and come to terms with trademark conflicts and squatting?
- Have they identified the vast aftermarket opportunities for their firms?
The corporate world
- Have they decided to project positive messages with expertise on gTLD naming matters?
- What can they demonstrate to align their customer base for the next round?
- What level of internal education is being carried out on global naming complexities?
- Have they identified the immense new business opportunities around gTLDs yet?
The ICANN world
- Have they figured out what just happened and do they have qualified people to explain all this?
- Are they ready to face their love or hate relationship with ICANN and its consequences?
- Have they identified the internal beneficiaries of the 'do not rock the naming boat' syndrome?
- Are they aware of the name-centric applications and market domination via name identity?
- If it is a million dollar operation, does it operate like one, and if it is a $350 million operation, does it behave like one?
- How to cope with tough naming questions and keep applicants happy.
- How and when to announce the next window with simplified process.
- How to take charge of global confusion on internet's ownership.
Each player has to position itself with the right trajectory and the right knowledge to capture the market, while skilled teams would bring the biggest bang. The naming game has advanced; intellectual prowess would be more in demand than fancy decorum, global knowledge would be more critical than myopia.
In the end, the gTLD is all about naming and how it's stretched over the global canvass. The ICANN gTLD topic is already very complex and when aligned with marketing domination via name identity, it immediately creates fire. It's also very naïve to see all this from a single point of view and, unless one forms circles of highly qualified and multidisciplinary teams with passion and empathy, the topic will get stuck in rhetoric and the entanglements of half knowledge.
Discover the fastest way to become an expert on some of the key topics and assemble the right team to cover for the missing links. Address these issues in the boardroom only when a certain level of knowledge base has already been passed on. Be bold enough to recognise and identify half-knowledge champions before they kindle their own bonfires. Adjust rapidly and move forward or be prepared to get pushed aside - the game changers will take over.