EXPERT ADVICE

Who Will Give Birth to the gTLD’s First Billion-Dollar Domain Baby?

On June 20, 2011, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers made an announcement to a packed meeting in Singapore that created a global shockwave.

With a thousand delegates bearing witness, ICANN released its long-awaited gTLD program, creating new types of domain names with unlimited potential.

The application fee per name starts at US$185,000, and each new name can cost up to $500,000 to integrate. This investment is no more than the price of large single-highway signage over a 10-year lease. However, it permits thousands of such luminous cyberstructures over high-density information highways.

Once an organization decides on a unique idea with the right name identity, the challenge will be to create, nurture and grow it with a successful sub-name brand-hierarchy.

This way, the master gTLD can take root and grow like a tree with strong branches, and with successful layers of multiple sub-name-brands, it can blossom into a giant money tree.

The gTLD Pyramid

When all you have is a hammer, everything appears to be a nail. The gTLDs are not just about trademark filing and battle posturing or cybersquatting. They are about the potential to create unusual global intellectual properties offering multiple opportunities for rapid image expansion and — most importantly — the achievement of market domination via name identity.

The ICANN gTLDs are also not just about mass domain name registrations. Rather, they are about massive customer acquisition and the creation of intricate layers of customer access.

Most of the current debate is focused on the grind of one of the single key aspects, while ignoring all the other interlaced facets — what’s missing is the reflective shine and brilliance of the idea.

An interdisciplinary approach to all gTLD matters is a must. Early cinema provides a good example: It incorporated dozens of diverse and seemingly unrelated issues, which led to the eruption of a full-fledged industry.

The integrated approach to gTLD is the fastest way to get the boardroom’s attention. Otherwise, the discussion can become splintered, with fragments of ideas scattered in separate departments — from technology to legal to domain name registration to webmasters.

Key Points

A gTLD with the right name-identity combination offers the following:

the fastest way to create hypervisibility and global presence;the most intricate device for attracting massive customer acquisition;the game changer from the old school of traditional marketing and branding.

A gTLD offers corporate management opportunities to energize marketing:

fast-track evaluations of current name portfolios to determine long-term action plans;realignment of naming architectures to accommodate too many or too few identities;reassessment of current name ownership strategies in light of this new age frontier.

A gTLD process has hidden naming challenges in the program:

how to differentiate power and evaluate a proposed name (example .car .auto .motor);how to select a winning combination (.locomoto, automoto, .udrive, idrive, .ucar mycar);how to price and sub-brand a naming architecture for a winning master candidate.

A gTLD race will create spectacular opportunity or catastrophic failure:

Any gTLD application without a highly appropriate proposed name will fail;Any gTLD without a strategic branding and global image expansion model will fail;Any gTLD without a wide usage sub-brand creation methodology will fail;Any gTLD misrepresenting sub-brand name evaluation will fail;Any gTLD without commanding knowledge of global corporate nomenclature will fail.

If we place the entire gTLD process in a hierarchy forming a pyramid, the base would consist of all the big picture concepts and specific ideas. The middle part would be where all the procedures of application, funding, financial modeling and legally guided long-term application processes reside. On the very pointed top of the pyramid would be the proposed name, with full consensus and analysis. Without its absolute winning certainty, the entire exercise would simply be futile, and the pyramid would collapse.

To tackle the ultimate issues, exclusive high-level webinars are being delivered in simple business language moderated by world-renowned authorities in the field of global naming complexities.They cover the power and opportunities of ICANN gTLD and how to prepare for the advanced level of tactical maneuvers in name identity expansion.

Special knowledge is in demand as gTLD opportunities are complex, according to AZNA Events. Corporations in search of market domination and wishing mass customer acquisition need this urgently.

Advertising agencies, as well as all types of creative services, can find a place in this special global cyberbranding arena. Trademark and legal services will be in demand as more integrated access to developing intellectual properties is required.

Technology and domain name registries will become the new norm as a name-centric end-user-friendly mass approach. Associations will provide high-value education and create competitive advantages for their members in search of an aggressive image presence. Municipalities will seek destination branding to attract aggressive regional developments. All these stakeholders need guidance and deeper understanding to play this global game of market domination via name identity.

Educational Opportunities

The Association for the Advancement of Relationship Marketing/Relationship Management, or AARM, is presenting an ongoing webinar series to tackle some of these issues. Internet Business Law Services, or IBLS, is releasing a series of webinars on the various gTLD opportunities for a legal audience in August 2011. There are also conferences like .Nxt, scheduled for Aug. 24-26 in San Francisco, and The Munich Conference on new TLDs, set for September 26-27. As the race intensifies, the demand for high-value content delivered with global cyberbranding speed will spur the hot topics.

Senior executives must learn to tackle the unusual questions of today. How do you make bold and intelligent arguments in the boardroom and ask for a million dollars to create a billion-dollar money tree? How much real power can a gTLD yield on global name identity expansion? What special skills are needed to steer this new vehicle toward market domination? How do you play the new game for marketing management on mass customer acquisition models based on a new type of naming architecture? What surprise challenges will cascade into marketing, branding and trademark areas on global name identity issues? What are your options if your current name identity is incompatible with ICANN procedures?

The challenge will always be how to articulate some of the following issues:how to assess practicality, profitability and competitive advantage and related options before the prescribed deadline; how to create billion-dollar domain babies. Once the new game is properly understood, it will certainly allow the creation of “billion dollar domain babies,” with superpower naming ideas becoming billion-dollar intellectual properties for their holders. This will be an amazing game to play and to watch.

The legal firms and image-branding agencies seeking new clients have three tasks: how to identify their top clients and offer them world-class recommendations with full confidence to play this game; how to create back-up and supportive plans to capture special name identities for targeted markets; and lastly, how to attract new clients by providing leadership on exclusive options for generic and destination brands.

Naseem Javed, founder of ABC Namebank, is recognized as a world authority on global naming complexities. He is currently helping corporations on ICANN's new gTLD cyberplatforms and lecturing on new nomenclature frontiers and global cyberbranding. He is also conducting a series of exclusive webinars on how to evaluate and achieve iconic name status worldwide.

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