“Inviting customers in” was one of several practical tips given to applicants for .brand generic top-level domains (gTLDs) at an industry event in London.
Chris Davenport, head of verbal identity at brand consultancy Interbrand, told The Digital Marketing & gTLD Strategy Congress that a .brand is potentially “very lucrative”.
Before discussing how to maximise this potential, Davenport reminded the audience that most consumers do not know about gTLDs. He cited a poll that found 75 percent of 2,000 respondents had not heard of the gTLD programme.
Understanding what consumers want and how they use technology, he said, is crucial for building a successful .brand domain.
“We are in an age where consumers and brands build a brand together. Building brands need to be interactive and iterative,” Davenport said.
Brands should “anticipate needs and transform desire”, according to Davenport, who noted that Apple has made people feel that they need an iPad, even if they don’t.
“Perhaps there is a latent customer need to tap into,” he said of the gTLD programme.
Other tips included generating involvement and participation, having a “living and breathing expression and evolving with the changing world”.
For brands that have not applied for a gTLD, “vigilance” is key to understanding what strategies work, said Davenport, while businesses should “be prepared if and when there is a next round”.
“Use it wisely and be proactive” he told .brand applicants. “Have a clear purpose and adapt your content strategy to match it. Think about which generics (that you own) will help you connect better with customers.
“It’s vital to invite customers in and let them help you develop things. Make it more personal and relevant.”
Interbrand publishes an annual list of the world’s leading brands, and Davenport noted that a “majority” of those on the 2012 list have filed for a gTLD.
Coca-Cola is the current leader on Interbrand’s list.
The conference finishes today.
This article was first published on 27 September 2013 in World IP Review
gTLDs, .brand, brand protection, Interbrand,