The Game has Changed, and Now So Must the Game Plan

Phil Lodico ⬥ 22 June

Monday was a long awaited day for many in the domain industry. While some of us have spent the past few years working hard to make the planned launch of new gTLDs as orderly and minimally harmful as possible, others pushed hard for less regulation and an earlier launch. At the end of the day, we have achieved about as much balance as  possible from ICANN, an organization that is biased to begin with.

New gTLDs are coming. On January 12, 2012, the application window will open and ICANN will accept applications for new gTLDs for four months.

If the past two days are any indication of what the next six months will be like, I think we are all in for quite a ride. From early in the morning until well into the night these past two days, I have spent hour after hour discussing and responding to brand owners’ inquires about what to do now. I’m sure today will be no different, as the news cycle has likely pushed the topic of new gTLDs up to the higher echelons of most corporations.

While a select few companies have already announced their plans to apply for their own .BRAND gTLD, the realization that new gTLDs are now around the corner has brought the issue to the top of the minds of everyone that has been waiting on the sideline to see what would happen.

Now that there is no more uncertainty as to whether new gTLDs will be officially approved or not, it is time to begin planning. Like it or not, we will see many, many new gTLDs applied for and launched within the next year. Some will succeed and some will fail. Whether a company ultimately decides to apply for their own gTLD, this impending change will alter the way the Internet looks and how users move through it. All brands will have to adapt to the new landscape. Because of the potential ramifications of this change, the C-Suites of all major companies need to be aware of this issue.

The game is set to change and brand owners need to be ready. But that doesn’t mean they should rush into a decision as some companies are suggesting. Rather, right now they need to take the time to fully understand how new gTLDs will impact their digital strategy, as well as all the benefits and risks of both owning and not owning their own gTLD. The wait and see period is over. Now it’s time to formulate a plan.

If you need the facts and would like help navigating through the noise, drop us a line

Tags: brands, C-Suites, digital strategy, domain industry, gTLDs, ICANN, Internet

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