The per­fect dot­Brand-Stra­te­gy inclu­des many topics: dot­Brands use their brand names to the right side of the dot in an Inter­net address. In this way, .brands work exact­ly like long-stan­ding top-level domains such as .com or .de – but simul­ta­ne­ous­ly open up a lar­ge num­ber of new pos­si­bi­li­ties. Not only do dot­Brands have a com­ple­te uni­ver­se of Inter­net addres­ses open to them; they can also inno­va­te new busi­ness models, expand their dis­tri­bu­ti­on chan­nels, and align their online mar­ke­ting acti­vi­ties. But how many dot­Brands are the­re at pre­sent? Which dot­Brand-Stra­te­gy has been deve­lo­ped by which dot­Brand? And how exact­ly do com­pa­nies bene­fit from their own top-level domain?

Global distribution of dotBrands

World­wi­de, the­re are cur­r­ent­ly 554 dot­Brands with 40 coun­tries of ori­gin. The USA leads the list of coun­tries with the most dot­Brands, fol­lo­wed at some distance by Japan and Germany:

Top ten countries with the most dotBrands

With a focus on the num­ber of regis­tered domains under all dot­Brands, the fol­lowing chart reve­als a slight­ly dif­fe­rent out­co­me. Here, Ger­ma­ny is at the top with 3,163 domain names, clo­se­ly fol­lo­wed by the USA and France:

Top ten countries with the most .brand domains

The view by sec­tor reve­als that world­wi­de the finan­cial indus­try is at the top with 66 dot­Brands, fol­lo­wed by the finan­cial and inter­net industry:

Top five industries with the most .brands

The com­pa­nies with the lar­gest num­ber of regis­tered domains under their dot­Brand are based in Euro­pe, fol­lo­wed in second place by Chi­na, and in third by the USA. With 1,695 domains regis­tered under .mma, the insuran­ce com­pa­ny MMA IARD from Fran­ce is the lea­der, fol­lo­wed by the finan­cial advi­so­ry DVAG with 1,239 .dvag domains and the car manu­fac­tu­rer Audi with 645 .audi domains, both from Germany:

top ten dotBrands with the most registeres domains

Examples for a dotBrand-Strategy

The bene­fits of .brands can be uti­li­zed in many ways. The fol­lowing sam­ples illus­tra­te how dot­Brands deve­lo­ped their dot­Brand-Stra­te­gey and gene­ra­te value by engen­de­ring hig­her levels of cus­to­mer trust, pro­vi­ding more intui­ti­ve infor­ma­ti­on, and enab­ling more effi­ci­ent branding:

1.    Leading through innovation – .audi

Espe­cial­ly when it comes to a bet­ter posi­tio­ning in the mar­ket, a dot­Brand incre­a­ses effi­ci­en­cy. Even though Audi its­elf is ran­ked top in search, they are also hea­vi­ly reli­ant on their car dea­ler ran­kings. In order to pro­vi­de them with a con­sis­tent naming sche­me, Audi regis­tered a .audi domain name for each of their Audi Ser­vice Cen­ters, exter­nal dis­tri­bu­ti­on part­ners and licen­sees in Ger­ma­ny. Now, every part­ner can be iden­ti­fied as belon­ging to the Audi brand through the use of the top-level domain .audi.

For examp­le, www.feser-lauf.audi bene­fits from being con­nec­ted to the .audi brand domain, as the ending of the Inter­net address gives con­su­mers con­fi­dence and build trust. This, from ano­t­her per­spec­ti­ve, also brings con­si­derable advan­ta­ges for audi: Incre­a­sed traf­fic on the part­ners’ web­sites results into hig­her con­ver­si­on for .audi, sin­ce only the trade­mark hol­der Audi can own the rela­ted brand top-level domain.

2.    Improved stakeholder communication – .edeka

With a dot­Brand, com­pa­nies also impro­ve col­la­bo­ra­ti­on and com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on with their various sta­ke­hol­ders. One of Germany’s lar­gest gro­ce­ry store chains, Ede­ka, satis­fies the com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on needs of its various inte­rest groups by offe­ring each of them their own plat­form. Thus, sta­ke­hol­ders loca­te infor­ma­ti­on easi­ly, intui­tively and quickly.

Anyo­ne who is inte­res­ted in star­ting an appren­ti­ce­ship gets rele­vant infor­ma­ti­on on Edeka’s digi­tal plat­form for appren­ti­ce­ships, www.ausbildung.edeka. Here, inte­res­ted par­ties not only use the search func­tion to find vacan­ci­es, they can also learn which qua­li­fi­ca­ti­ons app­li­cants have to ful­fil, how the app­li­ca­ti­on pro­cess works, and what Ede­ka has to offer its employees. Addi­tio­nal­ly, Ede­ka sup­ports app­li­cants with important tips and tricks for a suc­cess­ful application.

For ambi­tious star­tups who are inte­res­ted in laun­ching their pro­ducts in the gro­ce­ry stores, Ede­ka star­ted foodstarter.edeka. Star­tups can use the digi­tal plat­form to pre­sent their pro­ducts to the Ede­ka store owners, have their pro­ducts tes­ted by them, and final­ly get to fill Edeka’s shel­ves on a long-term basis. In the rela­ted blog, suc­cess­ful “food­star­ters” have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to give inter­views and report on their experiences.

3.    Stronger customer loyalty – .emerck

A dot­Brand streng­t­hens cus­to­mer rela­ti­ons­hips in new and inno­va­ti­ve ways. Merck, a Ger­man-based health­ca­re, life sci­ence, and per­for­mance mate­ri­als com­pa­ny impro­ved their cus­to­mers’ inte­rest with the digi­tal maga­zi­ne www.magazin.emerck. Wit­hin three dif­fe­rent cate­go­ries, inte­res­ted par­ties gain exci­ting insights on various topics con­cer­ning “life”, “inno­va­ti­on”, and “cul­tu­re”. Each arti­cle is writ­ten in a clear, com­pre­hen­si­ble lan­guage and illus­tra­ted with a matching pho­to or gra­phic – and thus appeals to a broad audi­ence. To ever­yo­ne who wants to explo­re the world of phar­maceu­tics and life sci­en­ces, the online maga­zi­ne is avail­ab­le in Eng­lish and German.

4.    Better branding – .swatch

With the help of a dot­Brand Inter­net address, a com­pa­ny easi­ly pres­ents the con­nec­tion bet­ween its­elf and its pro­ducts. In this way, cus­to­mers intui­tively per­cei­ve the tie bet­ween the com­pa­ny and its pro­ducts. Watch manu­fac­tu­rer Swatch pres­ents its new collec­tion, POP, on the web­site www.pop.swatch. Inte­res­ted par­ties find ever­ything they need to know on the bran­ded domain which was espe­cial­ly crea­ted for this pur­po­se ins­tead of having to click their way through end­less menus. Addi­tio­nal­ly, a brand domain name sticks in the mind much more easi­ly than a gene­ric domain name as it not only rein­for­ces the company’s name but also tells web­site visi­tors from the start who the brand is.

5.    Secure communication – .allfinanz

All­fi­nanz Deut­sche Ver­mö­gens­be­ra­tung, a Ger­man invest­ment con­sul­tancy, offers its cus­to­mers digi­tal access to their mail­box at postfach.allfinanz. This has several advan­ta­ges: Cus­to­mers are not only able to retrie­ve infor­ma­ti­on easi­ly and at any time, they also have an addi­tio­nal com­mu­ni­ca­ti­on chan­nel at their dis­po­sal, on top of per­so­nal con­ta­ct with their advi­sor. More important, howe­ver, the secu­ri­ty of the cus­to­mers’ per­so­nal data is gua­ran­te­ed at any time.

As All­fi­nanz is the owner of the .all­fi­nanz top-level domain, it has com­ple­te con­trol of all facets of the top-level domain ope­ra­ti­on, which means that the risk of phis­hing, spam, or any other abu­si­ve usa­ge pla­guing Inter­net users today is prac­ti­cal­ly non-exis­tent. As a result, cus­to­mers get grea­ter con­fi­dence that their pri­va­te data are pro­tec­ted in the best way pos­si­ble. A dot­Brand thus ser­ves as the ulti­ma­te means to incre­a­se con­su­mer trust and confidence.

 

Ori­gi­nal­ly publis­hed in dot­ma­ga­zi­ne