Companies prepare to bid for branded domain names

Canon: set to bid for its own branded domain name
Canon: set to bid for its own branded domain name

Marketers are gearing up to invest hundreds of thousands of pounds in buying their own brand as online domain names, amid fears that the new URLs will provoke confusion among consumers.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, the international body that oversees the naming structure of the web, is due to outline its guidelines on brands registering to buy their own domain names next month.

Companies such as Canon, Hitachi, IBM and Unicef are expected to be the first to buy the unique domains.

It will cost about $185,000 (£113,000) to register a brand domain name, such as ‘.hitachi’, as well as $25,000 (£15,000) a year in subscription and infrastructure costs.

However, not all marketers are convinced by the idea. Andrew Morley, vice-president  of marketing EMARA at Motorola, said the brand remains committed to its existing site.

‘The chance of consumer confusion is pretty significant. We will probably register for our domain name, but would only look at changing from Motorola.com if the market starts to make moves toward it,’ he added.

Matt Stannard, chief technology officer at digital agency 4PS marketing, said big brands will be compelled to buy domain extensions to match their competitors. He added that brands would have to consider how they align their ‘.com’ and ‘.co.uk’ domain names to avoid confusing consumers online.

Ross Taylor, chief digital officer at TMW, agreed that the changes will cause unnecessary confusion and questioned why they were being introduced. ‘Consumers who have grown up with the internet understand using ".com" and ".co.uk",’ he said.

Brands will be able to register for the ‘top-level domains’ from November, according to Stuart Durham, sales director at digital consultancy Melbourne IT DBS.

Expert Comment - Mikhail Basman, head of search, MPG Media Contacts

'The process is going to be costly for brands as they will have to buy the domain names, extend their search keywords, optimise search and raise consumer awareness. Consumers know the distinc-tion between ‘.com’, ‘.co.uk’ and ‘.gov’, so as long as brands maintain their ‘.com’ domain during the transition to the new register, they should be all right. These brands, however, will need to have a transition plan in place.'

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug