Your article ‘The new domain names that will be a game-changer for brands’ (MW 20 October) made clear the benefits of owning a branded top level domain (TLD) – greater control of your brand online, enhanced security and opening new possibilities for customer engagement – but I want to add that businesses should not deliberate over applying for a ‘dot-brand’ for too long.
The window for submitting applications is between January and April next year and registrations of interest (the first step in the application process) need to be expressed by March. To apply or not to apply during this limited period, however, is not the only question businesses must consider.
To make a successful application, companies will need to ask themselves whether they have the right technical capabilities to support a TLD. This means being able to answer the 22 technical questions, which are part of the ICANN 50-question application process, and eventually being able to operate the TLD to ICANN standards. TLD registry work is highly specialised but, fortunately, it can be safely outsourced at reasonable costs.
Becoming familiar with the application process is essential if successful outcomes are to be achieved in next year’s round of submissions. Businesses should approach experienced global registry operations providers for support on the key technical aspects of this and for assistance in turning applications around in time within this restricted period.
It’s now time to make an informed decision about a dot-brand extension. By doing so, businesses will be able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by this new internet innovation.