The internet is arguably the most essential tool for businesses to attract, retain and inform potential and existing consumers, and it is increasingly important for businesses to remain aware of any new changes or developments, such as the introduction of new GTLD domain name extensions like ‘.melbourne’ and ‘.sydney’.
A GLTD is a generic top-level domain, examples of which are ‘.com’ and ‘.org’. GTLDs such as ‘.melbourne’ and ‘.sydney’ can help consumers easily identify businesses and services that are relevant and accessible to them. For a local business, a domain name containing any of the above GTLDs would enable potential consumers to have relative certainty that a product or service is right for them; which is a considerable competitive advantage considering the millions of search results that typically accompany any internet search.
In early 2012, ICANN began accepting applications for new GTLD’s and as a result a large number of new GTLD’s have since been registered. This has created many good opportunities for businesses and organisations to enhance and develop their brands. However, it has also created some challenges for businesses and organisations who have found it difficult to protect their brands in the face of competitors or third parties registering similar GTLDs. If left unaddressed, this could lead to a reduced ability to draw in potential consumers and damage a brand’s reputation.
By registering trade marks, enforcing them, and remaining aware of the latest domain name developments, businesses and organisations are best equipped to protect and maintain their unique brands. A brand is a business’s most important asset and its protection should be a top priority of any business hoping to create and maintain top brand recognition and reputation.
Businesses and organisations hoping to be proactive in the protection of their brand should consider registering the relevant GTLDs and domain names early, to avoid the costly process of disputing domain names once they are registered by a competitor or third-party. This is not only a good defensive measure for businesses and organisations to undertake, but also creates good opportunities to build a stronger online presence using new and innovative domain names.