Why would someone invest US$187,000 for single name application with ICANN plus another few hundred-thousand dollars on related costs to acquire a new gTLD domain root system? Simple, the real motivation will be to declare global-image cyberwarfare and to create global market domination under a name identity.
If this is really all about global-image cyberwarfare, then the art of war dictates preparation and planning. The surprise will hit the fan when a spectacular story breaks and occupies all the available market share space of opportunity in no time. This is how old brands were washed out overnight in the first phase of e-commerce.
In the 90s, the first generation of early domain names provided cutting- edge weaponry that changed the global landscape forever, creating thousands of new brands and crushing old monikers, permanently altering advertising and branding platforms. This gTLD system is the next big phase.
Scrambling for Action
The new system is not about simple, no-questions-asked $10 domains. It’s about companies pulling together sophisticated teams with thick proposals for a desired name identity, backed by solid funding — all in the hope of obtaining approval to own a new gTLD.
The right combination of a great idea with a perfect name identity will create fireworks, while others will produce nothing but smoke. The teams have their work cut out, and ICANN will be under tremendous pressure to be fair and just in determining the outcome of global challenges.
The hot spots will be the pure generic names: dot-milk, dot-beer, dot-casino. Next will be destination branding: dot-london, dot-sydney. Last will come new ventures with new name brands, or old ventures with old name brands.
Despite endless possibilities, ICANN plans to cap the first round of proposed applications to just a few hundred. However, based on the global pressures faced by organizations around the world to reduce customer acquisition costs, the market can easily absorb thousands of applications. A gTLD platform offers the hope of reaching a larger audience at a fraction of the usual cost.
Bold entrepreneurial teams will attempt to cherry pick as many hot properties as possible and figure out their aftermarket sub-branding issues later. The registrars, registries and domainers all will have something to cheer about.
The professional services — from those dealing with trademark issues to those dealing with legal questions, corporate nomenclature, branding and marketing — will all have interesting proposals to consider.
Once ICANN starts the process and creates a global information campaign, the applicant organizations will face very serious challenges. They will need to educate their internal staff, identify a proposed name, assemble a team, apply, and develop a long-term plan for success.
On the soft side, they will have to be mentally prepared to lead a global charge and equip themselves with the value proposition necessary to support each tactical maneuver.
On the hard side, they will need the game plan and sub-branding architecture to make the process winnable — and highly profitable.
E-commerce is entering a new age of sophisticated global cyberbranding. It’s all about image warfare and market domination, and gTLD provides the right weaponry.