Sep 18, 2017 - by Elisa Cooper

TLD namespaces – Manhattan versus Boise

If you are reading this, you probably already know that we recently launched our new Brandsight.com website.

When we started thinking about our new website, we tossed around the idea of launching with a new gTLD, as opposed to .COM. But it didn’t take long for us to decide that promoting our new company in .COM was the right approach for us.

Intuitively – we knew it.

But I started thinking about why that was the case, and came to the realization that .COM has a known reputation. And that having an exact match of our company name in .COM would provide some legitimacy and credibility to the website. For better or worse, .COM is what people know, especially here in the US. In other parts of the world, ccTLDs play the same role. This is also why having defensive registrations in .COM makes more sense, and is also why we acquired Brandsite.com. This is not to say that we didn’t register in dozens of new gTLDs too – we did.

Another reason that .COM provides legitimacy is that because the namespace is so crowded, having an exact-match domain has meaning. It’s kind of like the difference between owning a home in Manhattan versus having one in Boise, Idaho. Both are great places to live, but living in Manhattan is certainly more prestigious. By the way, both names (brandsight.com and brandsite.com) were acquired on the secondary market, and I can tell you, they weren’t cheap.

To be clear, I am not saying that registrations in new gTLDs can’t also provide that same type of legitimacy or prestige – and in fact, some like .Bank are beginning to build trusted reputations. And undoubtedly, new gTLDs can provide context to website visitors. But for many new gTLDs, the reputation of the TLD itself is not yet known. Over time, I expect that the most popular TLDs (not just by registration, but by usage) will begin to develop their own unique reputations – some more trusted than others.

How will the reputations of new gTLD namespaces emerge? Certainly factors such as eligibility requirements and pricing will play a role. And I’m sure that in time, some new gTLDs will become Manhattan – I’m just not sure which ones yet. As with all things domain, will be interesting to watch which ones it will be..

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Elisa Cooper

Bringing with her 20 years of marketing experience, Elisa Cooper joined Brandsight in 2017 to lead the organization’s marketing strategy and execution. A domain name industry veteran, Elisa has worked closely with many Fortune 1000 companies in assisting with domain and brand protection policy development and has spoken and written extensively on these topics.

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