Tag: brands

The Top Reasons Why A dotBrand is Better Than A Brand.com

The Top Reasons Why Dotbrand Beats brand.com Every Time
What may be particularly surprising and even shocking to many in the domain industry is that unlike the generics TLDs, the success of the brand TLDs really has very little to do with the domain industry at all. The reality is it has everything to do with massively improved cost efficiencies and commercial relationships between trademarks and their target audience both online and off. No matter how you want to cut it up, in every way you look at it dotbrands are going to be the real big winners over the next decade on the Internet, contrary to what many may think. From heavily lowered advertising costs to centralised marketing initiatives and vastly improved bigdata, dotbrands give trademark holders exposure on a global scale like nothing they have ever seen before in history. With better control and management of the trademark on the Internet, dotbrands are where the real money is going to be made. What ever you think dotcom makes from selling domain names will pale into insignificance when dotbrands unleash the full potential of their secret weapons. And if that wasn’t enough great reasons to have a dotbrand lets not forget that its a closed shop with only 500+ kids allowed in the sandpit.
gtlds
Trying to compare the success of the new generic TLD with the success of brand TLDs is the equivalent of trying to say that steam is the same as ice. Just because they both come from water doesn’t mean they are going to behave in the same way. I find it incredibly interesting that there is so much of a focus on what is happening in the generic world when really the BIGGEST, MOST SIGNIFICANT development since the invention of the Internet has to do with brands. By far the greatest invention to ever come to the internet since its inception has been to allow brands the opportunity to run their own slice of the internet. But still some people just don’t see it.
Sometimes the most impressive moments in history have been brought about by the smallest and simplest ideas. Take the paper clip for example or the pen or even email. Where would we be today if not for these small yet fundamentally significant inventions? Simple yet effective, life changing ideas that have impacted on our society is so many ways. No differently with online, the new dotbrand Top Level Domains are going to do exactly that.

Many of those that applied for a dotbrand initially did so out of a defensive need to protect their Internet identities. As time has moved forward the bigger questions of what to do with their dotbrand verses their .com and what’s their compared value, has started to surface. What many seem to be looking for is something radically different from a technology or administrative point of view when in fact (just like the paper clip), a dotbrand is a very subtle yet a significant shift is how consumers will perceive a brand on the Internet. It seems to be a sticking point for many of the old school domain industry but dotbrands have nothing to do with a naming convention although that is what they are. A dotbrand is a far richer tool than that. Fundamentally it’s the fact that it is so simple that makes the dotbrand concept so truly amazing and potentially lucrative to the brands and their consumers.

Why dotbrand (The digital bond x factor)
Purely owning a dotbrand for defensive purposes is like owning a Swiss army knife and only using the bottle opener, there is so much more you can do if you just look inside and get a little creative. Besides the obvious legal and technical advantages, a dotbrand provides the highest level of control of a trademark on the Internet you can get. The most important benefit of a dotbrand is the relationship brands can build with their customers. A dotbrand is about building direct digital bonds between a brand and those that have a close affinity with them, their customers. However once .com has been removed from the equation everything starts to make sense. Doors start to open, lights start to go and the creative juices start to flow like never before because a dotbrand creates new possibilities more in line with their brands ethos “if it’s not dotbrand, its not us. A dotbrand more closely resemble the very principles that bond a customer to a brand, thus making for a more personal, intimate connection. With a dotbrand the customer can feel like they are more than just a customer, they become a part of the brand and everything that makes it a success they can feel like in some small way they had something to do with it. Along with a dotbrand also comes a sense of responsibility, respect, trust and loyalty that only a dotbrand can develop. A dotbrand has the ability to bring about a feeling of a symbiotic relationship between the brand and their customers that cannot and will not ever be possible with a brand.com. That is the x factor that can only come with a dotbrand.

Why not a brand.com? (The ugly, irrelevant middleman)

Well the first thing to do is to just write it out and have a look at it, its ugly and partly irrelevant. The middleman “.com” waters down the relationship between brand and customer because dotcom means nothing to the consumer, its like wasted text on a short advert, you don’t need it so why have it? So which looks more visually appealing to you? offer.ferrari, product.ferrari, customer.ferrarri or ferrari.com/product? Which looks and feels more authentic, which is more memorable and which could be the brand and which is the brand? One can only be the brand, actually owned by the brand at the highest level of the Internet while the other is just bad advertising. A dotbrand means it is run by the brand, by people who work with the brand. One has a logical order about it that says we run our own slice of the internet and you can trust us. A dotbrand actually makes you feel like you are more than just a customer of the brand but an integral part of it existence while brand.com says your just another number.

Celebrity Marketing Australia – Social Media Strategy for Celebrities and Brands

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Ellen De Generes has topped the list for the most followers on Instagram, with a whopping 3.04 million followers worldwide. Similarly, celebrities on Twitter like Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry boast tens of millions of followers. Not only are these celebs connecting with fans, sharing news and entertaining the masses, they are developing their personal brands, and nurturing a loyal fan base to support them for the years ahead.

The most valuable asset you have, as someone with fame, influence or popularity, is yourself and your fans. Your celebrity status is your brand, you mould it around what type of work you do, your hobbies, charity or community work, as well as your attitude, values, and behaviour. As you want to maintain a reputable brand, one people can trust, relate to and consume for years to come, you need to start building a strong brand now. What’s the quickest and cheapest way to build your brand? Social Media.

Why is social media essential to celebs, influences and personalities?

Celebrities and personalities big and small should be embracing social media to grow a loyal fan base of people who will be your online word of mouth referral system when they need them most. Say you are a celebrity weather presenter, like Channel 9’s Steve Jacobs. Right now your job is great and you enjoy company-supplied publicity, but what happens when you want to move on and get another gig? Maybe you want to run your own business or write a book – what better way to spread the word about your new venture than by contacting your loyal online fan base? What happens if you lose your job? The person with a large social media following and well-established personal brand is going to be much more valuable to potential employers. If you can bring a strong following with you to your next job, your employer will be very happy, and you will benefit in the long run.

Creating a community of loyal fans will allow you to leverage your social currency, where your fans can have exclusive access to content and news. Social currency is the driver of advocacy and social sharing, as fans feel like they have access to something that others don’t, so they want to share what they know.

Endless supply of content, endless opportunities.

Celebrities and personalities have a bevy of potential content which is interesting to their fans, and could attract new fans who were previously unaware of your skills or charity work, for example. Given that the work you do is interesting to large groups of people, you could show off your interests, behind the scenes footage, host giveaways and run competitions. These types of content allow you to market your personality and create a personal connection with fans so that they feel they know you, can relate to you and support what you do. Social media is all about engaging in conversation and adding a human element to everything you do (this is what some brands do very well, and what some are yet to understand).

When a celebrity posts about their new album coming out or a new perfume release, they are still marketing their products, as any business would. The benefit for individuals is that they are a) not seen as a business in the way that, for example, Coca Cola is; and b) often have a more human element to their products that people can relate to more quickly and easily.

Frequent social media activity, such as live tweeting during events or shows is one way celebrities can connect with fans and keep their work top of mind. Keeping a regular schedule of updates and interaction will also ensure you maintain your relevance to your fans as your industry and or job changes. By keeping fans up to date with various aspects of your life and work, you will carry those fans from job to job.

Keep calm and call your consultant

A big selling point of social media for personalities and celebrities would have to be the capacity for reputation management. Whether responding to a negative situation or publicity, or simply maintaining everyday activities, you have the ability to quickly address any issues that arise. It allows you to be in control of your response, and a heartfelt “I’m sorry” is much better than total silence in negative situations.

Ultimately, a social media manager would be beneficial in monitoring social media activity and coaching you in getting the most out of each platform and opportunity. A manager would also be able to prevent any heat of the moment angry tweets you might exchange with a disgruntled fan.

At the end of the day, you as a celebrity or personality are a brand and need marketing. Social media provides an easy to use promotional platform for a variety of content. If part of your success is due to your loyal fans, what better way to maintain and build an active following than with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more?

Stay tuned for my next post on what an ex-Neighbours actor can teach you about being a social media pro.

 

 

 

The dotbrand Revolution – Interview with Nick Morris and Shaun Le Cornu

The New Top Level Domain names are almost here and this video interview with Nick Morris and my self Shaun Le Cornu goes into detail about how these new domains will affect all business. It is well worth anyone with a trademark who are interested in understanding what is coming to watch this video so that they can start to ask the questions about how their brands are going to deal with these new domain names and how they are going to integrate this change into their business and capitalise on it.

SLAM Strategy is an Internet Strategy company focused on not only helping businesses to navigate this new change but we are also the leading advisor in Adelaide South Australia on new top level domains.

Using our collaborative connections and combined skills some of the industries best new top level domain strategists, SLAM Strategy is a leader in this field. Focused on producing ROI results for our clients we help those businesses who ahve already purchased new top level domains to market and advertise their New TLD’s both on and offline to the right target market ensuring that their TLD is seen by the right people resulting in increased registrations of their domain.

Watch this video

Is Your Business Ready For The Greatest Change To The Internet Since Its Creation?

Is Your Business Ready For The Greatest Change To The Internet Since Its Creation?
I recently attended ICANN 46 in Beijing, the 46th international event on the future development and growth of the Internet since ICANN’s creation in 1998.
ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is the steward of the Internet, and ICANN 46 is the 46th episode in evolution of the Internet. Since its inception, ICANN has been developing what is known to those in the know as the ‘new gTLD program’. While we once had .com, .net, .gov and approximately 22 other TLD’s (Top Level Domains) including .com.au, soon we will have approximately 1,950 new ones. Nearly 600 trade mark brands like .nike, .ferarri, .toshiba called bTLDs or Branded Top Level Domains will run as closed operations, meaning that you won’t be able to purchase second level domains from them. Approximately 1,350 generic terms like .app, .church, .love, .pizza and even .sux will be open to the general public, which you can purchase second level domains of e.g pizzahut.pizza.
While in Beijing, apart from the fact that I felt like my nose and mouth were permanently attached to the exhaust of a car, it was abundantly clear to me that 95% of businesses around the world are not even aware of the impending impact of ICANN’s new gTLD program, and the fact that it will potentially have the greatest impact on businesses around the world since the invention of the internet itself.

Nearly 2,000 attendees spent up to 8 days immersing themselves in the creation and development of ICANN policies, and exploring what the new Internet landscape will look like with these new gTLDs. While some were impressed with the turn out, as an Internet strategist I was absolutely gob-smacked that something that will have such a wide and dramatic impact, was largely void of business owners that would be impacted the most. It was clear to me that it was up to companies like SLAM Strategy to see how this new space will evolve, and to help educate businesses on their industry’s need address the coming spectacular change.
Businesses need to make sure RIGHT NOW that they are working on strategies to challenge their competitors who have purchased their own dot trademark. Businesses also need to understand how to take advantage of the opportunities of the new gTLDs that can be purchased propelling them ahead of their competition.
Business owners be warned, once these new gTLDs go live it will hit the world with speed and ferocity. For those in the know it is a gold rush, but the vast majority is going to be like sheep to the slaughter house, blissfully unaware of the impending impact of this new digital landscape.
Being forewarned is being forearmed and there are some serious questions that I want business owners to think about and address. These questions involve both threats and opportunities for businesses. It is vital that they are addressed now.

Threats
Let’s say you are a pizza shop or even a chain of pizza shops like Eagle Boys pizza. How do you think your customers would react when they see Pizza Haven (competitor) is promoting themselves as the real deal because they are Pizzahaven.pizza. The thing is, it’s not just a question for Eagle Boys or Pizza Haven, it is a question for every pizza shop owner around the world. The pizza shop owner needs to ask themselves if their customers are thinking, “If the company I am buying the pizza from doesn’t own a .pizza do they really love pizza?” Or on a more subtle level if you don’t even know that Eagle Boys make pizza and you saw www.eagleboys.com.au and you saw www.joes.pizza which one do you think you would pick? Which one tells you what they do? On that note, even if you knew that Eagle Boys sold pizza, which one do you think was REALLY into making pizza? Which one was a part of the .pizza club? While these things may seem subtle, sometimes that is all it takes to turn a customer from A to B.

As someone with a background in marketing, you are always looking for any % advantage you can get. In many cases it is only a 1% or 2% difference, and when you are a big franchise like Eagle Boys, that can represent hundreds of thousands of dollars and potentially an industry game changer.
Now let’s say you are a shoe brand that is well known that competes directly with Nike. How are you going to deal with and address the fact that on the way to work you saw a bus go past saying, “If it doesn’t end in .nike, it’s not us!” How are you going to promote your business as being a leader online if you’re just a “yourshoebrand.com”?

Unfortunately your opportunity to compete has come and gone. The first round window to apply has closed so the best thing you can do is to get your head around what is happening first. While it is widely speculated that ICANN will do a subsequent round it has not been confirmed. Even if it was confirmed it would not start until the current 1,950 applications have all been fully processed. This could take up to 5 years. So what are you going to do to combat this over the next 5 years, do you know?

Opportunities
While it is largely unconfirmed and hotly debated amongst all, it is possible that purchasing of a second level domain name that ends in a keyword such as .pizza could impact on search results. I need to be clear that at this point, according to Matt Cutts from Google (Google’s search algorithm god) it won’t make a difference. Rather, he mentioned that what is always most important in Google’s results is relevancy. However I feel that this is just a way of avoiding the real issue and that is that if you took two websites that were identical in every way, in every respect, including identical content, identical amount of content, identical in every way except for one. If one website was a .com and the other was a .pizza I believe that Google would have to (just by their admission of how their search algorithm works) make the choice to rank the .pizza website ahead of the .com. Why? Well it is just more likely to be more relevant that a .com because .com is anything, while a .pizza is also the search term that the searcher typed in to Google to start with and therefore more likely to be a more relevant search result than the .com domain. There can only be one website in first position in any Google search result. The fact that Google has applied for 101 gTLDs should be a clear enough indication as to how they feel they are going to impact on the internet landscape.
So here are some things for you as the business owner to think about.
1. How much do you know about the new gTLD program?
2. What strategies do you have in place for your competitors that purchased a trademarked gTLD?
3. How are you going to take advantage of the new gTLD opportunities?
4. What opportunities are there with the new gTLDs?
5. What other treats are there from the new gTLDs?
6. Do you need to do anything at all?
Some of the new gTLDs that should get businesses, especially franchisors attention, are words like .pizza, .game, .games, .beauty, .bike, .cafe, .florist, .hair, .law, .makeup, .garden, .organic, .plumbing, .restaurant, .salon and my personal favorite that is nothing to laugh at when you consider who may use it and what they may use it for .sucks.
Nearly every franchise system will be affected by these new gTLDs but how will depend on how much knowledge they have to be able to address this new era of Internet. If you’re not sure about any or all of these questions then you need to get your business up to speed and be prepared. SLAM Strategy is an Internet strategy company able to help businesses to navigate this complex and widely misunderstood industry. Opportunities await you.

THE KEY TO DOTBRAND SUCCESS

In the second quarter of 2013 the first “Branded Generic Top Level Domain Names” also called “gTLDs” will likely be approved for use on the Internet. For the first time in history the Internet is about to get seriously commercialised, by allowing brands to own and govern their own slice of the Internet.

Brands are about to turn our Internet world on its head in ways that we cannot currently imagine. Now these aren’t just any brands, they are among some of the World’s biggest, most progressive, dynamic and successful brands there are going around globally. Where you once had .com, .net, .gov and a few others, you will soon see the likes of .nike, .tiffany, .abc, .nbc, .afl, .seven, .google and nearly 1,000 more from a variety of countries around the world. Soon your computer screens, smart phones, TV’s, newspapers (and just about every other form of advertising medium) will come alive with chatter from these brands as they prepare to educate the general public about the importance and value of their new purchases. Most importantly though is that they will try and convince you as to why you should own your own personalised .brand like www.johnsmith.nike or something similar. Yes, your favorite brands will soon be able to offer you your very own branded web address. Soon you will see a global education campaign start up to drive your attention to a new look communication tool for brands, E.g. “If it doesn’t end in .nike, its not supported by Nike”.
What this new space will look like and how it will operate exactly is yet to be seen, but one thing that we can be sure of is that anything is possible when you put the most cost effective, global, digital marketing tool in front of the marketing departments of global brands.
There has only ever been one application round conducted for new gTLDs at this stage and inevitably there is going to be a second and possibly more when all the existing applications (including other related applications for generic terms like .app, .love, .sydney) have been approved. Just the applications alone for one of these top level domains cost $185,000 with an ongoing fee of $25,000 per year, not to mention legal and other support costs. It has been widely mentioned that each of these domains can cost 1 million dollars before it is even accessible (added to the root zone).
Until the second round starts (which is likely to be up to 5 years away to approve all existing applications and then approve the next rounds applications), these brands have a unique window of opportunity to find new commercial solutions without their competition being able to do anything about it. This window is critical in gaining leverage of a once in a life time opportunity to build brand awareness and market share in the new Internet world with a select group of businesses.
There is much speculation about the need for these new domains as they really are just a naming convention so “technically” of very little value. However from a branding point of view it is the chance to offer a unique selling proposition to their target market in ways that they have never been able to do before. Although not a technical a game changer, a dotbrand is a massive windfall for brands when it comes to marketing and advertising. The fact that these lucky few brands will have the space to themselves for quite some time is just the icing on the cake. The possibilities are endless and soon you will see just what the minds of these powerful and successful brands can conjure up.
So what can brands like Nike do with their dotnike (.nike) that they can’t do now with nike.com?
Firstly, they will be able to set down the rules and regulations of how the space is operated and who is allowed to own a domain ending in their brand. With a .com the brand is at the mercy of the rules that govern .com and has little if any control over who purchases any .com domains.
Secondly, by owning a branded top level domain, any website that ends in a .brand e.g mystore.nike, can only exist because Nike approved it as an official Nike outlet, so the brand suddenly gains huge amounts of control over the communication of its products and services online. Shoppers can be confident that their new purchase online is from a genuine Nike shoe outlet and therefore the shoes are genuine also. With a .com it is possible that some websites are not genuine but copy outlets selling inferior products.
Thirdly, Nike also has the unique ability to offer personalised domains to their customers for easier communication, better brand exposure and more accurate target marketing. With a .com there is no way of identifying a loyal customer.
Imagine Nike saying to you that you can have your very own personalised branded domain name like Johnsmith.nike. Perhaps you’re a Ferrari car enthusiast, and want to own Johnsmith.ferrari. Imagine what these brands will be able to do with their marketing spend if they could focus it on those customers who they could identify as closer or more loyal to the brand. It would be an army of customers who are passively promoting a brand just by owning a personalised branded domain name, showing it off publicly in their Internet communication. Imagine thousands or tens of thousands of customers doing this globally. Tiny changes like these on a global scale can be worth millions in promotion and brand recognition.
One of the biggest problems with advertising and marketing has always been about trying not to waste money on people who don’t want or who aren’t interested in buying or using your product or service. Imagine being able to rally customers to a promotion on a global scale in one click. Fewer dollars spent to reach the same people to generate more sales. Sound exciting?
Every brand will be looking at these domains as a way to vastly reduce their overheads, increase their brand’s exposure globally, tighten their communications, gain a marketing edge and therefore increase their ROI. What do you think these multi-million dollar companies would be prepared to pay to achieve that considering they spend hundreds of millions of dollars doing this already? The million dollars invested is peanuts…as long as they can conjure up the right strategy to benefit from it. Regardless of the outcomes, you have to be in it to win it.
So we believe brands are going to be hot on the trail of looking for customers to support their brands and build closer, more intimate networks, with the people who actually buy, support and talk about their products and services. This is about active users being actively engaged with the brands they support.
So what is in it for the customer? Well these brands need to take advantage of this new frontier and will likely approach it like a gold rush scooping up vast databases of potential customers with special offers just so they can have you as their brand champion, championing and promoting their products and services. In exchange for that promotion they can afford to offer you discounts, special, unique purchases, VIP passes, points, the list is endless. Your support of a brand means their success and that success is vital if they are going to get the edge they are looking for.
The big question that we think that will be on the minds of those in the boardrooms and at the marketing brain storming sessions will be how? Brands already have contact with their existing customers through email, on their website and social media but how will they educate them to want to have a personalised domain name? Then once they have reached those customers, how will they reach new ones? This could be a costly education exercise as most people don’t even know what a gTLD is let alone why they would want or need a personalised one. Finally, how can they do it before their competitors have their own branded gTLD domains approved and operating?
We believe having the answers to these questions will help leap a brand to the next level. This is where the truly great brands will dominate their sectors and gain massive market share.
SLAM Strategy is exclusively an Internet Strategy company that is focused on these sorts of issues. For more information on branded domains and how to take advantage of new opportunities contact us today. enquiries@slamstrategy.com.au