What Will You Do With Your Brand gTLD?
Posted by Jennifer Wolfe on 04th July 2014 in 360 Blog

If you are in charge of the gTLD inside your company, there are no shortage of ideas, but getting them into concrete form that can move forward may prove a bit challenging. We’ll be hosting a webinar this month to discuss the ideation process and offer ideas on how the new gTLDs can be used by brands, but offer here a few ideas of our own, as well as structure to help you consider how to facilitate these discussions inside your organization.

First and foremost, consider the basic offerings or value propositions to consumers as a result of the gTLD. By designing your digital world in the right way, you provide more opportunity for choice, connection with consumers in new and interesting ways, integration with social and mobile platforms, as well as greater authenticity and security. Most notably, you can build out unique and memorable experiences.

What’s right for your company? Start by understanding what everyone else is doing. Evaluate your competitors, vendors, customers and pay close attention to technology drivers like Google, Amazon and Microsoft. We may soon see sites like friends.xbox or sports.youtube. Amazon could build out new but familiar[JW1] spaces like garden.pin or my.tunes.

Do your homework. Gather and analyze data on:

Current SEO and digital operations
Social Campaigns
Mobile Campaigns/Apps
Integration with Traditional Marketing
What are current challenges facing your company?
What’s working, what’s not, what could translate into the new environment?
Consider Innovative Platforms that could be applied to your company. Many other companies have emerged by creating new platforms – what could now be created in your digital world? You don’t have to copy what others have done, but you can use it as a catalyst for thinking. Consider what these companies have done in building new business models online. What spurs thinking for what you might do in your brand gTLD environment with enhanced capabilities.

Social Sharing: Trip Advisor
Social Networks: Facebook
Editorial Platforms: Huff Po, MSN
Social Discounting: Groupon/Living Social
Graphic Sharing: Pinterest
Shopping Portal: Amazon, PiernPort
Premium Subscribers: WSJ, Pandora, what do you have they will pay for?
Partnerships: what new partnerships might help?
Segmented Search: tennis.google – now you are searching within a tennis category and can refine your search criteria further.

gTLD as a Technology Platform. As you ideate, prioritize key benefits for your customers:

Security – does this matter to them? You are now more secure?
Authenticity – certainly every brand can benefit by providing grater authenticity, but you’ll have to promote this to them for it to work.
Speed. Your gTLD should resolve a little bit faster, what can that do for you? Will it matter to your consumers?
Data mining – what can you learn? How can you use contextual and artificial intelligence with the data being gathered from the gTLD to maximize delivery of what your consumers what and need?
New digital experiences/. What new experiences can you create that help your consumer or make their life better?
Make it easier – how can you simply make life easier. By understanding what challenges consumers face in your digital world, you can start to solve problems within the gTLD environment.
For example, if you are looking for a Samsung Smart TV, you might not want to go to a home page or search for it. And, you might get frustrated if Google doesn’t find what you want right away. But, if you know you can go to smartv.samsung and you’ll find everything you need, that makes life easier. So does ship.fedex or run.nike. But what if you’re looking for videos or information about the experience of a new BMW. Will experience.bmw deliver that experience? If it does, it is a unique and memorable space for BMW to create these digital experiences in the digital world of .BMW. There’s no shortage of ideas, but I do want to be clear about a very important point. Ideas are only one part of the equation. Delivering on the digital experience is much more critical than the idea itself.

Ideation is never an easy process, but if you gather the information and data points you need and assemble a team offsite, you have the building blocks to idea. During the workshop, it’s critical to give everyone permission to think big, break down assumptions or throw them out altogether and visualize a future where the consumer experiences is at the center of your digital world. Be open to breaking down existing assumptions or beliefs in order to find new ideas that could transform your business.