Customer Awareness, domain extensions and brands
In a new domain name extensions customer awareness catch 22 situation, nobody would launch a domain name with a new extension until customers would be aware, and customers would become aware only if some major sites were launched. While adoption is probably slower than expected, we are not in that situation :
- According to nTLDstats, the number of new gTLD domains reached 26 million in summer 2016, and not all of them are parked.
- Some new gTLD sites are very popular : namu.wiki is estimated by Alexa to be the 12th most popular website in Korea ( Namu means tree in Korean ),
- The dot brand observatory research identified more than 500 sites with a dot brand extension,
One of the most important evidence and driver of customer awareness is the growing offline communication by brands.
Brand communications with new gTLD
Swatch relaunched the pop collection using pop.swatch as a collection mini.site. The leaflet, available in stores, mentions the .swatch website
Pictet is a famous swiss bank, and refers to group.pictet on very large posters in Geneva airport. Pictet has moved their main marketing site to group.pictet during spring 2016.
BNPParibas displays advertisings, mentioning their very popular site mabanque.bnpparibas
Leclerc is a large french supermarket, and mentions www.culture.leclerc on their brochures.
Leclerc also displays advertising for their new parapharmacie e-commerce website, parapharmacie.leclerc, on the front sliding doors of their supermarkets.
Customers are smart
These domain names are on printed material, it is expected that users will type those strings in their browser bar. Yet, none of these communications mention the fact that the string is actually a website. A few years ago, it was frequent to see ads mentioning : “visit our website : —.—“.
More than the fact that these brands are raising the awareness, an important underlying message for marketers is that customers may not know, but they will guess, because they are savvy.
As Elon Musk said : “Any product that needs a manual to work is broken”.