An article on Pamil Visions’ public relations news portal, Everything PR News, shed some light recently on interesting developments in so called “Dot Branding” – or domain names and recent changes in the news. For travel in particular, these changes brought about by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), could have gravitas effect. What about travel dot expedia – as one for instance?
Naming Internet Brands
For those NOT in the know, in the past there have been only about 22 generic top-level domains available for individuals or companies. Dot com, dot net, dot org, and etc. Last month, ICANN voted to allow for far more specific domains, basically url suffixes like .coke, .nike, .apple, and so on. The significances are two fold basically. First, big companies will be able to have highly targeted and relevant domains – basically their names – to brand and enable them to protect their “IP” – intellectual property. Secondly, the power of these domains cuts both ways. Smaller companies, wanting to play in travel for instance, may not be able to play as well.
The Everything PR News article talks about a lot of peripheral ideas and strategies which are coming about via the ICANN news. Tax write-offs to “finance” domain registration, so called “domain squatting”, and so on. For many, the gist is this – some companies will be able to extract great benefit from the new gTLD structure, while others will not. One exclusive aspect being the cost of the new registration – ICANN says above $200,000, AND a $25,000 yearly maintenance tab. This is where Vayton Brand Capital’s “auto-financing” strategy comes in, and in a bigger sense, what we can call “regional business incentives” – as in Luxembourg’s tax laws which afford IP based businesses something on the order of an 80 percent tax break for doing business there.
The Dot Travel Scale
We need not get into too many specifics on this now, it is aptly covered on EPR and other sites as well. What the changes mean for YOU, and other travel businesses, is what we need to focus on. For instance, a major SEO advantage via Google changing their algorithm as they attach more relevance to the “branded” domain names. Secondly, unless your company has a balance sheet big enough to take advantage of Luxembourg’s tax breaks (meaning saving more tax than the cost of the new gTLDs) then you are at an even bigger disadvantage B2C wise. Your hotel, car rental, boat tour, or airplane flight will be even more obscure than Expedia and TripAdvisor already make it.
And finally, the real branding aspect of these “travel brand super-domains” will be enormous. People will know, for instance, that the domains represent offers from say, only .hilton, or deals.hilton, or vacations.hilton – you see the picture. The relevance is far more targeted. So, what of your “deals?” Think about it.