Will you be shelling out for a dot.brand?

The landscape of web domain names as we know it is about to undergo a massive shift as the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) prepares to launch a new breed of top level domains (TLD), imaginatively titled dot brands.

This allows a brand to become its own domain name, for instance, .pepsi, or .MarketingTech, to name a perhaps less well used example.

According to TLD expansion plans, orchestrated by ICANN, the dot Brand window is scheduled to open on 12th January 2012. However, the process has not been without its critics, most notably from the Association of National Advertisers in the US; and in the US Senate, ICANN has been required to defend itself twice already this month.

The project, six years in the planning, has come under fire over questions of the costs for brands to purchase and maintain their dot brand domain, and time constraints around the application process.

Businesses have less than 30 days before the window opens and then the window closes 92 days later. Afilias, the domain name registry operations company, has advised businesses not to delay their application process, as it may be some years before another opportunity arises.

“While the U.S. government hearings are important, businesses should still prepare now to apply for their dot Brand extension. This will give them sufficient time to create a successful application in the limited time they have before the application window opens,” said Roland LaPlante, CMO, Afilias.

“Having the right support in place is critical because companies must meet the technical requirements outlined by ICANN to have their dot Brand applications approved.” The firm has compiled this neat little animation to explain the process, and set out some of the potential costs... will you be applying..?

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