TLD Strategy Factors for Your TLD

TLD Strategy Factors on how to Distinguish Your TLD from the Competition

Every TLD strategy needs to encompass the art and science, coordination and integration of the various components to reach their long-term objectives.  For most open TLDs, this is usually volume and the associated revenues.  However, with so many TLDs, it’s important to consider how you are going to beat the competition for registrar ‘shelf space’?

As of September 2015, there are over 400 new gTLDs, combine it with traditional and Country Code (CC) Top Level Domains, a potential registrant can quickly get lost amongst so many choices.  From our experience, a TLD strategy should carefully consider the following:

  • Price
  • Strength of the TLD
  • Innovation – added benefits
  • Geographic Areas
  • Demographics
  • Niche markets
  • Promotions

While theories are nice, a real life example is easier to relate too.  I will use .LOVE as an example.  Love is a generic term but also applies to niche markets – weddings, Valentine’s Day, dating, etc.

dotTBA TLD Strategy to-the-top

dotTBA TLD Strategy to-the-top

Price – Based on previous research, we knew the correlation of price to volume would not be negatively impacted at the range we were targeting.  However, we also analyzed our closest competitors and decided upon a price point that we felt was a good fit both to our registrants and our business plan.

Strength – Love is a very strong, short-term that is universally recognized throughout the world.  The Cons, it is generic and does not fit nicely into one niche market for ease of marketing.

Innovation – Wanting to make .love sticky for both new and renewing registrants we designed a unique, highly customizable WordPress template for both old and new couples to create their online .love story.  The template would be available for free to .love domain names and also be used in the promotion of .love.

Geographic Areas – As mentioned above, love is recognized throughout the world.  Targeting less competitive markets like Asia and India where love is a culturally significant was a minimal risk but instinctively knew it would be a great fit.  This turned out to be true with almost 75% of registrations coming from Asia within the first two months of General Availability.

Demographics – Internet savvy, engaged couples are a great demographic for .love domain names.  Passionate people who want to share the love of their hobby (cars, pets, sports, etc.) is also a strong demographic for .love.  Dating, psychics, consumer feedback on the love of a brand are likely to be strong business registrants over the long-term.

Niche Markets – Being able to target specific markets can sometimes make it easier over very generic markets.  Wedding & bridal conventions and online dating conferences are easier to justify attendance over a lot of hobby meet-ups.

Promotions – Registrars know their business the best.  From our experience, its best to provide them with all of the ingredients they need to promote the TLD in a simple, straight forward approach.  Plan ahead, provide the tools, engage appropriately with useful (and if possible, insightful) information.  Skype is your friend, keep it open for casual registrar engagement.

Logo – Wanting to stand out from the crowd of logos, a strong simple logo was chosen for .love.  Red draws attention anywhere.  It symbolizing love (perfect), passion, enthusiasm and is the longest wavelength of light.  Less than 10% of TLDs were using logos with red.

While each TLD is different, so should its TLD strategy.  The gTLD industry is still in its infancy.  Make decisions wisely but also think outside of the box.

“Creativity is a spark. It can be excruciating when we’re rubbing two rocks together and getting nothing. And it can be intensely satisfying when the flame catches and a new idea sweeps around the world.”       –(Jonah Lehrer)