How soon is now?

“When you say it’s gonna happen now,
When exactly do you mean?
See I’ve already waited too long
And all my hope is gone”.

How Soon Is Now – The Smiths (1984 – ATV/Sony Music)

Don’t take Morrissey’s words too literally as it is happening. And it is happening much sooner than you think. The second round of the new gTLD programme has been over a decade in discussion, debate and at times dispute but we can now see a bright horizon where the magical portal will open once again and welcome everyone (at least assuming you have read and complied with the Applicant Guidebook!).

Whilst we are not quite under starter’s orders, we are most definitely on the track, getting ready to crouch down into the blocks. Some brand holders will be ready, having done their warm-ups, laced up their spikes and are now focusing on the finishing line. But I would hazard a guess that most will still be in their training kit, or even making their way to the track.

The good news is, thanks to ICANN the event will be happening, and there is still time to join. However, like all competitive races, you can’t simply turn up on the day without any preparation and hope to be successful. Preparation is key in making your dotBrand application a success – you need to be clear on what you want to achieve, how it aligns with your strategy and objectives, and what potential return on investment you require. That ROI is not just measured in financial terms. It could be through operational and process improvements, a more intuitive customer experience or achieving a new source of competitive advantage.

Whilst it is never easy to prepare for an event where you don’t know the timelines, any good athlete will tell you they need to be “race ready.”  This means knowing the ultimate goal, identifying the steps to success and having a clear training plan. In the case of a dotBrand, that training plan comes in many forms, including: –

  • Understanding whether you are entitled to apply for the chosen terms or keywords.
  • Determining what the competitive landscape looks like, both in terms of who could apply for what term within the industry as well as any identifiable opposition or objections to your applications.
  • Creating your internal stakeholder group, who will take accountability and ownership of the dotBrands through the whole lifecycle of the application and into it being a live, digital asset deployed by your organisation.
  • Discussing and agreeing on some initial dotBrand use case scenarios.

The most successful performers, whether they are athletes, actors, artists, academics or employees, will often collaborate very closely with a coach or mentor to help them prepare for the challenges ahead: so they optimise their performance.  The same should be considered for any dotBrand application.  Working with domain name experts, who understand the process, the pitfalls, the potential, and the pay back.

Com Laude supported over 100 dotBrand applications in the first round ten years ago and has continued to provide support to clients in terms of use cases, innovation and effective management of a TLD registry. We have a fantastic team. Some of the biggest, most respected, and valuable organisations in the world today trust Com Laude to manage their dotBrand ecosystem, collaborate on usage scenarios and ensure their dotBrand remains fully compliant with the ICANN regulations, allowing them to concentrate on their core business objectives. Aside from running a Top-Level Domain Registry.

It is never too early to start planning for success, especially for a dotBrand application. Utilising Com Laude’s experience and expertise provides clients with the opportunity to create the strategic plan, assess feasibility, engage stakeholder groups, develop use case scenarios and understand the potential hurdles on the track. Our team of industry experts, with decades of TLD experience navigating the ICANN landscape, will provide the guidance to clients from the start through to the finish line.

Com Laude Intelligence – ‘This is the Way’

The launch of Com Laude Intelligence, our latest technology tool, is designed to help our clients get the most out of their domain portfolio.

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