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How the Fashion Industry will use New gTLDs

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The fashion industry is always one season ahead.  But is it ready for a digital transformation with gTLDs?  Many big fashion and luxury brands applied for their own gTLD.    What could we expect in the fashion space as new gTLDs create new digital worlds for top brands?  Let’s start with who applied.  In fashion, we saw some big fashion houses like Hermes, Chanel, Gucci, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Calvin Klein, Cartier, Coach, as well as powerhouse luxury Richemont with its suite of luxury brands:  Omega, Piaget, and Chloe, Mont Blanc, to name just a few.   

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Successfully Monitoring Your Brand Online with Brandshield Technology

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  As I continue to search for new products and services that will help companies manage their digital real estate in the future of the expanded internet environment, I have been fortunate to come across a great company, Brand Shield.  I’ve tested their product for the last 6 – 9 months for several clients and found the results to be incredibly powerful.  With a dramatically expanding internet environment, now more than ever you need to know when and how people use your brand and certain key words associated with your brand across the internet and the thousands of new top level domains.  But, it’s not just about brand protection. You can’t acquire everything or stop everyone, but you do want to acquire what matters.  And, you want to spot important trends about your business.

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Want to Know the Future of Your Business? Digital Trends & Analytics Provide Critical Insights

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We live in a digital age and the insights to your business come from understanding two critical data points:

What will you do with your brand gTLD?

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If you are in charge of the gTLD inside your company, there are no shortage of ideas, but getting them into concrete form that can move forward may prove a bit challenging.  We’ll be hosting a webinar this month to discuss the ideation process and offer ideas on how the new gTLDs can be used by brands, but offer here a few ideas of our own, as well as structure to help you consider how to facilitate these discussions inside your organization. 

What’s in a Name? How to secure the new Digital Addresses

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Digital marketers are likely aware or are starting to hear about new ideas in the domain space or digital addresses as I like to refer to them in marketing terms.  Whether it’s how your company could use a .guru or .technology address or how new campaigns like bleach.solutions or antiaging.solutions could be used as part of a digital strategy, what do you really need and how do you get it?  In the past,  domain names were usually just one part of building out new campaigns and usually an afterthought.  The fact that agencies viewed acquiring the domain name as an after thought is why many brands have shelled out five, six and even seven figures for a domain name.  Once they’ve spent hundreds of thousands or more in building a new product, business model or campaign, why wouldn’t they shell out a little more for a memorable domain name.  But with 900+  new segmented spaces on the internet launching over the next two years and half of the world’s top brands launching their own digital worlds at the top level, what do you need to acquire to have in your digital arsenal?  Will agencies start to think more strategically when they develop campaigns?  What about smaller businesses  - will they move into a more segmented space? 

Budgeting for Brand gTLDs

budgetFor most companies, the gTLD was an investment in the future of the internet in response to a short time window in which to apply for a gTLD.  Wanting to gain a competitive edge, half the world’s top brands invested the $185,000 application fee for one or more gTLDs.  Now that gTLDs are moving forward and more money will need to be invested to actually develop the gTLD as platform, whose budget should cover the costs?  In many companies the initial application fee came out of a slush fund or extra fund for these types of unexpected opportunity costs.  In others, it came out of legal, IT or marketing.  As the gTLD moves forward and development costs begin, however, it is helpful for companies to consider how to structure the gTLD in the budget as a capital asset. 

 

Roadmap to the Brand gTLD

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I spend a lot of time talking with digital marketing leaders inside companies which applied for a new brand gTLD.  They are all facing some of the same challenges – where to begin?  It’s an enormous undertaking to even consider what to do with the gTLD.  Everyone know simply moving the .com isn’t the answer, but what is the right approach?  We’ll be hosting a webinar in a few weeks and cover in more detail a roadmap to planning for a gTLD.  In the interim, I’ve outlined a few of the key points in this week’s blog.

The Age of Digital Transformation

Most digital marketers realize we are in an age of digital transformation.  As Schmidt & Cohen said in their book, The New Digital Age, "What you can watch on your various displays . .  . will be determined by you, not by network-television schedules.  At your fingertips will be an entire world's worth of digital content, constantly updated, ranked and categorized to help you find the music, movies, shows, books, magazines, blogs and art you like."  And not only are consumers finding themselves in charge, the accelerated adoption of new technologies means that as we live our life in the digital world, we more rapidly accept and adopt to new ways of doing things.  Consider a few transformations in the past of how we communicate and find entertainment. 

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Does your company need a Chief Digital Officer?

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Companies are digitally innovating faster than ever as digital assets are often at the center of today's marketing and social media initiatives. The list is long but some of the significant initiatives include user interfaces, apps, social networking functions, personalization options on web pages, subscriber perks and new products and services related to digital assets.  As this inherently crosses over long standing company silos, forward-looking companies are arming themselves with a new senior executive – the Chief Digital Officer or CDO. The CDO’s main role is to bridge the fragmented corporate environment by connecting marketing, social media, IT, research and development, intellectual property and privacy experts and other key stakeholders to ensure digital assets are being developed and utilized strategically.

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Top Brands Who Didn't Apply for a gTLD

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Some of the top tech brands who didn’t apply for a gTLD includeFacebook, Pandora, Twitter and EBay.  In the consumer goods sector, companies like Kraft Foods, Coca Cola, Pepsi, KFC, Hershey, Unilever, United, American Airlines, Disney, ESPN, and Verizon didn’t apply.

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