A sense of place: city domains

Novagraaf

.london, .amsterdam and .vegas are just three of the 30 domain name extensions relating to cities that are now open for registration. These new, localised domains provide companies that operate in key locations a unique marketing channel.

Changes to the domain name system – in particular, the launch of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs), such as the so-called dotBrands – have forced companies to re-evaluate their domain name registration and monitoring strategies. As the number of gTLDs has expanded, so too has the risk of cybersquatting, typosquatting and other forms of trademark infringement. However, expansion to the domain name system has heralded in opportunities too; in particular, the opportunity to market goods and services to specific, localised demographics. The new city-based extensions are a perfect example of this.

Selling a city
City-based extensions can be effective marketing tools for companies that are seeking to target consumers in certain localised extensions. They can also work effectively for companies seeking to emphasise their relationship with a specific place; for example, a company that produces London-centered merchandise. This also has benefits when it comes to Google searches.

At present, the most popular of the new city domains is .nyc, closely followed by .london and .berlin, according to gTLD tracker nTLDStats. Also proving popular are .tokyo, .moscow, .amsterdam and .paris.

Which domain names are right for you?
With new domain name extensions being launched on an almost daily basis, it can be a challenge for brand owners to identify those gTLDs that warrant registrations, those that may need to be monitored for infringement, and those that they can safely ignore. Novagraaf provides a complimentary domain extension alert services that can help you keep on top of new and upcoming gTLD launches (sign up for free here).

We also recommend putting in place a clear domain name registration policy to ensure that you are protecting your trademark rights online in the most cost-effective manner. Click here for our five-step approach to aligning domain name registrations with IP and business strategy.

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