Brands as Top Level Domains

Dot Brand Domain Name Context

Some major brands, such as Google, Microsoft, Audi or Sony, registered their brand name as a Top Level Domain Name. These brands now have a complete universe of Second Level Domain Names that is open to them, making it possible to create very memorable and explicit domain names, such as, or

The dot brand observatory describes how brands generate value from these dot brand domain names, via a better customer experience and more efficient branding. Dot brand stats, facts and figures are captured regularly and analysed in order to provide you with meaningful and actionable insights.

Dot Brand Top Level Domains

Dot Brand registy is not a volume-driven domain name business, compared to the number of domains owned by the applicant brands and the global growth of new gTLD. Brands can be organised in four main categories :

  • The Pioneers: Brands, such as Audi or BNPParibas, who launched main websites, communicated about it and try to drive traffic
  • The Positive: Brands who launched campaign mini-sites, and who are using them for specific purposes and testing different strategies
  • The Prudent: Brands who are have created domain names that are not used for any purpose or simply redirect to exist content
  • The Passive: Brands who have delegated their new dot brand, but are not considering to use it for any purpose or reason

Split of Dot Brand TLD per Industry Vertical

Split of Dot Brand TLD per Geography

A progressive start

90% of the 600 initial dot brand applications are live. This means that the brand name is added to the database record of the top level domain names, managed by IANA, and that the management of the zone file of registry is delegated by ICANN to the brand. Only 10% of brand TLD applications have been abandoned.

Nevertheless, brands generally did not rush to get their registry live. There is a combination of reasons that explains why are number of dot brand registries are only launching very progressively:

  • Many enterprises secured their dot brand for defensive purposes, including the protection of IP, and so are in no hurry to activate their registry
  • It does not suit all applicants to be pioneers – some brands prefer proven solutions to pilots and tests. The world of dot brand is very new, and the present observatory is the complete research programme on the good practices.
  • The introduction of brand domain names are usually not easy and direct problem solving features.
  • The application for the new brand TLD took place in 2012, and actual go live was really made possible in 2016. Other projects, with shorter deadlines and time to market have taken over. Teams have changed and new gTLD champions often occupy new functions.

dot Brands Second Level Domains

Global volume of second level domains grow progressively, in numbers and in quality.

An incresing number of dot brand websites enter in the top million most popular website.

Google lists more an more pages in the dot brand websites.

End users and visitors share more and more Dot Brand websites