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Sample Brand Domains


.merck (1)
.merck (2)



This small list of brand domains represents less than one eighth of around 680 pending applications. The potential collective impact on the internet is significant — given the immense resources and market power of these global corporations.

NOTE: IDNs (internationalized domain names) such as brand names in Chinese or Arabic scripts are not currently covered by this site.





The Future Of Brand Domains

It may take a long time, but powerful new economic forces are about to make their presence felt on the internet. 680 giant corporations will launch their own brand domain strings backed by many of the world's most successful marketing and advertising experts. The budgets will be big.

If the successful launch of relatively new domain extensions (such as .co) can be any guide, then the web in 2020 and beyond will be a very different space.

It is anticipated by Allstate that changes to the domain name industry, and particularly the impact of .BRAND gTLDs, will take at least five years to be realized and assessed.

Allstate. Application for the .allstate extension.

The new domains make sense. They have an implacable logic. They are memorable and short. They are trustworthy.

After you spend a few days looking at them — they don't seem strange at all.

The brand domains will present new and unprecedented opportunities for innovation and differentiation. A new goldrush of communications and ideas. of the primary goals of the proposed .progressive gTLD is to leverage the opportunities within this domain structure... position Progressive at the forefront of the industry in its ability to set and meet future consumer expectations...

Progressive. Application for the .progressive extension.

The Internet is growing at a fast rate with no signs of slowing down. ICANN's new TLD program will almost certainly accelerate this expansion as individuals and companies grasp the new opportunities that the brand domains will offer.

Tata wants to own a TLD, as it is looking for complete control on the second level domain names. We see and believe that the Internet is a strong medium to reach out to its audience and considering the rate at which the number of Internet users is growing in India (estimated as 30%+ growth per year), this medium is set to be the most powerful.

Tata. Application for the .tata extension.

NOTE: second level = left of the dot.

Prestige and Authority

It has long been the case that any major international company must have the dot com domain of its name. Apple has to own and GeneralElectric must own

Somewhere around half of the world's top 1000 corporations have applied for their own brand domain. It's entirely possible that the dot brands will begin to emerge as valuable status symbols for their owners. Just as it became obligatory to own a dot com at the million dollar level, it may become obligatory to possess your own dot brand at the multi-million dollar level.

This presents a risk for players in some competitive industries. There is no greater example than in the credit card space. Amex and Visa have applications pending for .amex and .visa.

However, Mastercard has no application in place for .mastercard.

Amex and Visa are certain to exploit this advantage with the rollout of prestigious domains like and

The brand domains are all about trust, and since only large successful companies will be able to afford the expense of launching one, those who do will reap a fine dividend of prestige and authority.

Asymmetric Advantage

Many companies are about to discover that their competitors are gearing up to launch dedicated brand domains. The new strings will be used in inventive, unprecedented and eye-catching ways. The dot brands will try to extract whatever asymmetric advantage they can in the fiercely competitive online space. For some firms who didn't apply, it will create a very challenging environment.

Businesses and organizations that missed this initial round of New gTLDs should start strategizing now as to how they're going to meet the competitive challenge of brands that will soon be going live with their own domains.

Roland LaPlante. Senior Vice President. Afilias. Afilias is the .info registry and a leading registry provider for many brand domain applicants.

Want info on the fourth most popular gTLD in the world? Interview by Mike Sullivan. Sully's Blog.

The schedule for the next round of TLD applications has not been announced and is expected to be several years away.


The dot brands present a unique opportunity for corporations to both distinguish themselves from their non-brand rivals, and to unify their identity and communications in a new way. In a sense, the corporations will be able to create closed ecosystems of content — or private internets.

The applicant's intention is that users will be unified in the "virtual space" of the Internet as though they were face to face. Delta's extensive range of services and large numbers of employees can cohere in a single web identity and location that utilises the Internet as a tool to gather unity in diversity.

Delta. Application for the .delta extension.


There is significant inherent potential in the brand domains. The TLD applications talk about a wide range of innovations that are under evaluation. They also talk about the unprecedented benefits and potential that they may be able to deliver.

Currently there is no Top Level Domain that specifically corresponds to the Applicant and to its businesses, brands, trade marks, goods and services. Thus no existing Top Level Domain could conceivably deliver the level of specialisation which could potentially be achieved by the .ORACLE TLD...

...It is anticipated that this drive for specialisation will in the future become the standard for Internet users, customers and other third parties.

Oracle. Application for the .oracle extension.

There are certain to be innovations on the horizon that no-one has yet dreamed of.

It has been suggested that every Canon camera sold could ship with its own instant domain and website (based on the serial number). These sites would have automatic photo galleries. Your photos could be sent to the cloud in a couple of clicks. This is just one hypothetical example of possible futures that are coming.

In its application for the .ibm string, IBM mentions that it currently holds 259 names in its domain name portfolio. Then, it goes on to mention that there are more than 17,000 named IBM products and services available. There is a big difference between the numbers. Once again — there is enormous potential on the horizon.

The role of the brand is to establish a powerful and enduring "source of value" that maintains relevance with customers, differentiates us from competitors, and resonates across the entire enterprise.

IBM. Application for the .ibm extension.

Microsoft is very aware that its new company string has great potential to leverage and augment the existing prestige and power of its brand. Domains like and have great potential as virtual trademarks if the company chooses to implement them this way.

Because the .microsoft gTLD is the gTLD counterpart to our world-famous Microsoft brand, the importance of maintaining and strengthening this brand dictates that we operate the .microsoft registry to the highest service levels...

...The opportunity to operate a new gTLD that exactly matches our primary brand – one of the most globally recognized brands in the world -- may help us to assist our customers in interacting securely across devices and services.

Microsoft. Application for the .microsoft extension.

Some Applicants are wise enough to acknowledge that they do not yet know the full scope and every potential use of their brand domains. Hence it would be hard to believe that there won't be some dramatic but unpredictable innovations coming soon in this new space.

The ".MERCK" TLD will allow the companies of the Merck Community to develop uses for domain names which today are too complicated or completely unforeseen.

Merck KGaA. Application for the .merck extension.

Trust And Authenticity

A feature common to many of the brand domain applicants is their recognition that the brand strings — which by their nature means they are all operated by a sole registrant — have a potential intrinsic high level of trust and authenticity. With nobody else permitted to own a domain under the unbrella of a brand TLD, consumers will quickly come to understand that every website is a genuine corporate site.

In this regard, the brand domains will have a big advantage over the dot com space. Some may come to prefer the dot brand space over the dot com space when shopping, for example.

Some applicants specifically state that they hope to attain the trusted status of extensions like .edu and .gov.

The proposed .hughes gTLD will enable customers and other business partners and Internet users to distinguish on the face of the domain name alone whether the site is an authorized company site.

Hughes. Application for the .hughes extension.

String Confusion And Branding

ICANN's new TLD program has generated many controversies. One of these is string confusion. For example, Verisign as the registry that operates the .com string has objected to the .cam string. The rationale is that users may be misled by confusingly similar domain names. There have been similar objections to .game V .games and so on.

Is it in the public interest for there to be two sites — and — operated by two different companies? V

The situation is not unique to generic domain names. It might also be an issue in the future with some of the brand domains. If your company has a brand (like "Ontel" or "Phillips" with two "l"s) that is similar to an existing dot brand — its possible that you may not be able to transition over to right of the dot.

Some companies may have to consider re-branding themselves if the dot brands become a great success. This principle may also apply to companies with long, hard to spell names like Lamborghini, which is an applicant for a brand TLD.

Northwestern Mutual has not chosen to shorten its .northwesternmutual TLD. The German operator of .allfinanzberatung will face a challenge if it wishes to operate outside Germany.

If brand domains do become de rigueur for large corporations, then various advertising, investment and legal companies with long-tail names like Bloggs Shmoe Jones White Black Corp. will face a challenge.

The program may ultimately lead to some serious re-branding.


Many of the applicants for the brand domains are planning to proceed cautiously. They are keeping a close watchful eye on what initiatives the other corporations implement.

It is very probable that over time, various conventions will emerge that will characterize the brand domains. Given the magnitude and number of the dot brand applicants, the significance is likely to be great.

As it seems there will be many other .BRAND TLDs presented to internet users, it is expected that the outreach, communications and media relating to each of them, individually, will lead to collective benefit insofar as many internet users will quickly grasp the concept behind these TLDs, and will expect many companies to operate them in generally consistent ways.

Bridgestone. Application for .bridgestone TLD.

One question that is difficult to answer is — what will be the name of the flagship in each domain string?

Names like and sound a bit crazy, though they are unmistakeable.

Names like and are logical, but a little unexciting.

Of course, the companies will all retain their dot com flagship domains like and into the foreseeable future.

Some companies state in their applications that they will trial redirecting content to their new TLDs.

A number of applications specifically mention using "search" at the second level in their domains — for example, and

Various conventions are sure to emerge as the Applicants observe consumer interaction and analyse traffic data as they seek the best solutions.


Brand names mentioned on this site are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective corporations. This site claims no association with or endorsement by any of these corporations and their marks are mentioned only to illustrate opinion presented in the public interest.

For a comprehensive overview of the brand domains and their impact on the web, refer to ICANN's website and the individual applications (large parts of which are publicly published).

If you have a particular interest in an individual company, the public aspects of their applications are available for download via the following ICANN links: You can also search a complete list of applicants there.

ICANN new gTLD applications

ICANN official website

ICANN list of new TLDs launched to date



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The Brand Domains — it's unprecedented — the advent of around 680 companies launching their own dot brands began in 2014.



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