We all followed the launch of new gTLDs like .NYC and .LONDON and the strong registration boom that followed. While it certainly makes sense that cities like New York and London were in the spotlight it could be easy to forget the number of new GeoTLDs that are hitting the market, and Australian businesses are digging theirs down under:
The founder of Melbourne business St Kilda Burger Bar, Rabih Yanni, told Smart Company his custom domain, www.burger.melbourne, is helping his restaurant stand out from the crowd. (Source – SmartCompany.com.au)
I have been to St Kilda a number of times and yes, as a Domainer I can’t help but look at the domain names on the billboards and storefronts. Since I can remember they have been .COM.AU heavy with plenty of .COMs in the mix. Now more and more Australian businesses are ditching .com.au and making their way to .MELBOURNE or .SYDNEY, TLDs that help them stand out in the crowd.
While we tend to focus on new gTLDs as a whole, it’s easy to forget that GeoTLDs, a popular segment in the new gTLD space could have (and most likely already is) a very meaningful impact in the ccTLD space. Sure, a TLD like .MELBOURNE is technically longer than .COM.AU but from a branding perspective I think it actually sounds a lot better and helps local brands really shine.
Last year Dominic Perrottet, the New South Wales (the State that Sydney is in for those still brushing up on their Australian geography) made a statement about his thoughts on the potential of GeoTLDs in Australia:
“We expect that .sydney will transform the digital economy of the city,” said Mr Perrottet. “These domains will give businesses a new and highly targeted channel to communicate to their Sydney-based customers.” (Source – New South Wales Government)
Of course, here’s the million dollar question – how long will it takes consumers to understand that something.melbourne is a domain name and not a catchy advertising slogan? I think it will happen fairly quickly, but as we’ve seen in the past, old habits do take a while to break.
What do you think? Will GeoTLDs like .MELBOURNE, .LONDON, .NYC, etc. be the go-to for local businesses or will they stick with TLDs like .COM and .COM.AU that they know consumers already know like the back of their hand?
Comment and let your voice be heard!