Yes, new gTLDs can market themselves without calling Domain Owners Cybersquatters, right?

Like most things in life there are two roads you can take when you’re releasing a new product, service, solution, or technology. You can decide to bash the competition, as Apple famously did in their very successful Mac vs. PC ads…remember these?

Or you can decide to highlight what makes whatever it is that you’re doing so incredibly amazing and awesome, like Sonos does in this ad.

I’m not sure there’s a right or wrong answer to what is the most effective, and in fact, sometimes doing a bit of both works. While I gave an example above of a Sonos ad that highlights how great the Play:1 is…they also have an ad that bashes the competition like this one here:

And just to be fair, Apple also doesn’t just run ads bashing PCs, they also run ads like this highlighting a specific new feature or enhancement to a product.

At the same time there’s a line, it’s a somewhat fine line in some cases but crossing it can mean going too far and alienating a specific group of people. I don’t think Apple is trying to insult PC owners, just like Sonos isn’t trying to insult people who own bluetooth speakers…but in the new gTLD space maybe things are going a bit too far with marketing like this:

In this case, .INC is saying that people who own domain names and try to resell them are Cybersquatters. I strongly disagree with this sentiment and think most of my readers would too. It also doesn’t really play to any strengths .INC offers outside of affordability. But, at a price point of roughly $2,000, .INC is actually more expensive than .COM names like this one on BrandBucket, and there are of course many more examples of solid .COM names for under $2k.

I can’t stand Cybersquatters, people who maliciously go out and buy or register domains with criminal intent. Cybersquatting is illegal and UDRP is there to help people defend against Cybersquatters.

But let’s be honest. Only a very small fraction of domain owners are Cybersquatters, heck – many large companies like Google, Facebook, etc. own tons of great domain names that they have priced astronomically high, are they Cybersquatters too?

While I get it. As a new gTLD you want to market on the fact that there is scarcity in the .COM market when it comes to hand-registering domains. At the same time, I think there are a lot of great .COM names available in the sub -$2,000 range so this argument is a bit less strong with a new gTLD like .INC that charges a pretty hefty registration and renewal fee.

I think there are a lot of creative ways to market new gTLDs, but calling all domain owners Cybersquatters is a pretty weak move IMO. What do you think? I want to hear from you, comment and let your voice be heard!

Morgan Linton

Morgan Linton