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NamesCon 2014 Keynote: Jennifer Wolfe

namescon 2014 - jennifer wolfe

Jennifer wrote a book called Domain Names Rewired, and is a keynote speaker here at NamesCon 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Jennifer is frequently hired to to consult and educate executives and brands about the new TLDs. CEOs want to know how to deal with big data. Whose budget is this coming out of? The IT folks, marketing, CEOs need to think differently.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

There is always a lot of skepticism. They need to adopt change.

Ms. Wolfe shows a video of John F. Kennedy.

JFK asks the question, “why not?”

To think disruptively, we have to ask why not?

The new TLDs. There are not a lot of top level domains currently. There are then going to be 1000 more TLDs. Brands know they want to use a .com and don’t have a lot of choices. But pretty soon, we are going to have a lot of brands marketing these new TLDs. Google and Amazon has applied for a lot of new TLDs and it scares the brands.

In the brand space, what could be happening? The choices are endless.

Look at experiences that people are having digitally and connecting with your brand in the online space. There is a digital experience for NFL called Now.MLB, it is everything that is happening now and is a digital experience. If it connects with your digital strategy, then it will work..

For Sony, you have Starwars.Sony.

Brands are no longer changed to their home page. Gucci could have Fall.Gucci or have as a website.

Don’t lose out on what you may need. What domain names do they need to compete with the brands that have applied for a new TLD? Jcrew might want to promote and people might want to share their experience at

Powerful Brands: translate to new domains

How long is going to take for all of this to roll out? This could actually be a paradigm shift. Thomas Edison invented the phonograph. Said there is no commercial value of the phonograph. The concept that someone would want to listen was completely unlikely. Thomas Watson of IBM said there was a word market for 5 computers. He could not see what could happen.

Jennifer Wolfe shares another video clip.
The NBC news conversation with Bryant Gumbel talking about the internet, and Katie Couric. It’s a giant computer network made up lots of computers, a big giant billboard. It’s getting bigger and bigger all the time. You don’t need a phone line. Do you write to it like mail? Video clip from 1984.

What are we standing on the edge right now? some universities have stopped issuing email addresses. We may be on the decline of email. Gen Y and Z don’t use email as much as before.

Most people watch TV on their devices, and we are seeing a change. Brands have to cross platforms. Brands are seeing it as a whole digital experience.

If we suddenly have all these domains, what can we expect?

Digital Leaders – Google, Amazon, Microsoft
They applied for the most new TLDs. They know all about us, and have the info to deal with it all and make decisions. We need to make sure we watch what they’re doing. These digital leaders will drive consumer adoption.

What does it look like for brands? Brands must have a business case. Digital marketing platform, create new digital experiences on those new TLDs. As they utilize this asset, they can track data in a different way that they do today. Data analytics is going to be key. Brands are looking for data analytics. There are technologies that can be developed to help track all this information. The brands can use it as an internal asset for internal communication.

Strategy: Authenticity and Fight Counterfeiters
Who filed?
Major auto companies
luxury goods
big pharma

Who didn’t apply for new TLDs?
finance, Mastercard and Wells Fargo
celebriities. Kardashians

Strategy: Robust consumer experience for data mining
Who filed?
retailers, macys, tj maxx
travel: airlines, delta

Strategy: Content distribution – displacement of cable as channels of the internet
Who filed for new TLDs?
Networks: hgtv, diy, hbo, cbs, abc, comcast

Who didn’t file?

Holistic digital Strategy
Holistic Digital Brand
apps and mobile
social media

search and navigation
domain name

We can start to see this transformation and with the brands thinking about their transformation. Where will social media reside? New TLDs? Stay on .com? There is space for where you can create a social experience on a new TLD. Could we see Play.Tennis or In.Style ? We’re moving into the dot anything space. There’s a lot of opportunity to help companies who didn’t apply for a new TLD to help them with the new TLDs.

Next Steps for Brands?
tap into current data for keywords in your industry
match up to related TLDs
reserve key domains for future slogans and campaigns
integrate social, mobile and domain strategies
think outside the box.

Why didn’t Facebook and Twitter apply? They didn’t have anyone who was an evangelist to bring it up to the high C suite level. It died with the TM lawyers.

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