Think .unicef replacing .com : Possible from January 2012 onwards

If you are looking to have top level internet domain name as exactly as your brand name ( for example – .iamwire replacing .com in, do not fret, here is a real chance as ICANN, the authoritative body over Internet domain names has been all geared to add new custom top-level domains in January 2012. After this historic decision by ICANN, now companies can come forward and apply for their own .com thing that could include brand names and other customized names.

Meanwhile, the entire process is expensive, the application fee alone is $185,000 including other ancillary cost, but the ramifications to the Internet infrastructure and URL configurations are extensive. Companies that have announced their intentions to apply for a custom, top-level domain include Hitachi (.hitachi), Canon (.canon), Deloitte (.deloitte) and Unicef (.unicef).

 However, some of the companies like Procter & Gamble and Hewlett-Packard have come out openly saying they are not going to do it. So far, no Indian Asian companies or corporations have expressed appetite for ICANN’s historic offering. But by and large, most corporations are keeping their intentions private.

The initiative herald as a truly historic opportunity to own brand name on the web, especially for the companies who might have competing trademark issues where there’s another company out there by the same name and they both share the same trademark. For others who don’t have above concerns, and are looking at it more from a business opportunity, then maybe they have some kind of problem online or maybe dealing with (fraud) matters like phishing and harming.

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Apart from the above reasons, the opportunity opens the gate of branding and potentially a new way to interact with customers. It allows brands to have their own faces. Further some of the social media things that are going on in the way companies are interacting with customers.

For ecommerce businesses or online retailers, customized domains can provide a way to simplify some of the URL strategies and get consumers right where they want to get them with a very short, snappy URL.  Ecommerce businesses will have something like ‘’ and get them right to that product page, without having to get them to the main page and have them navigate, or giving them these long URLs.