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place branding

From New York to London to Berlin, the Race is on For City Dotbranding

Posted by Sheila Shayon on May 15, 2014 02:27 PM

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio recently announced the first “sunrise” phase of the roll-out of the .nyc domain name prior to a full-scale public launch in October 2014. 

Part of a new class of generic top-level domains (gTLDs — although in this case they're also called geoTLDs) from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the Big Apple is the first city in the U.S. with a top-level domain catering to local businesses, organizations and residents.

“The launch of the .nyc domain is one of the most anticipated arrivals for the city and the Internet at large,” stated Hizzoner. “There is no shortage of New Yorkers ready to claim their exclusive .nyc identities online, and this is their chance to reserve their piece of this city’s valuable digital real estate.”

Jessie Pressman, CEO of tech education startup Bite Size Learning, was one of those New Yorkers who seized the opportunity.

“Acquiring a .nyc domain is a chance to align Bite Size Learning's brand with NYC,” Pressman, recently featured in Crain's New York, told brandchannel. “As an emerging start-up the .nyc domain will lend credibility to our site while at the same time promoting our belief in supporting local business.”Continue reading...

web watch

Despite Pushback, ICANN on Track with TLDs

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 20, 2013 11:14 AM

ICANN has been moving full-steam ahead under new CEO Fadi Cherhade, announcing that April 23rd will be the approval date for the first TLDs for delegation.

Once recommended for delegation, an applicant must pass a technical test and sign a Registry agreement with ICANN, which takes between five to six months, before a registry launch—which can take up to a year after they have been approved for delegation. 

There is no “sunrise” period for branded TLDs (Top Level Domains), but generic terms or open registries require a sunrise period of 30 days for trademark holders, followed by a 60-day landrush period, after which public domain sales could start. 

About 1,900 applications for new gTLDs are currently pending; 40 percent are for brand names and another slice is for “generic” words like .app, .insurance, .search and .book. “If allowed to register as closed domains, a single player could control the entire domain string related to a “generic” word – and prevent others from registering within it,” notes an article by InfoLawGroup.

Many have already voiced concern about “closed generic” domains and ICANN has asked the public for comment by March 7, 2013. 

Meanwhile, the American Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has asked ICANN to slow the process down “to set up a defensive mechanism so trademark holders can prevent registration of their exact trademarks across all the registries for a single reasonable fee.”Continue reading...

e-commerce

Amazon Puts the Hurt (Locker) on Competition

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 6, 2012 03:29 PM

Heading into last year's year-end holiday selling season, Amazon flexed its muscles and felt some backlash when it provided an app that allowed consumers to find lower prices on any products they found at competing brick-and-mortar retailers. This year, Amazon is finding plenty of new ways to corral consumers as the holiday seasons looms ever closer. One marketing tactic sees the e-tail giant expanding its premium Amazon Prime program. For an extra $8 a month, consumers can get free 2-day shipping, monthly Kindle rentals, and a selection of unlimited streaming video.

And back on the muscle-flexing front, the company just won a legal battle against Apple and such publishers as Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins in Europe, which allows the online retailer to sell online books cheaper than its competitors. Another battle keeping its lawyers busy is for the .cloud domain name, which Amazon wants to secure — but so does Symantec, ARUBA S.p.A., CloudNames AS, and Dash Cedar, among others. 

But don’t think Amazon has completely ditched the brick-and-mortar world. Staples, the largest U.S. office supply retailer, is planning to install Amazon-branded lockers in its stores that would allow consumers to have Amazon packages shipped to their stores for pick-up. Amazon already has similar deals with a few grocery, convenience, and drug stores, including at select D'Agostino, Gristede and Rite-Aid stores in New York.

retail watch

H&M Confirms & Other Stories Spin-Off, Delays U.S. E-Commerce Launch

Posted by Shirley Brady on September 27, 2012 11:01 AM

H&M has announced that its new store brand, & Other Stories, will launch in Spring 2013 in "selected European countries," with an online hub at stories.com (which was registered in March), and a waiting Facebook page and Twitter feed.

Along with the news that H&M's U.S. e-commerce launch has been moved to Summer 2013, H&M commented on the pending & Other Stories launch in the company's third quarter earnings update, which was softer than expected —Continue reading...

logo-a-gogo

Polish This Apple: Cupertino No Fan of Grocer's Special

Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 13, 2012 04:01 PM

Any other major brand, Apple is vigilant about protecting its trademark and image around the world. But sometimes things can go a teensy bit too far, such as when Kellogg threatened to sue a small nonprofit because it used a toucan that looked nothing like Froot Loops’ Toucan Sam for its logo.

Kellogg eventually backed off and contrite. Apple, as if it didn't have enough to keep it busy, has started the process on what could end up being a similarly silly case. What’s caught the company’s attention is an online grocery in Poland (a “delikatesy internetowe”) that uses the URL A.pl (get it?), according to Reuters. 

Apple isn’t just unhappy with the site’s name. It also claims that the grocery copied “one of Apple's icons to its logo and (is) riding its coattails to win customers,” Reuters reports.Continue reading...

web watch

From .AAA to .Zulu, ICANN Reveals Generic Top-Level Domain Applications

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 13, 2012 01:12 PM

CNET’s Paul Sloan calls it "the greatest landgrab in Internet history.” The new gTLD application window that opened on January 12, 2012 and closed on May 30th is finally revealed with all of the gTLD strings applied for during this round announced today at a press conference in London. From .AAA (filed by the American Automobile Association to .zippo, there were 1,930 top-level domain applications in all, with a few surprises including what wasn't on the list.

“One of the biggest 'reveals' of the day has been the absence of some very significant players: we did NOT see .FACEBOOK, .COKE, .COCACOLA or .PEPSI, .DISNEY, .IKEA, .EBAY, .NINTENDO or .NESTLE or .NESCAFE,” stated FairWinds Partners, which submitted applications on behalf of clients such as Allstate (.allstate), Symantec (.antivirus) and SC Johnson (.afamilycompany). “The heaviest-hitting industries are Auto, Finance and Pharmaceuticals. We've also seen many brands apply for generic terms. Google is a big one, of course, with 101 applications in total, as is Amazon.”

What we did see, as the Washington Post notes: "Amazon.com wants '.joy,' Google wants '.love' and L'Oreal wants '.beauty.'" The most coveted domain? .APP.Continue reading...

web watch

With IPv6 and 340 Undecillion Unique Addresses, the Web IPocalypse is Nigh

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 6, 2012 04:04 PM

If the Internet is an information superhighway, the thing has been stuck in a traffic jam for years and it was getting worse. All of those new devices that can log onto the Internet – your car, your freezer (someday your dog?) has access – was causing the Internet’s address book to continue filling up fast. So the Internet Society, a global-standards-setting organization, has been working to fix the situation and finally made the big move Wednesday, as Google noted with a homepage link (and the video above).

The agency moved the Internet’s capabilities from 4.3 billion unique addresses to 340 undecillion. For the non-Saganites in the house, that's about 340 trillion trillion trillion, or a growth factor of 79 octillion (79 billion billion billion). In other words, massively ginormous.

The new standard, called IPv6, offers up “enough IP combinations for everyone in the world to have a billion billion IP addresses for every second of their life,” CNN notes. (Good news, by the way, because Cisco estimates that there will be three networked devices per human on the planet by 2016, as CNN also reported.)

The two standards, the outgoing IPv4, and the new one IPv6, will live together for some years as one is slowly worked out of the system and the other slowly begins to dominate. CNN notes that most major websites and networks have made the switch to IPv6 already.

web watch

ICANN's gTLD Gold Rush: Google, Go Daddy Look to Grab Desired Domain Names

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 4, 2012 11:44 AM

The mad dash for ICANN-approved generic top-level domain names (also known as gTLDs) is on.

The most popular generic suffixes, .art, .radio, .music, .shop, .food, .bank, and .web are being most aggressively pursued. Google is spending an estimated $10 million to apply for 50 domain name suffixes including .Google, .YouTube, .Docs and .LOL. (Is Google looking to buy a sense of humor?) It's actually one of the biggest brands to jump in, while more than 40 major companies, including Coca-Cola and GE continue to oppose the top-level domain program.

Go Daddy has applied for only two top level domains, .home and .casa. CEO Warren Adelman said the names “were chosen in part because they have multiple meanings with big market opportunities: they can be used in both a real estate context and personal context.” (Of course, the relationship between "Daddy" and "home" in English and Spanish is another lure.) “Dot.com has been getting the lion’s share of branding since the dawn of the internet,” added Adelman. “Any kind of new branding is heavy lifting.”

According to a blog post by Vint Cerf, Google's chief internet evangelist,

We’re just beginning to explore this potential source of innovation on the web, and we are curious to see how these proposed new TLDs will fare in the existing TLD environment. By opening up more choices for Internet domain names, we hope people will find options for more diverse—and perhaps shorter—signposts in cyberspace.Continue reading...

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