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TODD SMITH — Major companies are using names at end of web domains

TODD SMITH

Many companies have taken to using their name in website domains to leverage branding in new ways.

Web addresses that end with their own brand name are now streaking through cyberspace – iconic brands like .google, .microsoft and .sony.

Currently, more than 500 of the world’s elite brands have secured a .brand, and the sky’s the limit.

As big business adds these news tools to the marketing toolbox, here are five ways brands must turbocharge their communications, according to thenextweb.com:

Building trust and security in brand identity.

For industries such as banking, finance, and insurance, building a brand that consumers can trust is vital. Knowing that customers feel safe and secure visiting your site and making transactions is life or death for your business.

From the outset, one of the clearest benefits of brands has been their exclusivity. Only the organization that owns a .brand can use it – so nobody else can register a name from your .brand. In this case, a .brand can work in conjunction with security certificates, branding activities and other programs to contribute to an overall sense of trust and safety in the brand.

Some examples of this in action include sites like BNP Paribas’ www.mabanque.bnpparibas, Barclays’ www.home.barclays and the State Bank of India’s www.bank.sbi.

Increasing the efficiency of advertising and getting better accountability from ad spend

As the world of digital expands horizons for marketers, it has also increased the challenges in determining the right course of action from endless opportunities. Clawing back some control over the customer experience helps drive more direct traffic to your sites and avoids the customer taking a journey via search or social media where your competitors can distract them.

While some companies like Procter & Gamble demand greater accountability for their spend with agencies, the ability to re-think calls-to-action in advertising with short, memorable domains is a simple step that could reduce advertising spend.

There are some awesome examples of creative and engaging campaign sites on .brand domains like www.buildon.aws from Amazon Web Services, www.traiteur.leclerc from French retailer E.Leclerc and www.pop.swatch from watch retailer Swatch.

Attracting, retaining and showing off good talent

It’s not rocket science: having the right people to keep your organization running. innovating and driving it into the future is an essential part of any business.

Positioning your brand as a creative leader, providing an easy access point for applicants or those researching your company, and aligning your best and brightest staff with your brand are all activities that can leverage your efforts.

Many brands have created Human Resources, recruitment or staff profile sites on .brand domains like Google’s www.diversity.google, ERNI’s www.join.erni and www.leon-beer.allfinanz.

Publicizing charitable and community activities

Giving back to the community is a big part of many major corporations. While the top goal is to make a positive contribution to society, ensuring that your brand is predominantly linked to these efforts is important for showing how your company lives its values.

The creativity offered by .brands in setting up campaigns, promotional and event pages with their brand name built-in, allows community efforts to be closely aligned with brand identity from the outset, giving the team more time to focus on the important work you’re undertaking.

For examples, check out www.wecare.weberwww.crisisresponse.google or www.ready4green.schwarz.

Demonstrating consistency across global businesses

In our increasingly global, digital realm, it’s more important than ever to deliver today’s consumers with a local experience that meets their needs and deepens connections between brand and customer. At the same time, we should aim for consistent representation of the brand across regional or global sites.

The increased flexibility and ability to create domains specific to a location or region has created a world in which a global brand can now reach consumers on a local level, leading to a better customer experience and strengthened brand loyalty.

There are a few brands leading the way in this approach, for examples of the strategy in action take a look at MMA’s www.antibes.mma, Audi’s www.leipzig.audi or Deloitte’s www.home.deloitte.

Hero Mic | James Shaw, Waffle House Savior

James Shaw Jr. is a true American hero!

In the face of tragedy – when a troubled and twisted man wielding an AR-15 rained bullets into a Waffle House in the early morning hours in a Nashville, Tenn. suburb – Shaw courageously sprang into action.

As suspect Travis Reinking unleashed his fury, Shaw – a 29-year-old father of a 4-year-old girl – hid behind a door near the restaurant’s bathroom waiting to make a move to save lives. As soon as Reinking stopped to reload the rifle, Shaw pounced. He wrestled away the AR-15, and threw it over the counter, forcing the man to flee. After  an intense manhunt, a despondent Reinking was arrested in the woods less than two miles from the Waffle House.

Authorities said Shaw’s bravery saved numerous lives, but he has refused to call himself a hero, saying only that he stood up to the gunman to stop the violence.

With his hand still heavily bandaged from the burns he sustained from grabbing the white-hot muzzle of the gun, he did even more. Shaw launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the families of the four victims killed in the deadly attack. His initial goal was $15,000, but it has brought in nearly $200,000 as of this writing.

The Waffle House where the tragedy unfolded, has since reopened, and has pledged all of its proceeds for the next month to the families of the victims.

And the humble Shaw has been honored as a hero across the land. The Tennessee State legislature held a ceremony honoring him. The Nashville Predators honored him during a hockey playoff game, and the roars from the crowd were louder than anything going on on the ice.

“I never thought I would be in a room with all the eyes on me but, you know, I am very grateful to be here,” a humble Shaw said during the ceremony at the state house in Nashville. “All I can say is … this was a true test of a man. I do, once again, apologize to the people that lost loved ones, friends or family.”

Vice President Mike Pence has dubbed Shaw a national hero. President Trump is considering honoring him at the White House – and he should.

Meanwhile, the crazed shooter is locked behind bars, awaiting his fate.

In addition to four counts of criminal homicide, Reinking was hit with four attempted murder charges and one count of unlawful gun possession in the commission of a violent felony, according to the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office.

Shaw will forever be hailed as a hero who saved countless lives! A fearless man who looked the face of death in the eyes and prevailed. His courageous act won out over evil and ignited triumph over tragedy. Safety over terror. Life over death!

Each week, The Spin Cycle will bestow a Golden Mic Award to the person, group or company in the court of public opinion that best exemplifies the tenets of solid PR, marketing and advertising – and those who don’t. Stay tuned – and step-up to the mic! And remember … Amplify Your Brand!

» TODD SMITH is co-founder, president and chief executive officer of Deane | Smith, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm – based in Nashville, Tenn. – is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, follow him @spinsurgeon and like the ageny on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/deanesmithpartners, and join us on LinkedIn  http://www.linkedin.com/company/deane-smith-&-partners.

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