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‘Consumer trust in new domain names is growing’

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 New data from Afilias reveals that consumers increasingly welcome dotBrand domain names 

New research has highlighted that consumers in the US and UK are increasingly open to the world of new, generic top-level domains (gTLDs), as the Brand Loyalty On Laptop Showing Successful Branding And Satisfaction Expertisenumber that would trust addresses at the new extensions has increased since last year.  Conversely, the number stating they would only trust heritage domains like .com and is decreasing.

The new findings, commissioned by global registry services provider Afilias, are based on a large sample of 3,469 internet using consumers in the UK and US. The study revealed a significant decrease in the number of people stating that they would only put faith in heritage domain names, dropping from 54% in 2013 to 39% in 2014! The findings also showed that 25% of consumers would trust new domain name extensions just as much as the heritage domains – this is an increase of 4 percentage points in the past 12 months.

Roland LaPlante, senior vice-president and CMO, Afilias, said: “Major global brands are now preparing to launch their own “dotBRAND” domains in order to capitalize on the branding, security and customer experience advantages they will now have over competitors.  Brands without these advantages must prepare quickly for ICANN to open the next window, as consumers are showing an increasing willingness to accept and even trust these new addresses.”

The release of the figures coincides with the upcoming arrival of new gTLDs from major global brands such as Google, Microsoft and Nike, who are all set to create their own ‘dotBrand’ domain names at the top level (eg. running.NIKE instead of

Further, people are now more willing to purchase from a branded gTLD than they were a year ago. In 2013, 13% stated that they would prefer to buy from ‘shop.adidas’ over ‘;’ this year, that preference has increased to 18%.

In 2014, nearly one third of people (32%) said that they would be more likely to trust that legitimate goods and services are being sold on a site that uses a dotBrand extension (with only 10% being less likely to trust a dotBrand site).

Importantly, the data show that 13% of people would feel that brands are ‘behind the times’ if they were not using branded domain name extensions.

LaPlante added: “The arrival of new domain names is an historic chapter in Internet history.  Even before they have all fully launched, consumers are warming to the notion of new domains. The research reinforces our belief that within 5 years most global brands will be operating from dotBrand Internet addresses.”


Sally Hooton
Author: Sally Hooton
Editor at The GMA |

Trained as a journalist from the age of 18 and enjoying a long career in regional newspaper reporting and editing, Sally Hooton joined DMI (Direct Marketing International) magazine as editor in 2001. DMI then morphed into The GMA, taking her with it!

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