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The Tectonic Clash of Global Brand Name Identities

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By Naseem Javed *

With the exception of a very small percentage, by and large most branded empires with single or dozens of brand name identities are now feeling the intense heat all over the world. The slow combustion, smoke and pending flames are inevitable. One side the power of their name brands is weakening and on other future of name identity trajectory looks fuzzy. The main reason of all this, once in a century happening is definitely not due to ICANN or their snail pace gTLD dot name crawl. It’s actually the overnight global shift of image and branding medium where light speed digitization changed the game. Actually, the real percolation started over a decade ago, it’s now the aroma that just started to fill the corporate corridors.

The ICANN gTLD Affairs
The domain name expansion is the logical and timely extension to cope with the global naming complexities. The 1000 plus new ICANN gTLDs with millions of new dot names are all headed in support of the new age Internet to meet the special needs of digitally equipped highly mobile world of 2 billion. Which existing name brand will win and what kind of names will be washed out depends on the new game plans but unfortunately the complexity of the subject demands in-depth and authoritative knowledge to engage any serious level debate on this. Here is one example of such debate

The Key Facts:
The largest ever duplication of brand names is causing waste and havoc.
The trademark protection is overly stretched and cumbersome
The domain name expansion will collide with last century name branding

The Harsh Questions:

Misguided Name Branding:
The current outcry and fear mongering of the advertising agencies of the world against the ICANN’s gTLD program is in reality based on their unspoken admittance of their own misguided branding resulting in limitations and exposure to their client’s name brands. However, the business world still has yet to come to grips to full understanding on how their weak or dysfunctional names are directly impacting their sales and why will they not survive in the future. This unavoidable debate will further expand as the dot names start to release in upcoming months. What are the new naming models for business image expansion?

Dot Name Impact:
What will happen when ‘silent name-centric monopolies’ erupt; when generic dot names dominate commodity and the service sector and start controlling cyber traffic? The future of business traffic is mostly digital, based on typing, searching and transacting; the dot names will flex their muscles in this sector and further alter the branding and marketing communications landscape. Will too many or too few names be required to stay in the game?

False Name Protection:
The trademark practices have to figure out and offer better, faster and economical services to avoid false hope trademark registrations, where diluted and almost useless names are aggressively pursued for protection. What are the best models for businesses for trademark protection?

Monstrous Name Problems:

What will happen to all the squeamish uproars about the brand name protection; will the Monster brand survive…but which one? Will it be the Monster Cable, the Monster HR, or the ‘MonsterThis’ or the ‘MonsterThat’? There are thousands of such deceptively similar races going on around the world, costing businesses hundreds of millions under the false hope of global name domination. How can all this be avoided immediately?

The Naked Names:
The layers of digital evolutions have ripped the good names of the past and made them stripped naked without graphic support as now they appear embedded as simple ‘everyday words’ and part of the gibberish text in global social media chats. When will the alarm bells ring in the marketing department or why is everybody so scared to discuss it?

Illusionary Name Defense:
How far will the overly exaggerated ‘defensive domain registrations’ go? Will it reach 25,000 odd shod names and million dollar budget per name brand? The permutations easily can add up to such numbers. Will common sense prevail?

The Trademark Litigation Boom:
How will the ‘Trademark Clearance House’ work out without the ‘in question names or being contested name data’? The perception of voluntary submission of a trademark ‘registration certificate data’ will only work for the very small and very top famous brands. Majority of business name identities all over the world are in ‘questionable folders’. Otherwise why would the number of trademark practitioners have tripled since the dot com boom? How soon the next mega boom cometh.

The Beneficiaries:
A new generation of the domain trade, registrars, registries, domainers, new cyber entrepreneurs, the end-users, with new galaxies of naming and branding options and micro-social clubs. The new eruptions of services surrounding the global domain name expansion.

The Enemies:
Established businesses with names losing powers in digital transitions. The old mentality marketing still entangled with old last century medium. The trademark professionals engaged primarily on unnecessary and continuous litigations over inherently bad names.

The Adjustments:
Fame and fortune of the name identities favor the bold. Ask not where the names came from but where are they headed. Unless there is a proper evaluation of where the name identity is today and where it’s headed, be prepared to face the flames. The greatest advertising minds of the last century or the Madmen of the recent times will not survive the onslaught unless they embrace the new name identity frontier. Domain name expansion is a reality and a now becoming a close encounter of the 4th kind. Study deeply the new naming highways and pursue to become the masters of market domination via name identity.

* Naseem Javed is the founder of ABC Namebank and globally recognized authority on corporate nomenclature, global naming complexities and related gTLD naming issues. He is a lecturer, his next lecture events: . He is also a syndicated columnist, and the author of his most recent work: ‘Domination, The GTLD Name Game’

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