It will come as no surprise to those whoâve read my blogs that I get pretty excited about seeing .brand domains launch.
At Neustar weâre all in on promoting .brand usage in any industry, from all around the world and as such, weâre always watching closely for any signs of new domains on the horizon, trawling for case studies or any hint of new activity.
So imagine my surprise when a brilliant .brand example jumped out in front of me at JFK airport.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) recently launched a campaign around its AWS Cloud solutions, appealing to startups, creators and âbuildersâ. The catchy tagline âBuild Onâ rounds out the branding nicely â and the go-to location for information is the new address www.buildon.aws.
The campaign includes a great video that speaks to âthe new buildersâ of todayâs startups and big businesses, as well as billboard and other display advertising at major airports and train stations throughout the US. All these efforts use the www.buildon.aws call-to-action.
âWidespread advertising using a .brand domain is still something weâve seen only sparingly, and Amazon has gone big here with its buildon.aws campaign.â
Credit where itâs due
This is an extraordinary effort from AWS. As Iâve written in the past, weâre under no illusion that changes to branding in major organizations is easy. In fact, my entire job revolves around slowly but surely making the case for brands to change their approach to branding, marketing and online navigation. And that can be a gamble â itâs no easy feat and I acknowledge that.
And thatâs why Iâm so impressed by this launch from AWS â for a brand as established, recognized, and customer-facing as Amazon this must have taken a lot of effort.
It takes guts to see the potential benefits of .aws to the brand as a whole. It takes trust that customers wonât be deterred by an unfamiliar domain. And it takes some awesome forward-thinking to rethink customer experience in this way and consider how to create the most memorable, meaningful call-to-action possible.
Back to advertising basics
Iâve written before about the considerations required for using .brand domains in advertising, and how a simple âback to basicsâ approach to advertising theory can remind us of the most important aspects of audience, medium and recall.
AWS has done an excellent job here of applying solid âold-schoolâ advertising principles to a ânew-schoolâ asset. And who would expect less of Interbrandâs number five âBest Global Brandâ, especially one highlighted as one of the top growing brands in 2017?
You donât get to a position like that by sticking to the status quo, and Amazon has really shown its mettle here.
For example, the decision to include âwwwâ in the call-to-action is a clever tool to avoid any possible confusion around the new .aws extension and to reinforce audience education that this is a legitimate address.
Also, given the ads appeared largely in locations where people are commuting, recall is vital for the success of the campaign â so the âbuild onâ branding and a call-to-action that sticks in audienceâs minds are essential.
Throwing down the gauntlet
With almost 9,000 domains registered under .brand domains, momentum is undeniably growing. In fact, this isnât even the first domain on .aws â Amazon has also created specific product domains like www.ecs.aws and www.kinesis.aws.
However in this burgeoning space there is still an opportunity to be a âfirst mover.â Widespread advertising using a .brand domain is still something weâve seen only sparingly, and Amazon has gone big here with its buildon.aws campaign.
Itâs truly impressive to see a brand of this size get a campaign like this off the ground using its .brand domain.
And itâs not a stretch to say this serves as a challenge to other .brand applicants: tackle the challenges of internal engagement and take advantage of the unique branding opportunities offered by .brand domains â or be left behind by those who are.
This article by Tony Kirsch, Head of Professional Services, Neustar, was sourced with permission from: