I noticed something interesting during my travels and don’t know if it’s isolated or more widespread. In several advertisements, I’ve seen foreign companies who do business in the US using the .US extension for their primary American website or in addition to their primary .com site.
Although I haven’t really seen many American-based companies using the .US extension as a primary website, I know that country code extensions are very popular in places throughout the world – especially in some European countries.
IcelandAir uses IcelandAir.us, BMW sometimes uses BMW.us, ClubMed has used ClubMed.us, Volvo uses VolvoCars.us (forwards to .com) and there are many other examples. It seems to be more of a European way of thinking as many EU people and businesses use their country codes far more regularly than we use the .US extension here in the States.
It’s just interesting to notice, as I have seen the above examples used to target US customers, and all of these companies own their respective .com – they just choose not to use them.
So what is it? Foreign companies’ marketing departments not thinking like American consumers? A domain extension test? Something else? What do you think?