When I was a junior in college, I had a marketing internship at a local business. Had I not decided to attend graduate school right away, I would have considered working for this company because I enjoyed working there, and I got along well with the CEO.
Since my internship days 10+ years ago, I have stayed in touch with the CEO, and we exchange emails a couple of times per year give or take. I’ve given him some advice about domain names, and I guided him through the domain name acquisition process once or twice.
It’s been quite some time since the last time we emailed, perhaps a couple of years, but he sent me this email yesterday: “Apparently this .[redacted] is coming online soon. What’s the best way to grab [redacted] and [redacted]” Surprisingly, he was referring to buying two new gTLD domain names for his company. I am not going to reveal the gTLD extension or domain names to protect his privacy, but the names were related to his branding as opposed to being simply good descriptive keyword domain names.
I didn’t ask how (or if) the domain names would be used, but my educated assumption is that the names will simply forward to his website and are being bought for protective reasons. I found it interesting that he learned about the new gTLDs via Facebook, although I don’t know if he learned about a specific extension or the gTLD program in general. I would guess that most people learn about the new domain names via promotions from their domain registrar, but that wasn’t the case this time. It’s quite possible he isn’t the primary contact for domain registrar communications.
I know this is only one example of an end user buyer interested in the new gTLD domain names, but it shows me that the message is slowly getting out. It also shows me that targeted Facebook marketing can work for the new gTLD registries.