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Brands answer the call to the 2nd ‘Cercle des .marque’ event

Home > Observatory and resources > Expert papers > Brands answer the call to the 2nd ‘Cercle des .marque’ event


The second edition of ‘Le Cercle des .marque’ (The BrandTLD Club) event – the forum dedicated to custom domain extensions and open to brands and their representatives – took place on 5 November. Over the course of the morning and in 100% online format, the participants debated the prospects offered by a custom URL in the form of a .brand (brand TLD).

Afnic brought together some forty brands, with or without a brand TLD, and brand representatives, including registrars, law firms, intellectual property advisers; communication agencies and consulting firms. This second event provided an opportunity to continue discussions on brands’ digital issues and how a custom TLD can provide a concrete response. What are the take-aways from these exchanges? Altran, an engineering consulting firm within the Capgemini group, and the communication agency Makheia talked about their view of the issues brands face on the Internet:

  • Two types of brands coexist: digital natives and so-called ‘legacy’ brands that can have difficulty gaining full control over their digital territory.
  • To ensure that their digital revolution is a success, brands must above all focus on the user/client experience they want to offer (promise, target, identity) and use digital technology as a basis for developing their value proposition.
  • A brand TLD can support this process and become the hallmark of a successful digital transition, in which the brand emerges by streamlining its communication in an environment with increasing points of contact.
  • Several studies have shown that the current crisis (political, social, health, etc.) has not left brands unscathed and has heightened mistrust of them. Against this backdrop of a crisis of confidence, the criteria that reassure are proximity, protection, goodwill and expertise. This distrust is particularly concentrated on social networks. Investing in ‘proprietary’ spaces is therefore a strategic choice.
  • Brands need to build on a vision, to develop a long-term message and to take back possession of their territory across the customer journey. The digital giants (social networks, marketplaces, etc.) must be returned to the position of intermediaries and not main originators.

BNP Paribas talked about the gains from its brand TLD and the organisation needed for its implementation:

  • BNP Paribas set out the advantages and disadvantages inherent to a major group wanting to undertake such a venture. Encompassing this project within a corporate governance charter is a key step.
  • The methodology to make the .bnpparibas a success and ensure in-house engagement was revealed, along with the organisation of the different departments, the resources deployed and the performance indicators.
  • BNP Paribas reiterated the added value of its proprietary TLD for internal use and for its customers: the group provides its partners with greater technical and operational security combined with the guarantee of the provenance of its web services and communications.
  • The .bnpparibas embodies the brand’s innovative and unifying spirit, a considerable asset in a highly competitive sector.

Lastly, the Afnic experts presented an overview of the brand TLD market in 2020 as well as the .brand projects of particular note in recent months, including those initiated by Canon, YouTube, Apple and KPMG.

This second edition of the event brought with it the satisfaction of having expanded the ‘Cercle des .marque’ community. We would like to thank all our members who participated once again in this forum, proof of the keen interest of French actors in understanding and seizing the opportunities offered by a .brand.

  • Our discussions on brand TLDs continue year-round via a blog and a LinkedIn group dedicated to members. If you would like to join us, please contact us at the following address:

Having participated in the ICANN discussion meetings and forums, we believe that new brands will be able to apply for their TLDs from 2022 on. We recommend that businesses begin thinking about this opportunity now, as the application period is likely to once again be limited to just a few weeks.