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Should the .brand TLD be used for your business emails?

Home > Observatory and resources > Expert papers > Should the .brand TLD be used for your business emails?
04/13/2021

A “.brand” TLD is a bonus in terms of image, as we know. But this is not the only advantage to be considered.

  • The credibility conferred by a domain name ending in “.brand” is one of these other advantages to take into account when thinking about your strategy for launching a TLD in your name. It moves you into a different digital division.
  • The exclusive nature of the TLD enables you to set yourself apart from the rest of the pack, those that stick with the familiar .fr or .com. You are lord and master of your digital territory and a pioneer in the domain. That contributes to making you unique.
  • With a domain name ending in .brand, security of exchanges is a given. There can be no doubt that the email comes from you. It cannot be imitated, and that is what protects your customers.

Among the “brandTLD” pioneers, the most conservative behaviour we have observed is that of the brands that have not exploited this rich seam. Whether by choice or by omission, these brands have not migrated their employees’ email addresses to a new .brand domain name. The path of least resistance. Having capitalised on a brand image, integrating the brand.fr or brand.com domain names means that contacts remain the same: No advantage, no disadvantage.

Migrating all employee email addresses to @business.brand addresses is one of the bolder choices. All of the business’ email addresses change, which entails a technical investment by the brand to implement this change, inform employees and train them. It also requires communication and explanation to all the business’ contacts and customers who all must be informed of your change of email.

Over and above the obvious requirements, communicating about the security aspects is key to making a real success of this change. For example, a bank transitioning to its .brand can explain to its customers that from now on, only emails from .brand addresses are authentic.

To increase the chances of a successful transition, it’s best to explain to customers how to check the email address of a sender and how to make sure that emails don’t end up in the junk or spam folders. You may encounter a few obstacles (largely surmountable!) in practice due to your new email addresses, which will no longer be in the historical format (meaning with a domain name of only two or three letters).

The efforts of website and Internet solution developers are constantly geared towards universal acceptance. Since the launch of the first addresses with new TLDs in 2014, much progress has been made and it is now safe to say that the vast majority of Internet services accept new generation email addresses. This is exactly the same spirit of continuous improvement that enables anti-spam filters to understand email addresses with new TLDs better and better as time goes by.

"Communicating about the security aspects is key to making a real success of this change."

Several players have opted for a hybrid system. They have retained their original email addresses for all outward communications, thus avoiding having to communicate externally on the change. However, for internal communications, they have created a new messaging system with addresses ending in .brand. There are numerous advantages to this system:

  • Every employee has, and manages, two email addresses. Employees can distinguish between external communications (customers, suppliers, partners, etc.) and internal ones (meetings, reports, projects and team affairs).
  • This separation secures and isolates in-house exchanges. It would also be possible to restrict communications to @business.brand email addresses and prohibit any communication outside the network for greater security. This is a solution to any attacks launched against your business.
  • The possibility of sharing email addresses among employees allows a physically dispersed team to maintain a customer relationship. For example, a customer service team might share “external” email addresses among all its members. Regardless of who is absent, all team members are able to respond to customer requests at any time. The advantage for customer relations is thus immediate and significant.

Of course, you should use your TLD to communicate by email! In 10 years, all Internet services have adapted their tools, scripts and developments to better accommodate these new usages. These are the email addresses of tomorrow. By removing technical constraints, Internet service providers (providers of anti-spam filters and website developers in particular) have prepared the playing field for future TLDs. Now that the initial problems have been ironed out by the pioneers, the time is right to consider a transition to a .brand TLD.

And because we have already accompanied other businesses in this migration, we know that the key success factor of this change is integrating it into your business strategy: communication, HRM and security. So how about you? Are you ready to communicate through an @myservice.brand?

Le Cercle des .marque [The BrandTLD Club]

In 2019, Afnic launched ‘Le Cercle des .marque’ [‘The BrandTLD Club’], a forum reserved for brands and their representatives interested in custom TLDs. Inspiring testimonials, sharing of best practices, deciphering the market and the latest trends… a place to discuss the development and control of your digital territory.