FairWinds Partners: Internet Users Willing to Try New Equivalents to .COMs

Poll on new top-level domains shows value of brand loyalty.

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Respondents prefer to take control of their Internet experiences, expect to find their favorite brands at intuitive sites, and will adapt to the new addresses without too much difficulty.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) June 13, 2013

Internet users are willing to navigate, to use, and trust new web addresses that will flood the Internet later this year. And brand name websites will carry more weight among Internet users than generic sites, according to a consumer market research survey commissioned by FairWinds Partners - an Internet consultancy that specializes in domain name strategy.

The poll also found that the owners and operators of new generic top-level domains – gTLDs - should be technically prepared or risk driving away or losing traffic intended for their sites.

“Internet users are untethered to the past, broadminded, and based on this survey, receptive to new ways of doing things,” FairWinds founding partners Josh Bourne and Phil Lodico said. “Respondents prefer to take control of their Internet experiences, expect to find their favorite brands at intuitive sites, and will adapt to the new addresses without too much difficulty.”

The most commonly known gTLDs are .COM, .ORG, .EDU, and .GOV. Later this year, hundreds of new gTLDs are expected to roll out and could total 1,400 by next year. Some will be generic gTLDs, open to anyone who wants to register a website to the left of the dot, as is now the case with .COM. Others will be brand name gTLDs closed to the public for second-level domain registrations. A third type will restrict second-level domain registrations to specific categories of registrants, much as .GOV and .EDU do now.

The online poll of 1,000 Internet users found that consumers have an open mind about new gTLDs even though they remain a largely unknown and abstract concept:

  •     57 percent said they had no preference or would be willing to navigate to a new gTLD media site, while 43 percent said they would stick with a .COM media site
  •     52 percent said they had no preference or would be willing to shop on a new gTLD, compared to 48 percent who preferred .COM
  •     53 percent said they had no preference or would be willing to bank with a new gTLD, compared to 47 percent who would stick with .COM

The poll found that consumers trust the brands that they know and likely would embrace brand name gTLDs without much hesitation:

  •     14 percent of respondents navigating to a media site would prefer a brand name site, such as .ABC compared to 9 percent who preferred a generic such as .NEWS.
  •     17 percent of respondents shopping online would navigate to a brand name site compared to 9 percent who preferred a generic gTLD, such as .SHOES
  •     15 percent of those banking online said they would prefer a brand gTLD, for example .CITI compared to 10 percent who opted for a generic site such as .LOANS.

The poll, conducted by InsightsNow! In April, questioned U.S. Internet users between the ages of 13 and 64.

You can download FairWinds' report here.


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