By Vincent D’Angelo

Join CSC’s Digital Brand Services in our special New Year’s Resolution blog post series: It’s never too late for a digital New Year’s Resolution (or six) as we share 6 resolutions that brands owners won’t want to miss.

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People all over the world make New Year’s resolutions with the aim of making their lives better in the coming 12 months, but very few transfer this idea to their business or brand. However, it can be a great idea, particularly when it comes to the internet landscape.

We’re going to take a look at what brands should be doing in the coming year in order to cope with the changes that are on the horizon.

The next 12 months and beyond will see a whole host of challenges set to land in the lap of brand owners. The launch of new generic top level domains (gTLDs) and the increasing threat of trademark and intellectual property infringements are just some of the tests ahead for brands operating in the ever-growing digital world.

www_questionmarkBut, where there are challenges, there are also opportunities and brands need to be ready for these in order to take advantage. That means taking the time to prepare your strategy ready for what the future holds.

So, how should you go about doing this? Over the next week, I’ll be sharing some resolutions for brand owners to consider. Here’s the first two:

Resolution #1: Register your key brands in the Trademark Clearinghouse without delay

One certainty in 2014 is the launch of New gTLDs. The first step in the preparation for New gTLDs is to register your key brands with the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). This requires understanding which new gTLDs will be most relevant to your business (see Resolution #2) in order to determine the right trademarks to register.

With hundreds of open extensions becoming available and 5-10 new Sunrise launches being announced each week, time is running out to register your brand in the TMCH.

Registration with TMCH will enable brands to participate in the Sunrise periods of any subsequent TLD launches (although bear in mind that it can take several weeks to be pre-validated by the TMCH) and provide peace of mind once data has been verified, in the shape of notifications if anyone registered a domain name that matches your brand during a specific period.

Resolution #2: Prepare a New gTLD strategy

Whether or not New gTLDs represents a new opportunity for your business or another area you need to defend, a strategy is absolutely crucial.

Given that over 500 new gTLDs could launch this year, it is imperative for brand owners to take the time to narrow the field and understand which gTLDs will have the greatest impact upon their business.

CSC estimates that around two per cent of the 590+ new gTLDs will be of very high relevance to any given brand, so it is important to evaluate the importance of them for each individual business.

Some of the key factors to consider when evaluating the potential of new extensions include the potential relevancy in search, the current domain portfolio, industry relevance, the potential TLD popularity and even recent infringements.

(…stay tuned for resolution #3 in tomorrow’s post.)

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6 New Year’s Resolutions for Brand Owners: Part 1