New TLDs are so close we can smell them (they smell like stardust and Nic Cage, if you were wondering), and as the first extensions near sunrise, registries are trying out new and unique marketing methods to get ahead of competition.
In the realm of new marketing techniques, Bill Doshier, president of dotStrategy, .BUZZ’s registry, may have other registries beat. He’s designed a partnership with the University of Central Arkansas College of Business’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship program to enlist 25 college students with the task of figuring out the best way to create buzz around .BUZZ.
So far, the program has been successful. Doshier signed the registry agreement with ICANN earlier this month, and the interest surrounding .BUZZ is buzzing (we can’t help ourselves). .BUZZ is slotted to launch sunrise in January.
We wanted to know more about .BUZZ and their marketing program, so we asked Doshier and his students a few questions:
Name.com: You just signed your registry contract with ICANN – what’s next?
Bill Doshier: We’re excited to announce that .BUZZ pre-delegation testing is scheduled to commence October 28. We’re now preparing specifically for ICANN48 in Buenos Aires and presenting our .BUZZ founders, sunrise, landrush, and general availability plans to our partners. We’re looking forward to a successful January launch.
Name.com: What’s been the biggest challenge so far in launching .BUZZ?
Doshier: Maneuvering through the application process changes and the resulting delays. Coming from outside the industry, this is bizarre to witness, but everyone tells me it’s normal here. Seems the noise from a vocal few causes multiple hardships and delays for applicants and ICANN staff alike. There’s some real disappointment within the TLD applicant community. Here, we finally reached a point where we realized there was little we could do but accept the changes, and pivot toward a goal of signing a contract with ICANN and bringing .BUZZ to market as soon as possible.
Name.com: What makes .BUZZ different from other New TLDs?
Doshier: If all goes well, it appears .BUZZ will be one of the first pure generic strings launched, and we’re very pleased with this development. The word is short, it’s edgy, it’s globally recognized, it has a cool vibe, and it’s fun to say. .BUZZ can be a self-sustaining TLD. I like to note there’s fresh buzz everyday. By this I mean, each morning we wake up to fresh global news. The world is abuzz with new events each day. Example, debtdeal.BUZZ. This everyday fresh buzz provides an ongoing opportunity for .BUZZ domain name registration and web development.
Name.com: Who did you have in mind when you decided to launch .BUZZ? Who will benefit the most from a .BUZZ domain name?
Doshier: Our target market is the 20- to 30-year-old professional desiring to notify the world what they’re up to right now. Those involved in blogging, communications, journalism, public relations, event organizers, social networking, entertainment, start-ups, advertising, marketing and development to name a few. I’m especially excited about the potential of the geo.BUZZ name market. Every community has an aspiring writer longing to blog out the latest local community buzz. What better TLD than .BUZZ for a geo content provider? This is a huge target market for us. We should sell 100,000 geo.BUZZ names alone, and we plan to market specifically to the geo interests.
Name.com: .BUZZ is getting a lot of attention for using innovative and creative marketing techniques – what do you think is working best for .BUZZ?
Doshier: No doubt our relationship with the University of Central Arkansas Innovation and Entrepreneurial program is exciting. The program is definitely creating buzz around .BUZZ. This is an incredible opportunity for us. I & E students are change and innovation specialists who creatively solve problems. I’m so impressed with their creative thought process, and the ideas they develop. These students will make a long-term impact on our business whether it involves product, service, or process development.
Name.com: How are the students at the University of Central Arkansas College of Business helping advance .BUZZ into the domain marketplace?
Doshier: We are looking for leading edge social, creative, and innovative ways to explode the .BUZZ brand, and UCA’s I&E students are trained to be the best at creating and implementing breakthrough ideas. Our goal is to take .BUZZ viral, globally. .BUZZ is well understood by the students, and they bring fresh insights and ideas to greatly benefit our business. Who better to market .BUZZ to our target demographic than actual members of our target demographic?
We decided that Doshier shouldn’t be the only person to benefit from a room full of eager young minds, so we asked his student collaborators some questions, too:
Name.com: What is the focus of new TLD marketing? What methods do you think are the most important to use?
James Goffee, sophomore: Our focus has been on building services to engage college students. Our methods have been to use unique creative thinking techniques to come up with something new which can sell itself.
Jerry Gooch, sophomore: The focus of new TLD marketing is to better organize the Internet and give new opportunities for individuals who can’t acquire an effective domain with current TLDs. I think the most important marketing methods for New TLDs will be innovative social media campaigns, and prominent ad placement on the web.
Ben McDonald, senior: Our focus of marketing the New TLDs is to make people aware of and interested in the culture and services surrounding the TLD. The important method to use is providing a quality service that satisfies a need the TLD registrant has.
Name.com How is this entrepreneur program working for you? How do you feel you’re developing in the program?
Goffe: This program is teaching us to use creativity in everything we do. The professors challenged us to explore the unthinkable in business. They do not allow us to settle on the first “good enough” idea. They advise us while we work together to create our projects. I have developed a totally different way of thinking from this program.
Zac Henricks, senior: The I & E program is great. I’ve almost completed the program, and I can tell I’m able to think with a different mindset than what I came in with. It totally opens up your mind to new ways of thinking.
Gooch: The entrepreneur program at UCA is excellent. I am surrounded by great classmates and professors who encourage me as a student to stay active in the startup community. This program has helped me understand the way the Web works and how to design effective marketing schemes for web-based platforms.
Name.com: What’s unique about this program?
Goffee: First of all, NO TESTS. Everything we do is hands-on. If you do not participate, you will not succeed in this program. We are constantly challenged to create solutions and install them.
Henricks: Everything. There are no other classes in the College of Business which compare to the classes I’ve taken in the I & E program. If there is one thing I’ve learned from this program, it’s if you let students work on their own, with gentle prodding and direction, they will learn quicker. Traditional lectures are about to be extinct.
Gooch: The creative consulting class attracts individuals who want to change the way the world uses the Internet. Throughout the class we have seen our thoughts and ideas flesh out into viable options for .BUZZ. I am excited to see the final results of our class knowing a few students have the option to shape the new Internet.
McDonald: One unique feature of this program is the opportunity I have to work with a local business owner and gain hands-on, real-world applications of concepts I have learned in my educational experience.