Four Digital Brand Protection Tips Every Construction Business Owner Should Know
In an unprecedented move that will change the way everyone uses the Internet, the traditional .com domain names are being challenged by the introduction of more than a thousand new alternatives. These alternative domains, including construction industry focused keywords, such as .construction; .contractors; .lighting; and .plumbing, are intended to better target both business owners and their customers. But how significant are they and what options do brand and business owners have to protect their online presence?
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the non-profit body that oversees web addresses, is launching over a thousand new Internet suffixes, called generic Top Level Domains (gTLDs). These new domains are intended to better organise the Internet, allowing for a more customised and targeted search experience.
For a construction business, the name, along with the service and experience, is the brand. It is critically important for the brand to be promoted and protected on the Internet. This new era of the Internet will directly impact SEO, sales and marketing for brand owners in the construction industry.
Here are four essential tips that every construction business owner should follow in order to protect their brands and trademarks in this expanding Internet landscape:
1. Learn about new domains before they launch
In order to get the most out of an online presence, it’s important to know which new gTLDs that are of interest to your consumer base are launching and when they will become available for claim or purchase. By monitoring for new gTLD releases, brand owners can effectively decide how better to use the Internet to market their construction business. Check out the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH) website www.trademark-clearinghouse.com, as well as other resources like www.calzone.org to learn more about these launch dates.
2. Be strategic about registration
As important as it is to seek out gTLDs that help your brand strategy, it’s equally as important to protect your construction business or brand name in domains that could send the wrong message to potential customers. Making sure your company isn’t associated with certain TLDs (e.g. .SUCKS, .WTF, etc.) can be done through various brand protection programs being offered. Domain registries like Donuts offers a brand protection program for its 200+ TLDs and ICM Registry offers a Domain Matching program for its TLDs (e.g. .XXX, .PORN, etc.).
3. Focus on SEO
This new Internet paradigm is changing the way SEO works. Construction business owners and operators should obtain their name/brand in TLDs that are most relevant to their SEO. For example, if your construction business who specializes in plumbing services, .plumbing would be an optimal gTLD to showcase your company’s past work and to use to garner new customers. When prospective clients or customers are searching for your company online they may type your businesses name and “contractors” into their search bar. By using the .contractors gTLD, the search will be optimised to push your company to the top of the search results.
4. Know your rights
If someone else has already purchased a domain name in a new TLD that matches your company’s name or trademark, there are solutions. You can proceed against them through either a URS or a UDRP, or private negotiation with the TMCH. Of course, these options are reactive and often cost substantially more than the costs of simply purchasing the domain names you want, in advance.
There are certain things you can do now to ensure the most appropriate visibility for your brands and marks:
- Register your trademark in the TMCH so that you can have the first opportunity to purchase domain names. (http://www.trademark-clearinghouse.com/)
- Decide which TLDs you want to purchase in order to prevent anyone else from having access to them, and which registries offer the greatest discounts and make this process easiest. For example, ICM Registry has a Domain Matching Program for our domains that not only trademark owners but also brand and small business owners can qualify for. (http://www.buy.xxx)
- Buy the names that match your marks in the TLDs that are relevant to your business.
About the author: Stuart Lawley is chairman and CEO of ICM Registry and has developed and successfully managed a number of U.S. and UK businesses in office technology and the Internet. In 2012, ICM Registry launched .XXX, becoming one of the first entities to release a new top level domain.
BT and Microsoft unveil strategic partnership
BT and Microsoft have launched a strategic partnership to accelerate innovation across enterprise voice, cyber security and industry-focused services in sectors from digital manufacturing to health.
BT has already been named one of the first development partners for Microsoft Operator Connect and Operator Connect Conferencing. The renewed agreement will allow BT to build on this relationship and offer its own branded global managed voice services directly through Microsoft Teams, with an approach that further enhances customer experience and creates new opportunities for growth.
The strategic partnership will build on BT’s existing portfolio of cyber security services built on Microsoft technology. It will see the companies push forward with the design and launch of a new generation of managed security services to enable and protect the modern collaborative workplace. BT will work closely with Microsoft to develop distinct security propositions to defend customers’ operations across the cloud as well as its own IT estate.
Sustainability and collaboration on digital skills are integral to the partnership. BT and Microsoft will work together on further enhancing sustainability credentials within their supply chains and join forces on promoting digital skills in the communities.
“BT and Microsoft are at the forefront of innovation in global digital platforms and connectivity that will take technology and communication beyond limits,” said Bas Burger, CEO of Global at BT and executive sponsor of BT’s partnership with Microsoft. “This partnership will ensure all of Microsoft’s solutions work ‘Best on BT’ and support both companies’ commitments to improving digital skills in the community.”
Omar Abbosh, corporate vice president of industry solutions at Microsoft, said: “BT can use Microsoft’s cutting-edge tools to develop new communications services that meet the needs and demands of today’s customers. By aligning our visions for communication, connectivity, security and digital technology, Microsoft and BT will support real growth for businesses across the world.”
Microsoft's vision is to transform construction and built environment businesses with design innovation, a supply chain you can control, and a connected, safer, more productive workforce.
Microsoft recently unveiled strong results for the quarter ending June 30:
- Revenue totalled $46.2 billion, up 21%
- Operating income was $19.1 billion, up 42%
- Net income was $16.5 billion, up 47%
- Diluted earnings per share was $2.17, up 49%
For the year, revenues totalled $168.1 billion (up 18%), operating income hit $69.9 billion (up 32%), net income was $61.3 billion GAAP and $60.7 billion non-GAAP, and increased 38% and 37%, respectively.
“We are innovating across the technology stack to help organizations drive new levels of tech intensity across their business,” said Satya Nadella, chairman and chief executive officer of Microsoft. “Our results show that when we execute well and meet customers’ needs in differentiated ways in large and growing markets, we generate growth, as we’ve seen in our commercial cloud – and in new franchises we’ve built, including gaming, security, and LinkedIn, all of which surpassed $10 billion in annual revenue over the past three years.”
In a trading update last month, BT reported profit after tax £2m, down £446m, due to a "one-off tax charge in the quarter to reflect the remeasurement of deferred tax balances following the enactment of the new UK corporation tax rate of 25% from April 2023".