So just how much are automakers laying down to pick up the rights to .Ford, for example? Truckloads, but it’s probably one of the best marketing investments since the TV ad.
For $185,000 apiece, major automakers are applying for the rights to own domain names that directly point to their brand — something that was previously reserved for a few organizations like the military with its .mil extension, or government agencies with .gov addresses.
As the internet grows, space for new names is becoming tighter. As you might guess, it’s such a big job that there’s a governing body meant to deal with regulation: The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers. Recently, the group has been flooded with applications including more than 25 from companies like Chrysler, Ford and GM.
Some domains like .auto are hotly contested, but for the most part it seems likely that automakers will be able to buy the names requested. When the dust settles, we’ll be left with a load of new options that car companies say will allow for better security, improved networking and a modernized customer experience.
A brand with ownership over a domain could categorize enthusiast sites and keep better track of its market. By breaking the number of extensions into more specific categorization, fans will also be better able to find the information they want and need.
[Source: Detroit Free Press]