For the first time ever, companies can request custom domain suffixes such as tastetherainbow.skittles or eatfresh.subway from ICANN, the official Internet domain naming body. It’s considered by some, as the next big thing in the Internet landscape since the introduction of the .com in 1985, but I have my reservations.


What does it mean for B2B agencies and the brands they work with? Well, on the plus side, it could mean increased opportunities for SEO and could extend reach for content. As a B2B agency ourselves, I think we’d relish in the opportunities it presents but would also come up against the challenges.


I think it could cause unnecessary confusion amongst audiences in trying to identify the official website from let’s say callofduty.videogames and callofduty.activision. Some brands have foreseen this and are purchasing domains to protect the integrity of their own names; but you’ve got to ask yourself, what value does this create? Will the infinite choice of domain suffixes create competition or simply stifle it? Especially when you consider the cost implication. The average cost of an application for a custom domain suffix is $185k, which would immediately prevent young brands from taking part.


I reserve judgement on whether this will really create opportunities for brands or simply unnecessary problems for agencies like us. One thing is for sure though; ICANN’s system of reviewing applications has been suspended due to the sheer volume of applications.