At just under 140,000 registrations, Dot Berlin is by far the most successful city TLD. It’s actually the most successful of any new gTLD, bar Dot XYZ, according to ntldstats.
Both TLDs owe their success in part to promotions. For Dot Berlin, the registry offered free domains for a very limited period quickly cancelling the scheme when it became apparent that it was proving a little too popular for comfort.
“About 80,000 names were registered during the promotion,” says dotBERLIN CEO Dirk Krischenowski. “But even if you take them away, the remaining 60,000 names still make Dot Berlin one of the largest TLDs around.”
Krischenowski spoke to The Milathan Post from the 51st ICANN meeting happening in Los Angeles this week (until October 16, 2014). We asked him, Johannes Lenz-Hawliczek (dotBERLIN’s communications manager) and Katrin Ohlmer (head of marketing) to explain Dot Berlin’s success.
“We’ve been at it for 10 years, so we’ve been able to build up a really strong brand image for the TLD,” Ohlmer responded. “This has given us great local penetration. We have many local businesses that are actually using Dot Berlin domain names. You see the names in advertising and the local media.”
Dot Berlin’s obviously also benefitted from being set in Germany, a country where domain use has always been very high. But in keeping with the strong local community theme, Dot Berlin has also made sure it has a wide network of partners ready to spread the good word in their own respective communities.
“All of this combined has helped give Dot Berlin a wider footprint than any marketing program could have done,” concludes Lenz-Hawliczek. “Especially as we could never have afforded a marketing program that would have given us anywhere near the brand recognition we have now.”