Corporate news

The key steps for launching your .brand

Having a .brand means having a portion of the internet dedicated to your company. You become the manager of your own domain ending, dedicated to your brand.

This innovative project, which is becoming more common for large businesses, is a source for new marketing opportunities with a digital strategy that differentiates you.

Of course, a long-term investment is necessary before you’ll be able to use your .brand in your company’s URL. On average, we estimate about a year between starting your initial project study and submitting your application. Built around four key steps, it’s important to get going on this project now so that you’re ready for when ICANN opens the application window, currently set for the end of 2022 (this is not a definitive date, and is subject to change).

The Gandi Corporate Services team lends its expertise and guides you along each of the steps necessary for implementing your .brand:

  1. The opportunity study
  2. Preparing your accreditation documents
  3. Compliance and technical deployment
  4. Application, evaluation, launch, and operation of your .brand
Key steps to launch your .brand

1. Your .brand opportunity study

The first step consists in determining what new opportunities exist for your business in operating a .brand through various case studies. It’s also important to understand how to integrate your .brand into your business strategy in order to create an action plan that integrates into your roadmap and is accessible to your teams.

This audit, estimated to take 3 months, is specific to the issues facing each individual business. The Gandi Corporate Services team guides you through:

  • Creating a strategy and defining an action plan: we offer you an action plan tailored to your business and its specific challenges
  • Raising your team’s awareness and taking charge of project management: we pilot the project with your team to ensure a smooth implementation
  • Choosing a back-end registry: since having a .brand means becoming a registry, we help you choose your back-end registry and we make sure it meets the technical and legal requirements for operating your domain ending.

Once this initial study is done, then it’s time to prepare your application documents.

2. Preparing your accreditation documents for your .brand

Estimated to take 6 months, preparing your accreditation documents is an essential step since these will be the reference document that ICANN takes into consideration when determining whether or not to delegate your .brand to you.

In these documents, you’ll need to describe your project in detail and define the registration model you’ll be using — open or closed — but also answer a list of fifty administrative, financial, and technical questions. For more information, you can read the complete applicant guidebook ICANN created for the application window in 2012.

In order to maximize your chances of accreditation, the Gandi Corporate Services team will guide you through:

  • Compiling your administrative documents: we take care of answering the administrative, marketing, and financial questions based on the information prepared for the application and answer the clarification questions ICANN sends
  • Defining the registration model: in the same way, we help you with the technical questions related to your application, as well as any clarifications required
  • Submitting and tracking your application in the interfaces made available by ICANN

Once your application has been approved, we guide you through the contracting process and with managing your ongoing relationship with ICANN.

3. Compliance and technical deployment of your .brand

The goal of the third step is to bring your .brand into technical compliance, that is, to verify the compliance of its infrastructure, in order to deploy it. For that, your domain ending will undergo various tests before being created and added to the internet’s root zone.

Over a period of approximately 3 months, the Gandi Corporate Services team, in concern with your back-end registry, will guide you through:

  • Drafting your technical documents: this consists of drafting the policies that will be used to operate your domain ending as a registry, as well as the rules for managing abuse, and submitting them to ICANN
  • Implementing security services: just like with other top-level domain names (TLDs), Gandi Corporate Services allows you to benefit from our suite of security products (SSL, DNSSEC, Registry Lock, if offered by the back-end registry you select, etc.) in order to protect your .brand domain names.

You can then move on to deploying your .brand in collaboration with your technical partner in order to guarantee an optimum success rate.

4. Launch and operation of your .brand

After having completed the three previous steps, your .brand can officially launch, so that you can then begin to use it.

In order to ensure its smooth operation, the Gandi Corporate Services team guides you through:

  • Executing your action plan: step by step, we follow the launch plan you initially established with our team’s support
  • Coordinating with stakeholders: we act as project manager with all the stakeholders involved in the launch of your .brand (ICANN, back-end registry, and other teams involved)
  • Technical and contractual monitoring: once the launch has been completed, we support you in the long run to ensure the technical and contractual continuity of your .brand

Implementing a .brand should be considered a whole-company project in the long term. Completing these four steps smoothly in all their administrative, technical, and strategic specificities requires the guidance of a team of experts in the domain name industry.

The Gandi Corporate Services team is available to present to you our support plan in more detail as well as discuss the specific issues and challenges of a .brand. Please feel free to contact your Account manager or email us at