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FairWinds Partners, Leading Domain Name Strategy Consultancy, Releases First Industry-Wide Report On Impact Of New GTLDs On Internet Usage

WASHINGTON, Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- FairWinds Partners, the leading domain name strategy consulting firm, has released new research revealing that Internet users are likely to quickly accept and trust new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) – as long as new gTLD owners provide them with education about their new gTLDs. Moreover, new gTLDs that are backed by well-known brands will have a distinct advantage over other new gTLDs when it comes to gaining consumers' trust.

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FairWinds conducted research into Internet user behavior and past gTLD launches and worked with InsightsNow, a leading market research firm, to survey 2,008 Internet users between the ages of 13 and 64 about their awareness of and attitudes toward new gTLDs. The following are key findings from the survey:
  • Internet users, by and large, know nothing about new gTLDs: 74% of Internet users surveyed do not know about the New gTLD Program, and only 4% could successfully name a new gTLD.
  • Internet users will initially be confused by new gTLDs and may find it difficult to navigate to content or know which new addresses to trust in the immediate future: Only 27% of users surveyed said new gTLDs would not cause confusion.
  • Brand owners that effectively define their new gTLDs and rise above this confusion will achieve success with their new gTLDs: After receiving education about new gTLDs, reports of confusion dropped by 11%.
  • Significant gains in terms of digital presence and online awareness of their brands await brand owners who provide consumers with simple education about new gTLDs.

"Internet users have sent a loud and clear message that overcoming confusion and gaining trust in new gTLDs is not only possible, but that it may happen relatively quickly," said Josh Bourne, Managing Partner and co-founder of FairWinds. "If brand owners educate their customers about new gTLDs and communicate their online presence clearly, they will be able to prevent confusion and will have a better chance of building trust in their new gTLDs among customers. Brand owners are in an ideal position to generate trust in and acceptance of their new gTLDs, and will lead the field in terms of new gTLD success."

After receiving education about new gTLDs, consumers were 19% more likely to trust new gTLDs that they know are operated by an established brand than new gTLDs that are not. "New gTLDs present brand owners with unprecedented opportunities to better engage with consumers online. With some focused efforts to clearly define and communicate their online presence to consumers, brand owners will be able to successfully capitalize on this opportunity and benefit from their new gTLDs," asserted FairWinds co-founder and Managing Partner Phil Lodico.

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