The BRG helps its members operate their dotBrand registries by providing advice, encouragement and knowledge. We are a community that shares and promotes best practices. And we work closely with other industry professions to help organisations get the best from their dotBrands.

Information from the BRG helps me be more effective in operating my dotBrand

Best Practice Resource Library for dotBrand Registry Operations

BRG Members have access to a wealth of resources, developed to help maximise the value of their dotBrand registries.

Whether your team is large or small, whether you run the registry operation in-house or outsource everything you can, these helpful tools will quickly raise your operational acumen and help establish you as a trusted partner within your organization and the dotBrand community.

GDD General Operations Handbook for dotBrand Registries

ICANN’s Global Domain Division developed this operations handbook in collaboration with the BRG.

  • Are you clear on your contracted obligations as a Registry Operator, even if you have front and back end service providers?
  • What is the Global Domains Division of ICANN, and how can they assist me?
  • Are you going on leave sometime soon, and need a concise user guide for your back-up?
  • Do you know what to do if ICANN decides to audit your registry?

Learn about all this and more in the GDD General Operations Manual for dotBrand Registries.

Go to the GDD General Operations Handbook (link to ICANN.ORG resources)

Consider a Domain-Redirect Campaign

  • Is your current domain strategy heavily invested in your legacy TLD?
  • Is your Leadership Team resistant to the dotBrand conversation?
  • Looking for a low-risk way to experiment with your dotBrand domains?
  • Learn how to leverage dotBrand “Vanity URLs” in a way that optimizes SEO and lays the foundation for even more creativity
Find out more about domain redirects

Leveraging Data From Your Registry Service Provider — NXDOMAIN (Non-Existent Domain)

  • Inform a redirect strategy by finding out what domain names the world is actually searching for under your dotBrand top-level domain
  • Learn tips on how to approach your Registry Service Provider for your NXDomain report and other data
  • Learn how to turn raw data into a meaningful report, and find a few “pearls” of information
  • Deciphering your monthly RSP’s ICANN Monthly Transactions and Functions Reports
Find out more: Data and Your NXDOMAIN report

Ask the Expert: Cecilia Smith Looks At The Challenges In Marketing Your dotBrand Internally

Cecilia Smith is Executive Director, Domains & .Fox Registry at 21st Century Fox

  • What are the biggest challenges of marketing your brand TLD to your colleagues?
  • What advice would you give to those trying to promote their dotBrand internally?
  • Are there some departments that perceive the dotBrand domain better than others?
  • How has the use of dotBrand across the industry influenced how your colleagues view the use of your dotBrand?
  • What success stories can you share on your dotBrand launch and usage?
Read the full article

When ICANN opened the application round for New gTLDs in 2012, they received 1930 applications and over a third of these were for dotBrand registries.

Live dotBrands

dotBrand domains


Domains registered by brands are used to publish a website, to redirect the user with a branded link or for other reasons such as protection or internal purposes.

Case Study: HSBC – "Which Way Forward?"

“Every great journey of discovery begins with the first step and a key subject that is often discussed within the Internet community is a brands active use and adoption of its Top Level Domain (TLD).

At HSBC a key element of our TLD strategy is what we refer to as ‘.HSBC Socialisation’, which is effectively communicating the presence of our .HSBC TLD across a truly global audience that includes customers, prospects, staff and of course the general public.

We have achieved this by integrating a TLD URL shortener within our global social media platforms that operate across multiple social media channels, geographic locations and local languages.

The new TLD URL Shortener communicates to customers and followers of all global and local HSBC social media accounts that an HSBC link using “” is legitimate, authentic and secure. It connects HSBC to a better user experience, and presents HSBC as a digital brand with a clear idea on how to innovate secure practices in its brand space.

Senior Management within our Social Media function have been very supportive of the strategy from the outset. They were also very conscious of the value that it adds to the Groups Social Media landscape and they have been instrumental in its success, which has now extended to the team developing some really creative innovation in this space.”

Kevin Audritt – Global Head of the .HSBC TLD Programme.

Brands operating their registries come across a number of operational issues, especially with ICANN and its processes. We have set out some things to think about when operating your registry in the growing dotBrand environment.

Universal Acceptance – a truly multilingual internet

“Universal Acceptance is a foundational requirement for a truly multilingual Internet, one in which users around the world can navigate entirely in local languages. It is also the key to unlocking the potential of new generic top-level domains (gTLDs) to foster competition, consumer choice and innovation in the domain name industry. To achieve Universal Acceptance, Internet applications and systems must treat all TLDs in a consistent manner, including new gTLDs and internationalised TLDs. Specifically, they must accept, validate, store, process and display all domain names.” – Universal Acceptance Steering Group- ICANN and non-ICANN community members and experts.

Universal Acceptance is an important factor to consider when activating your dotBrand registry, utilising email communication and launching future products and services. Make sure your own internal systems are “UA-Ready” and that you are prepared to guide users should they experience issues related to Universal Acceptance.

For help and guidance, refer to the Universal Acceptance Steering Group’s website This includes materials to help organisations become “UA-Ready”, such as the Internet Industry CIO Blueprint and for guiding users to report UA issues.


GDD Naming Services Portal – key issues unresolved

Prior to ICANN60 in Abu Dhabi, the Naming Services Portal was launched, aimed at improving operations and communication between Global Domains Division (GDD) and contracted parties. Unfortunately, this has not been successful both on a system implementation and communication with affected parties. The current concerns relate to the Terms of Use which a user must accept prior to gaining access to the portal.

Whilst some progress and positive changes have been made, three key issues remain unresolved:

  • ICANN refuses to agree to a provision that would require ICANN to advise registry operators in the event of a security breach of the portal.
  • Limitation of liability provisions are wholly inadequate.
  • ICANN’s attempt to use the terms of use to get registry operators to agree to provide all of the data that various portions of the community have asked for which is far beyond the obligations contained within the Registry Agreement.

BRG members should make sure that their legal team has reviewed and accepted the new terms before accessing the new GDD Naming Services Portal. Those that use an external supplier to access the portal on their behalf, please discuss with your provider as, under the current set up process, they will have to accept the terms on your behalf.


Registry Services Evaluation Process – discussions ongoing with ICANN

The Registry Services Evaluation Process (RSEP) is a consensus policy which is meant to be a light touch review of security, stability and competition issues performed when a registry wants to introduce a new service or change an existing service. Absent of any issues being identified, the registry ought to be able to proceed. However, there has been a growing concern by registries about the way ICANN interprets and implements the RSEP, which can severely delay progress to implementation and stall innovation. A small working group within ICANN’s Registry Stakeholder Group has been progressing discussions with ICANN Staff to help address common issues and introduce efficiencies.

This particular issue may not be of immediate concern to many dotBrands but is likely to have an impact in future, as more become active and develop innovative ways to use registries. More detailed information regarding the RSEP purpose and process is available here.