Thursday, 19 November 2015
.feedback – Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down
All brands appreciate feedback about their products and/or services, good or bad.
A Google search for the word FEEDBACK defines it as "information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a task, etc. which is used as a basis for improvement."
A customer FEEDs communication BACK to the business, hence FEEDBACK. Feedback is often discrete or a direct communication between the customer and affected business. This channel is about to change with the launch of the new domain name extension .feedback.
There are many review services such as TripAdvisor and Yelp but none of them that allow a third party to register domain names that match registered trademarks. The TLD .feedback could create the impression that the user is communicating via a channel controlled by the trademark owner, which is not the case but rather via a third party moderator who collects the comments and data from the user.
A live example is www.fox.feedback which is owned by the TLD operator of .feedback. In order to post a comment or review about the famous FOX network a user needs to provide their email address or login via one of a few preselected social network services such as Facebook. See some reviews already posted at http://www.fox.feedback/reviews.
Besides the trademark issue that arises from a third party using a trademark without the required permission for a commercial purpose, the domain name is not controlled by the trademark so they cannot deal with issues raised. It could also create frustration from the user who may not receive feedback due to the aforementioned reason.
When a .feedback domain name is registered a review page is automatically created to allow for the submission of comments. This, however, can be avoided by paying a monthly fee. The monthly fee therefore allows the trademark owner to directly control the .feedback domain name. The extra payment is deliberately targeted towards trademarks owners who want to reduce their exposure to risk ultimately paying a premium to control their own domain name.
Launch information relating to .feedback can be found at http://www.lexsynergy.com/tlds/feedback
In order to simplify the registration process and to avoid the automated feedback form Lexsynergy has set the default registration setting of a .feedback domain names it processes to avoid the feedback platform consolidating the monthly fee into a single annual charge.
Whether you agree or disagree with the business model of .feedback the risk cannot be ignored.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss protecting your trademark in .feedback, .sucks and other high risk new gTLDs.