I’ve written about top-level domains here and here, and noted there that people are increasingly using search engines to find what they’re looking for, making the use of domain names for branding ever less important. An interesting case study for how branding works is Snickers, a candy bar made by Mars, Incorporated.
Going by what I wrote in these pages about TLDs, when ICANN opens things up, it’s possible — maybe likely — that Mars will also grab .mars and .snickers, and they could even register .candy and set up snickers.candy and other such domains.
But now I recently saw the banner on the right at my local gas station (click to enlarge; sorry, it's a poor-quality picture from my BlackBerry). There’s a depiction of a Snickers bar, but where the Snickers logo would be it tells you to “Do your part to BAR HUNGER”. The rest says, “Join the Snickers brand in providing at least 3,000,000 meals to those in need,” and it shows the Feeding America logo.
Want to know more? Sure... do you expect to go to snickers.com or mars.com for it? Think again:
Learn more at facebook.com/snickersNot satisfied with what their own web site can do with it, they send you to social networking. You can become a Facebook friend with the Snickers brand, and work through that.
Is this, perhaps, the real future of web branding?