So I started seeing a new dentist here in San Francisco and for good reason, you can watch Netflix in VR while they’re cleaning your teeth and they are completely paperless, instead doing everything through their app. On top of that I thought it was pretty slick that they were branding on a .DENTAL domain.
So of course, after going to the dentist today I couldn’t help but ask them what their experience was with .DENTAL, and unfortunately it sounds like it has made things a bit confusing. A lot of customers seem to be getting confused and sending them emails at soothing.dental.com, and of course – the emails never make it to them. This means they have to really emphasize, when you email us – don’t use .COM, use .DENTAL, and also not surprisingly, most of their customers have no idea that there is a domain extension called .DENTAL so there’s a bit of a learning curve to send them an email.
I think this is probably an experience that many early adopters of new gTLDs will have to endure as society as a whole is still programmed to think that domain names end in .COM. While people do know domain extensions like .NET and .ORG, and TLDs like .ME, .CO, and .IO are also relatively well known, many of the newer gTLDs are pretty much unknown to consumers.
That being said, the more innovative companies that take the plunge and brand on a new gTLD, the more consumers will be exposed to new extensions. One interesting thing they did say is that once customers find out they are actually on a .DENTAL domain that find it pretty cool and innovative and from a branding standpoint is sounds like it further emphasizes how future-forward Soothing Dental is…but there’s an education process that they have to go through to make sure their customers send emails that actually make it to them.
I personally think the big branding mistake that Soothing.dental made is not also acquiring soothingdental.com. To make things even more confusing, SoothingDental.com is, you guessed it, a completely different dental office. I can’t even begin to imagine how many customers of Soothing.dental end up emailing @soothingdental.com. While I’m all for companies embracing and branding around new gTLDs I do think it’s important for them to also get the matching .COM to avoid situations like this.
What do you think? I want to hear from you – comment and let your voice be heard!