A recent article in Global By Design discusses the possibility of country and city-based domain names for various businesses. This would mean that a business opened in a various city could possibly have the domain name of that city. For example, a small business that opened in Tokyo, Japan could take the domain name, “smallbusiness.JP” or “smallbusiness.TYO” This could be quite beneficial for global businesses trying to create more distinction with respect to their web brands.
In addition to sharing revenues with the respective city/country, such a method could help give a unique identity to various global brands based on their home city or country, and could serve as a beacon of pride for the city/country. On the flip side, such branding could alienate consumers, as they may not feel welcomed to a foreign-based site. Furthermore, if the city/country under which the website was listed had a national language, the foreign language could be a turn-off to some users, even if alternate languages are offered. Additionally, using such domains may give the government more of a hand in the company than the company wants it to have.
It remains to be seen whether or not city/country domains will become the norm in the international business world. Companies like Adidas, which is based out of Germany, see themselves as global brands. My prediction is that larger corporations like Adidas will continue to persist as dotcoms, whereas places that are unique due to their locations, such as the Waldof-Astoria hotel in New York City may perhaps adopt unique domain names in order to add more distinction to their brands.