What’s in a name?
In April 2014 then-London Mayor Boris Johnson described Dot London as “one of the most exciting things to have happened on London’s digital scene for many years.”
Metro Bank and Fortnum and Mason were among the first companies to jump on the new name, but they were hardly the only ones.
Thousands of individuals and businesses showed a strong interest in registering for a website using the internet domain name suffix prior to the launch, and over 40,000 registrations were made as soon as the domain went on sale.
And it wasn’t just London, as many more global cities have now launched their own domain names. Germany launched .Berlin, Austria launched .Wien soon after for Vienna, Japan has .Tokyo, and France launched .Paris.
In Britain, after its explosive launch, the Dot London domain has steadily grown to include venues and landmarks like ExCeL London, shops and restaurants like Sketch, local events like the Alexandra Palace Fireworks Festival, and giant global businesses that work in the capital like Publicis London.
Not bad for a name that didn’t even exist five years ago.
“The idea that you can have an alternative to ‘.com’ or ‘.co.uk’ was unheard of, so when Londoners found out about the opportunity of adding ‘London’ to their web and email addresses, they really jumped at it.”
While the domain has been largely adopted by smaller businesses, Hill says they haven’t been the only ones.
Today it’s not uncommon to see advertising around the capital brandishing a Dot London domain.
At the same time, local domain names around the world have been gaining momentum and growing in scope.
In New York .nyc organises regular meet-ups and ‘Best of the Borough’ competitions where people vote for the best ‘.nyc’ business in their area.
“Their activities have allowed them to become part of the New York business infrastructure and create a strong community, which is something we are working hard to do ourselves,” says Hill.
When it launched in 2014 Dot London set itself a target of getting at least 40% of London’s small business community registered within five years, today Hill says they’re well on their way.
“We’re currently on track to hit that goal, and hopefully exceed it, especially following our current citywide marketing campaign which aims to help increase brand awareness of Dot London, encourage new registrations and showcase current customers to help highlight the benefits of our city-based domain name.”
And today whenever new businesses in the capital spring up, whether it’s renowned chef and restaurateur Stevie Parle launching his new restaurant or the team behind The Vaults, the arts venue underneath Waterloo station, launching their pub Vaulty Towers, Dot London is their default destination.