Haus is an industry-shifting beverage startup that has come in hot to the market with its direct-to-consumer sales model and street smart, minimalist branding.
“Low and no” alcohol cocktails are a growing worldwide trend. This is providing opportunities for emerging companies to stamp their mark on an established industry with exciting new marketing ideas that challenge the status quo.
my first @drinkhaus experience! 😍
so ready for this low alcohol beverage trend. pic.twitter.com/SLXG2wTW0a
— David Spinks (@DavidSpinks) October 29, 2019
As part of their brand identity, Haus has chosen to establish its digital presence with the .haus gTLD. Haus is “house” in German, so their choice of domain (Drink.Haus) works on several levels. It’s clever, memorable, and sets Haus apart in the competitive beverage industry. Their domain name literally IS their brand, and all of their marketing reinforces where to find their products online.
In a recent Forbes article, the Haus founders talk about how they’ve grown their brand and attracted customers based on their strategic website presence and word-of-mouth marketing. Relying solely on the strength of their online storefront to drive traffic, Haus needed to create effective branding and design concepts that captured the attention of busy web users. Using a branded gTLD was the perfect solution.
The .haus gTLD has been around for six years and is used by companies to grow their brands in a variety of ways, for example:
Forward-thinking marketers and brand creators are rapidly adopting gTLD domain names across many product categories. Emerging product and service companies are beginning to consider their domain names as an extension of their brand — not just an internet address.
The Rise of the Direct To Consumer Phenomenon
Haus is just one of the companies in the growing Direct-to-consumer (DTC) retail space.
DTC is a form of e-commerce that involves a direct business to buyer transaction. This allows companies in sectors such as FMCG, food, and fashion to cut out the “middleman” retail stores and pass the savings on to their customers with lower markups.
While customers are attracted to the lower prices offered by DTC companies, they are also drawn to these new brands because of their quality and innovation in the market. Selling direct to customers means DTC brands can offer a curated experience from start to delivery.
— Hannah Yoest (@ruthyoest) October 28, 2019
The most successful DTC companies in the market right now have made it to the top by focusing on quality products, a premium brand experience, and exceptional service for their buyers.
BarkBox’s DTC model and endearing marketing has grown the company to an estimated worth of between $150 and $200 million.
Dollar Shave Club
Disrupting the expensive shaving market, this company hit the ground running by offering quality products with reliable deliveries at a fraction of the price of retail. It has recently been acquired by Unilever for $1 billion.
Valued at $390 million, Glossier’s unique marketing in the DTC space earned it a worldwide cult following.
The future of gTLDs for brand growth
Explaining market adoption of a new product or thing such as a gTLD is something that’s well documented.
There is almost always resistance to new things. If you were exploring the internet in 1995 you probably thought it was a novelty that would never catch on. Little did we know (as we plugged our clunky 28k modems into the telephone line) that it would become something we can rarely spend a day without. As for shopping online — how would that even work?
Fast forward to today, and consumer demands are changing rapidly. Online retail is transforming the way companies do business. Companies who can’t or won’t adapt will struggle to compete in this new landscape. Toys R Us is a prime example of a retail giant who failed to adapt to modern customer needs.
D2C brands are completely reliant on their digital footprint. If the only opportunity to connect with customers is in the digital space, the right domain name is crucial to establish awareness and visibility in the market. That’s why more and more companies are looking to differentiate themselves from a creative branding and SEO keyword standpoint with gTLDs.
With ever-increasing market competition, forward-thinking brands like Haus are breaking the mold and reaping the benefits. Domains used as branding tools (like drink.haus or mate.bike) or containing phrases with high keyword search volumes (e.g. online.casino) will be the first choice for new businesses or established brands looking to keep up with modern digital identity best practices.
Innovators and early adopters pave the way for the new “normal”, and large companies are proving that using gTLDs are a winning growth strategy.
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