Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Which Domain Names are African Brands buying? ccTLDs or gTLDs?

 I read an interesting post about domain naming conventions in the Middle East, where a few companies in the Middle East simply add a "ME" next to their domain name and then register  it in the .COM gTLD. For example Google has registered GoogleME.com in addition to its country specific ccTLDs for various Middle Eastern countries, Coca Cola has a Coca-ColaME.com, Disney has DisneyME.com, McDonald’s  has McDonaldsME.com. It's important to point out that this is the exception rather than the rule.


In Africa, I have seen companies buying BrandAfrica.com from example MicrosoftAfrica.com, GoogleAfrica.com, MTNAfrica.com but what domains are African brands really using?

I did a snap survey on  Africa's Top 50 Companies to get a rough idea on the domains that they are actively using to host their "primary" content:
  1. Anglo American PLC SA     Domain: www.angloamerican.co.za
  2. BHP Billiton Africa               Domain: www.bhpbilliton.com
  3. Sasol                                    Domain: www.sasol.com
  4. SABMiller                            Domain: www.SABMiller.com
  5. MTN Group                         Domain: www.mtn.com plus a couple of ccTLDs
  6. Standard Bank Group         Domain: www.standardbank.co.za also owns .com plus couple of ccTLDs
  7. First Rand                               Domain: www.firstrand.co.za
  8. Orascom Telecom                      Domain: www.orascomtelecom.com
  9. Impala Platinum Holdings            Domain: www.implats.co.za
  10. Itissalat Al Maghrib                     Domain: www.iam.ma
  11. Old Mutual                                 Domain: www.oldmutual.com and www.oldmutual.co.za
  12. Anglo Gold Ashanti Limited        Domain: www.anglogold.co.za
  13. Remgro Limited                          Domain: www.remgro.com    
  14. ABSA Group Limited.                Domain: www.absa.co.za
  15. Telkom SA Limited                     Domain: www.telkom.co.za     
  16. Orascom Construction                Domain: www.orascomci.com
  17. Gold Fields Limited                    Domain: www.goldfields.co.za
  18. Liberty International PLC           Domain: www.liberty-international.co.za  
  19. LonMin PLC                             Domain: www.lonmin.com
  20. Naspers Limited                        Domain:  www.naspers.com
  21. Nedcor Limited                         Domain: www.nedbankgroup.co.za
  22. Sanlam Limited                          Domain: www.sanlam.co.za
  23. Mittal Steel SA                          Domain: www.arcelormittalsa.com
  24. RMB Holdings Limited              Domain: www.rmbh.co.za
  25. Attiljariwafa Bank                      Domain: www.attijariwafabank.com/
  26. Barloworld Limited                    Domain: www.barloworld.com
  27. Imperial Holdings Limited           Domain: www.ih.co.za 
  28. Investec PLC                             Domain: www.investec.co.za
  29. Harmony Gold Mining                Domain: www.harmony.co.za
  30. Douja Prom Addoha Adh           Domain: Not Discernible
  31. Pretoria Portland Company         Domain: www.ppc.co.za
  32. Telecom Egypt                            Domain: www.telecomegypt.com.eg
  33. Tiger Brands Limited                   Domain: www.tigerbrands.co.za and www.tigerbrands.com
  34. Sappi Limited                              Domain: www.sappi.com
  35. Steinhoff International Holdings    Domain: www.steinhoffinternational.com
  36. Vodafone Egypt                           Domain: www.vodafone.com.eg
  37. Venfin Limited
  38. Liberty Group                              Domain: www.liberty.co.za
  39. Network HealthCare Holdings     Domain: www.netcare.co.za
  40. Mobinil                                        Domain: www.mobinil.com
  41. Omnium Nord Africaine               Domain: www.ona.ma
  42. Edgars Consolidated Services      Domain: www.edcon.co.za
  43. Pretoria Portland Cement SA       Domain: www.ppc.co.za
  44. First Bank Nigeria                        Domain: www.firstbanknigeria.com
  45. Kumba Resources Limited           Domain: www.kumba.co.za
  46. Woolworths                                 Domain: www.woolworths.co.za
  47. Reunert                                        Domain: www.reunert.co.za
  48. Bank Marocaine                           Domain: www.bmcebank.ma   
  49. El Ezz Steel                                   Domain: www.ezzsteel.com
  50. Pick N Pay Stores                        Domain: www.picknpay.co.za

Although the results are skewed towards South Africa due to the dominance of South African brands in this list and in Africa, 32 out of the top 50 top African brands use a ccTLD of their home country as the primary domain while only 15 use .COM domains. That's a preference rate of 64% for ccTLDs. Nigerian brands are the least likely to use a ccTLD domain name, they prefer a .COM with a BrandNG.com domain format. Egyptian companies also show a preference for gTLDs, particularly .COM domains. Given that this result mostly reflects a South African trend given the sheer dominance of South African brands even amongst the top 1000 brands in Africa, I think a more accurate trend can be discerned from analysing the domains for top 100 brands in each African country. This will not only give a more accurate analysis of which ccTLDs are more accepted by brands in their countries but also a comparison of the proportion of domain registrations in ccTLDs versus gTLDs by top brands in every African country.

Work can be republished with attribution. Email Us africadomainnames@gmail.com