According to Warc Marketing Research, having a domain name .sucks comes with potential challenges; including the poor image that it is likely to accrue on the brands.
Registration for this domain name started in late March and is due to end in early June. While this gives would-be subscribers sufficient time to subscribe, the greater concern is on the domain cost. The companies are expected to pay as high a $2,499; a figure that pundits have termed as pure extortion. The lower range for the consumer advocate subsidy is also significantly higher than the market average at $10 a year. In fact,
Jay Rockerfeller, a former US Senator, is quoted as having termed the pricing as little more than a predatory shakedown scheme.
.sucks administrators have however justified the high pricing by noting that they wanted to attract customers who had use for the domain. The pricing is ostensibly to avoid people registering then 'putting the domains in their drawers'. From a strategic management perspective, this could be interpreted as a branding strategy in which the administrators would be aiming at establishing a strongly vibrant domain and create the buzz; making everyone to desire to be part of the new movement. But .sucks? In the common use of the term, .sucks already sounds like a hardsell for brands.
A common principle in strategic management is to consider branding as an integrated process; requiring consistency in every aspect of the organisation. This consistency would begin with the brand name, the product names, positioning strategies, conduct of the employees....virtually everything that an organisation would want to be associated with. With this in mind, it would be expected for consumers to associate any brand that buys the new domain .sucks. Picture this: coke.sucks, tesco.sucks...... It automatically sends the message that whatever the brand sells sucks.
Nevertheless, there are endless possibilities and strategic marketers could turn this around. With sufficient positive campaign around the name .sucks, there's the possibility for the consumers to embrace the terminology as a symbol of anything apart from its literal meaning. It could be branded as trendy or be popularised with a certain market segment; making such a segment identify with the organisations that adopt it. New domain, new perceptions, new trends, new possibilities.