Tom Denford
By Tom Denford
Aug 8, 2011 10:59:47 AM

The Coolest Domain In The World


To a modern business, its URL (uniform resource locator, essentially its address online) is an important part of its branding, as much as a fancy street name used to be a statement of intent on the high street.

I read recently of the release of a new domain extension (like .com .org etc) which is being made available to co-operative organisations, .coop (as in There is a qualifying process, like errrm you have to be a co-operative, but its rapidly being picked up by relevant businesses, as part of their branding they now have a simple way to differentiate themselves from their non-cooperative competition. The Guardian recently declared that Co-Ops are cool again, but we knew that already right?

So what’s a co-operative? Its is commonly described as an organisation operated by and in the interests of its members. (A bit like MPs then..? Ahem) Seriously though, its all the rage at the moment in this post-recession world where big business is clumsily looking for a ‘new way’ to operate with more principles, with a purpose beyond pure profit. In practice I suppose it is hard for an established profits-focused company to evolve into a co-operative philosophy if it is already based on another (more greedy?) philosophy. But for many new businesses being created and launched today, the co-operative model is arguably the best point of entry and provides an instant differentiation from the market. Plus of course its the right thing to do and creates unique brands as a result that we love to love.

I think we’ll see a lot more co-operative models becoming significant brand leaders in years ahead. The fact that a dedicated URL now exists to highlight such companies is rather great news in my opinion.

So, just by the URL you will soon start to notice businesses who’s co-opertaive credentials have been (somewhat) vetted and are allowed to communicate, in the basest terms, the attitude of their business just from their online address.

Its a bit like there being a certain street in your town where only co-operative business are allowed to operate (that’s a pretty good idea actually….anyone?).

A bit of digging around lead me here, where you can buy the .coop domains and you can also see if your company or organisation would qualify (but I doubt it dear reader…are there any co-operative marketing organisations in existence at all or is our rabid capitalism in this business an instant dis-qualifier?). The site also offers a directory of .coop businesses around the world (none in the UK amazingly) for you to peruse and be amazed at.

I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with my first co-operative client. We are also designing a co-op model for communications agencies right now, its a path in the dark but immensely fascinating and I will be sure to share with you our findings as we make progress. And apply for our own lovely .coop URL.