When people abroad think of Wales, they probably imagine lush green mountains, rugby, singing and beautiful beaches.
Now the Welsh Government is keen to add food and drink into the conversation by building a ‘Brand Wales’ for the sector that reflects the nation’s reputation for high-quality, wholesome and expertly made produce – and which also has an extra edge: a strong sense of identity.
With support from agencies such as Cywain, a government-funded project for Welsh food and drink producers, there are a growing number of more micro and start-up businesses in the sector – and they all need to stand out.
Emphasising a Welsh heritage and identity that reflects positive characteristics is a great way to achieve recognition in the global marketplace, separating start-up or micro-businesses from similar businesses in the same online space. Having a .wales or .cymru domain website is one way to ensure that Welsh identity is communicated clearly and globally across the internet in our increasingly online world. For micro and startup food firms, a powerful brand driven by a .wales or .cymru domain website and email, offers the opportunity to entice a much wider global audience with a strong brand identity.
Between March 2020 and March 2021, 87 .wales and .cymru domains were registered for food and drink-related produce out of a total of 5,310 .wales and .cymru domains. Those 87 businesses have grasped the opportunity to increase awareness of products and immediately communicate their position as a Welsh brand that cares about its Welsh identity and the language.
Beyond heritage and identity, a local Welsh domain name website can give tangible benefits to search engines. A .wales or .cymru domain could get preferential treatment on search engine rankings over .com results, as well as helping potential customers identify where a business is located and where products come from. Adding a Welsh phone number and details will also add authenticity, boosting a business’s position and credibility.
A local domain name can also help with attracting traffic to a website, improving click-through ratings. And the higher the click-through rate, the stronger the position on Google – meaning more global customers.
Choosing a domain name that accurately reflects and communicates the brand is critical for new businesses. Welsh micro-businesses or start-ups should choose a domain that reflects that the business is a Welsh food and drink firm – and a wales or .cymru domain is a great start. It’s also essential that a domain name is distinctive and matches the business name because people will often guess a domain name based on the business name.
Domain names should also be memorable and, as short and simple as possible. With shorter domains in short supply, some companies invent words that serve as their business name as well as giving them a distinctive and memorable domain name for their site. In fact, domain name availability has become a key consideration in naming a new business.
Some Welsh firms use Welsh to their advantage for this. For example, crwst.cymru uses “crwst” which is Welsh for pastry as its website domain name.
Samantha Sweetland, Head of Marketing & B2C at Nominet, which runs the .cymru and .wales domains, said:
For businesses who want to underline their Welsh connection or heritage, having a .cymru or .wales domain name is the perfect way to demonstrate their Welsh provenance to the world.
Driving home Welshness with a local domain name is an ideal way for micro and start-up food producers to enhance export plans by creating a strong, appeal and distinctive brand.
Find out if your business’s ideal .wales and .cymru website and email domain names are available today from Nominet.
 OurHomeOnline, ‘Why you should register and use your .wales and .cymru domains’ Infographic, March 2020 – 2021