One of Japan’s largest media and marketing conglomerates and also the parent company of Japan’s largest FX broker, GMO Click, GMO Internet has announced a wholesale rebranding initiative which includes changing the company’s brand name to ‘Z.com’. GMO Internet Group is an Internet services conglomerate developing and operating domain, hosting, cloud, ecommerce, security and payment solutions across Japan, also operating a prospering online foreign exchange unit.
As part of the multi-staged process to refresh the conglomerate’s brand, GMO has acquired the domain name ‘www.z.com’ for a reported ¥800 million (~$6.8 million). The steep price relates to the convenience and attraction of single letter domain names, of which there are only four available (Z,I,X,Q).The domain name purchase is only the first step in GMO’s plans to spearhead its global growth strategy.
“This leading web address combined with leading products is set to drive global growth,” says the newly created ‘Z.com’ website.
Already GMO Internet can be described as a giant; directly or indirectly owning 81 companies with 7 listed on stock exchanges globally, employing over 4,000 people worldwide. Combined, its internet, media and trading divisions serve over 6 million customers, including over 510,00 retail FX traders and over 200,00 securities traders via its GMO Click Securities unit.
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To douse insatiable curiosity amongst the public (and shareholders) as to what influences are behind the choosing of the new brand name, GMO states, “As the last letter in the alphabet, Z represents ‘the last word’, ‘the ultimate’’.”
With its trader’s hat on GMO adds, “A graph with an x-axis and a y -axis is just a flat 2D image, but adding a z -axis makes it three dimensional and provides greater depth of expression. We think Z is the perfect symbol to represent our leading products and our drive to create and deliver services worldwide that make Internet users happy and contribute value people’s lives.”
The admitted core idea behind the new brand is to appeal to a global audience, and with trading volumes surpassing $1 trillion in a single month in October, it is likely GMO will now look to expand its operations further afield in previously untapped territories. Last month, Forex Magnates reported on GMO Click’s imminent plans to list on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) in the JASDAQ market. GMO hopes the subsidiary will go public in Q2 2015.
According to ‘Whois’ records, the registration for ‘Z.com’ was transferred on November 11th 2014. With the domain name now publicised, the likely rebranding of ‘GMO Click’ into ‘Z.com Trade’ is likely to be completed in the very near future with the accompanying website facelift a certainty.