Creating Brands on the Web - E-Branding

Copyright © 2008 Adam Nowak

Companies creating their image on the Web are divided into two groups: e-business in the literal meaning and companies from other sectors. The brand creation process in the first case is very similar to the one undergone by all newly founded companies.


Of course, the Web is characterized by a certain specificity. The companies name is also its Internet address and the simpler, the shorter, the easier to remember and to key in it is, the better. It is perfect when it corresponds to the character of the company's activity, however the later you go on-line, the harder it is to find an interesting and available domain. On the other hand, a company has the comfort, that it can check whether a particular domain is still available before registering its name. Nonetheless a catchy name, which looks good as a www address, is not enough.

Due to fierce competition, it is more important to find a market niche and accurately adjust the offer to the consumers' needs. As proven by American research, when it comes to shopping through the Web, the price - against common belief - does not play a superior role in the internauts' decision process. The significance of the price on the market fluctuates around only 10%, whereas its role on the B2B market is even smaller. What matters, however, is the comprehensiveness of the offer and its adjustment to the consumer's needs. In relation to the abovementioned, a rather obvious conclusion can be drawn: before you introduce your new business to the Web you need to examine, examine, examine. Especially, as the Internet allows you to carry out consumer preferences research bearing relatively small costs.

The results are solely determined by the Web. Of course an Internet site is often promoted through other media, however, unless it stands out, offers something new and extraordinary, the internaut will visit it once and will not return. The consequence will be failure of a particular enterprise. In the other case, there are companies conducting traditional activity, which take a decision to create their own websites. Naturally, they try to register a domain corresponding to the subject's name. The problem arises when someone else has already done so, and what's worse, it is not a domain for sale, but another company's site (after all in different businesses there can be companies that operate with identical names). A company is not a new business and it will not change its name only because a particular domain is not available. It has to find a substitute solution and put much more effort into making the consumer remember its Internet address.

An Internet site is a traditional company's "business card". As a business card it needs to be in accordance with its owner's visual identity system (a presentation's convention cannot differ from what customers are used to and what is identified as "branded"). On the other hand, it needs to offer its clients something new, interesting and extraordinary adding new value to the existing and known brand. It needs to encourage internauts to return to it and to visit it frequently. While in the case of e-business the success of a website determines the existence of an enterprise, a "business card" can improve companies' images and win new customers, stay unnoticed, or undermine consumer's opinion on a particular company - however these are never matters of fundamental importance. The success of an Internet company's website will be affected by the market communication strategy it undertakes. A company operating in a traditional environment puts far less emphasis on promoting its website, and its popularity is mainly a reflection of a particular brand's popularity.

The Internet's accessibility increases each year. However, the vast majority of Internet receivers are young people - in their teens and twenties, who haven't got the financial resources yet to shop through the Internet and who are the target group of only a limited number of companies. A smaller interest from older people, who are the target group of many companies, can be the cause of a small presence of domestic subjects on the Internet. Of course the majority of companies have their own websites - it is, so to speak, a matter of honour. However, the quality of these sites leaves a lot to be desired. The majority gives you just basic information about a company - as if they were aimed at people who knew little about it and wanted to get to know its history and activity profile. Whereas there is no offer directed towards regular customers, who should be a company's key care. The sites drive away customers with information about the last update being in 1998. You can't get through to the company and when you finally get the right number from any other source and you inform a secretary about the mistake on the website she replies: "Yes, I know that there is a mistake". The websites' layouts are also poor - however this can be justified with poor quality of Polish Internet connections, which work even slower when a website layout is too rich. The average quality of potential customers' equipment also prevents companies from creating more sophisticated sites.

On a global scale, the Internet is a new phenomenon both for countries where intensive economic development has been taking place for years and for those who have just started catching up for the past decades.




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