Sucessfull Online Branding

Web presence is nowadays essential part of the branding process. That’s because the Web is equally a:

  • Communication medium that conveys image. To take advantage of the inherent strengths of the Web — potentially endless depth and two-way communication — sites must provide content and function that support Brand Image. For example, to back up Apple’s claim to “lead the industry in innovation,” its site must describe the innovative aspects of Apple products and provide standout function like a best-in-class configurator. To reinforce multichannel marketing campaigns, sites also need elements like language, imagery, typography, and layout to be consistent with both the intent of the positioning and the style of ads in other media.
  • Delivery channel that enables action. Sites don’t just appear before customers the way television ads do. If a customer sees a home page, it’s because she typed a URL or clicked a link — and that means she arrived with goals like finding specific information, making a purchase or getting service. To avoid frustrating and annoying her — a bad way to build brand — sites must supply the content and function she needs to achieve her goals. For example, customers looking for a low-cost American Express card need content that includes annual fees and APR plus function that lets them apply online. Sites also need navigation that makes it easy to find the content, and they need presentation that makes it easy to consume the content.

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Company names etymologies

Tell me if these company names tell you something:

  • Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
  • Accent on the Future
  • Albert Heijn Holding
  • Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik
  • Bringing ENjoyment and Quality to life
  • Bayerische Motoren Werke

Well, how about these ones:

  • 3M
  • Accenture
  • Ahold
  • BASF
  • BenQ
  • BMW

I’ll bet you the second list sounds way more familiar. Just found an imppressive list of company names etymologies.

Brand System – The Identity

As mentioned before, brand identity provides the information consumers use to make determinations about whether to purchase your products or services and what they should expect from the experience. It’s the calculated way you characterize, package, and position your offering. defines brand identity as a unique set of associations that the brand strategist aspires to create or maintain. These associations represent what the brand should stand for and imply a potential promise to customers. It is important to note that a brand identity refers to the strategic goal for a brand; while brand image is what currently resides in the minds of consumers.

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Brand System – The Offer

The first step, in building a brand as a system, is at once the most important and sometimes the most difficult. The business has a product or service to offer, in many cases more than one of each. Each product or service must be carefully studied to determine what is special about it. Once the firm has done this, it must deal with the underlying question of why people should buy from this business rather than some other. What does this firm do that is singular or unique, that sets it apart from all other firms? What constellation of skills and resources does it have that gives it the potential to do other things as well?

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Beyond Brands – Lovemarks

Lovemark is a new term coined by advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi, defined as the next step beyond branding. A key idea is that lovemarks inspire “Loyalty Beyond Reason“.

What differentiates the brands that struggle from those that perform well is that the latter are lovemarks, explained Micky Denehy, marketing director for Europe, the Middle East & North Africa, of Saatchi & Saatchi London. According to him, lovemarks transcend brands as they deliver your expectations of great performance. Unlike simple brands, they manage to create an intimate, emotional connection with the consumer.

Take a brand away and people will find a replacement. Take a lovemark away and people will protest its absence,” he said.

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Brand Extension

According to, brand extension is

“the application of a brand beyond its initial range of products, or outside of its category. This becomes possible when the brand image and attributes have contributed to a perception with the consumer/user where the brand and not the product is the decision driver”.

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Brands Value Growth – Top 10

The Next Generation of Growth Brands is based on compound annual growth rate in brand value between 2001 and 2005. The report describes the growth brands as having “outperformed their peers in their respective markets during the past four years and are likely to continue to do so into the future”.

Apple, creator of the iPod, is the fastest growing brand in the world, with internet brands Google, Amazon, Yahoo! and eBay following close behind, pushing notoriously powerful brands like Coca-Cola off the list.

According to marketing consultants Vivaldi Partners and Forbes, Apple has managed to increase its brand value by 38% in the last four years — largely thanks to the ubiquity of its portable music device iPod.

Power brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, which typically spend the most on advertising, did not even make it into the top 20.

Here is the top 10:

Brand – Value Increase
1. Apple – 38%
2. Blackberry – 36%
3. Google – 36%
4. Amazon – 35%
5. Yahoo! – 33%
6. eBay – 31%
7. Red Bull – 31%
8. Starbucks – 24%
9. Pixar – 23%
10. Coach – 22%

Brand management in lean times

Anyone can do marketing with a blank check. Lean times, or even the threat of lean times, force us to be more careful in our decision making. Which brands should we push? Where should we promote our brand? How can we avoid duplication? Who is our target audience?

Cost-cutting measures include co-branded advertising, consolidating outside vendors, and cutting down on printing costs by creating more electronic promotional materials. More than that, here are 4 key areas, proposed by Lippincott & Margulies, to review in order to increase brand and branding efficiency in slowing economy:

1. Tighten the communications reins

During prosperous times, when companies are constantly unveiling new products and services, marketing materials can often grow out of control. An objective communications audit is the first step to ensuring that all marketing efforts are consistent and not wasteful.

A review of all marketing support materials can help companies to identify what materials are being produced, who’s producing them, the cost for each, and then the total marketing communications cost. This is often a surprisingly large pot of cash. It also results in identifying the audience for each communications vehicle. Completing this kind of company audit can help companies identify where their efforts are repetitive, and possibly even unnecessary.

2. Brand head count

Through a brand portfolio analysis, companies can take a serious look at their products and services to determine their target audience. After evaluating each brand by grouping it in a designated category and assigning it to a key audience, a company can then step back and decide if support for some of those brands can be consolidated, cut back or eliminated.

3. Assess advertising spending

Heavy advertising spending is not a prerequisite for building a strong brand. Understanding who your targets are, and then prioritizing those audiences, can help in ascertaining where advertising is a necessity and where it’s a luxury. By narrowing the focus and sharpening the message content, companies can use creative, less expensive alternatives to communicate to who’s critical and not to who isn’t.

4. Centralize brand management

Develop decision-making tools based on a set of criteria to manage naming, co-branding and marketing expenditure. Developing a permanent set of criteria will also ensure that future branding issues are decided upon consistently and efficiently.