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Online Branding

What comprises a successful online brand? Is it an e-commerce site with high levels of traffic? Is it a brand with good name recognition? Is it a profitable brand? Or is it a site with more modest sales levels, but one that customers perceive as providing good service?

Creating powerful brands as:

An identifiable product or service augmented in such way that the buyer or user perceives relevant unique added values which match their needs most closely. Furthermore, its success result from being able to sustain these added values in the face of competition.

This definition highlights three essential characteristic of a successful brand which we need to relate to the online environment:

  • 1. Brand is dependent on customer perception;

  • 2. Perception is influenced by the added-value characteristics of the product;

  • 3. The added-value characteristics need to be sustainable.

De Chenatony (2001) has evaluated the relevance of the brand concept on the Internet. He suggested that consumers on the Internet become active co-producers of value where they can contribute feedback through discussion groups to add value to a brand.

Jevons & Gabbot (2000)

“the first-hand experience of the brand is a more powerful token of trust than the perception of the brand.”

Dayal et al (2000)

“on the world wide web, the brand is experience and the experience is the brand”

They suggest to build successful online brands should be:

  • The promise of convenience – making a purchase experience more convenient than the real-world one, or that with rivals.

    • The promise of achievement – to assist consumers in achieving their goals, for example supporting online investors in their decision or supporting business people in their day-by-day work;

      The promise of fun and adventure – this is clearly more relevant for B2C services;

      The promise of self-expression and recognition – provided personalisation services.

      The promises of belonging - provided by online communities.

Successful online branding based on three main ideas:

“Rational values, Emotional values and Promised experience”

Brand Experience:

The frequency and depth of interactions with a brand can be enhanced through the Internet.

The Importance of Branding Online
Key aspects of creating a positive customer experience are:
1. Content Quality
2. Adequate performance of website infrastructure in terms of availability and download speed
3. Ease of contacting a company for support
4. Quality of response to email enquiries and fulfilment quality
5. Acknowledge of customer privacy
6. Reflecting and supporting the characteristics of the offline brand

Managing the technology and customer database necessary to deliver services is a key aspect of digital marketing and requires close interaction between marketers and the IS department or external consultants.