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Over the past few years, there has been an explosion in the online world - an explosion that is also a harbinger of how business will operate in the future. Supply chains are being rethought, products and services reconfigured, and business models revamped. As such, the Internet is having a profound impact on the way business is being conducted in ways that are often disruptive to traditional methods. This is creating new challenges and opportunities. The Internet provides the opportunity for companies to reach a wider audience and create compelling value propositions never before possible (e.g. Amazon.com range of 4.5 million book titles), while providing new tools for promotion, interaction and relationship building. It is empowering customers with more options and more information to make informed decisions. The Internet also represents a fundamental shift in how buyers and sellers interact, as they face each other through an electronic connection, and its interactivity provides the opportunity for brands to establish a dialogue with customers in a one-on-one setting. As such, the Internet is changing fundamentals about customers, relationships, service and brands, and is triggering the need for new brand-building strategies and tools. In the midst of this, aggressive Internet start-ups have emerged, creating strong brands that are putting established brands at risk. Internet companies such as Yahoo!, Amazon.com, America Online (AOL) and eBay have been able to build powerful brands in a few years, whereas it has taken decades for traditional companies to achieve the client base, customer affiliation and level of sales, which these Internet start-ups have achieved. As a result, harnessing the reach and interactivity of the Internet to build and maintain brands has become extremely important. For pure online players, who are essentially intangible, brands are even more critical as customers have little to go on other than a recognised brand. Given the tremendous clutter in today's e-commerce marketplace, and the high cost of acquiring online customers, the most successful sites will be those that can attract customers and build
brand loyalty and enthusiasm that extends the brand-customer relationship beyond a single transaction. A Business Week survey found out that 57% of Internet users go to the same sites over and over again, rather than drifting from site to site1. Therefore, building awareness, attracting traffic or “eyeballs”, turning browsers into buyers, and turning first-time buyers into loyal repeat customers has become the Holy Grail of online marketing strategies. However, as the need to build brand loyalty online is reaching a peak, there is a growing recognition that traditional methods are no longer suited to this new interactive environment. As such, companies lack a coherent framework and concrete methods to build an online brand. In light of this, this dissertation seeks to explore how companies should go about building a successful Internet brand and to identify the critical factors that must be considered. During the last 3 years, there has been a rupture on the bubbles of the Dotcom industry. The disruption of the global Dotcom industry, the loss of investors’ confidence, the assai lance from hackers and code-breakers, the bankruptcy of many start-up giants (including Boo.com and Goodsonline.com) made many pessimistic souls believe at the doomsday of the industry in a nottoo-distant future. But according to experts, Dotcom industry is still a fledging and promising one. According to Hoffman, the online purchase will occupy up to 35% of the total figure in the next 30 years. By the way, the competition between the start-ups will be more fiercely than ever. In the era of digital technology, companies compete not only in price and quality, but also in brand name. Therefore, building a successful brand name on Internet is a vital task, especially to cyber companies.
ANALYSIS DONE BY KALAM SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGY This chapter provides an analysis of six companies. Each case is presented in the same format including, a company overview, its value proposition, the sources of added value (using the 7Cs Framework), its brand-building strategy (how it generates traffic), and other key factors that have contributed to its success (or failure).
In April 1994, Yahoo! was founded by David Filo and Jerry Yang, two PhD students at Stanford University, who started an online guide as a way to keep track of their personal interests on the Internet. The concept exploded (through word-of-mouth) and in less than six months, the site was receiving 1 million hits per day. Yahoo! has since promoted from an ordinary search service into a global Internet communications, commerce and media company that offers a comprehensive branded network of services and information to more than 145 million individuals each month world-wide, and is one of the few Internet companies to turn a profit early in the development of the Internet. As the first online navigational guide to the web, Yahoo! is a leading guide in terms of traffic, advertising, household and business user reach. Yahoo! is one of the most recognised brands on the Internet and is the 53rd most valuable brand in the world. The company's global web network includes 23 world properties outside the US.
At the core of Yahoo’s value proposition, lies the directory - a hand tailored and easy-touse guide to the Internet that becomes more useful each day as Internet penetration, the amount of information, and the number of websites continues to explode. According to CEO of Yahoo!, “We've set out to make Yahoo! the only place anyone needs to go to get connected to anything. There's nothing in the real world to compare to that1”. As such, Yahoo! offers a range of supporting services that add value, from e-mail services to stock quotes and much more, all in a single location.
com and CD-now. and have been at the heart of Yahoo’s growth and development.SOURCES OF VALUE – THE 7Cs FRAMEWORK Convenience Central to Yahoo’s success. They have kept the design of the site simple and clean to appeal to customers and avoid slow-to-load graphics. This creates a win-win situation as it satisfies Yahoo!. Their goal is not to list everything under the sun. These have helped Yahoo! become the place to track down a broad range of valuable information and resources. Customisation My Yahoo! allows surfers to customise their view of Yahoo! and pick favourite topics. Content Yahoo! has pursued a broad range of deals with content and commerce companies. while providing partners access to a large customer base. and more importantly. mobiles.e. More recently. Palm computers). They have formed multiple alliances and partnerships with leading online companies such as Amazon. the end-user. Yahoo! has increased customer loyalty and retention rates. ranging from daily news and weather reports to road maps and books. from stocks and sports results to weather and air fares. and is similar to a custom tailored newspaper. is the way it has structured and displayed infor mation. regardless of platform (i. TVs. 4 . the partner. By tailoring the information to users' preferences. Yahoo! extended its convenience through its Yahoo! Everywhere service. but instead to be selective and to display the best the web has to offer in a hierarchical framework that makes sense to customers. Their thrust has been to provide valuable content to customers. to allow access.
reinforcing the brand customer relationship. Connectivity Connectivity is Yahoo’s core product.000 chat rooms and widely varying topics. where groups of people with shared interests can communicate through chat. and many-to-many. Built from 1995. Yahoo! has also implemented campaigns to persuade users to bookmark the site. In addition. Yahoo! acquired Geo-Cities. and contributing to their reputation as a quality service provider. and plans to incorporate other features such as online chat to facilitate communications. one-to-many. with more than 100. Yahoo’s recent acquisition of e-Groups (an e-mail group communication service) will provide consumers with powerful new ways of communicating one-to-one. Yahoo! spends more on customer support than most companies. or to make it their home page. to provide its customer base with access to useful links and content. and is driving Yahoo’s multiple partnerships and alliances. from public health to movies. from sports to politics. fax.Community Yahoo! has developed customisable web communities called Yahoo! Clubs. telephone and even traditional mail. In 1999. Yahoo! Messenger has become a cultural phenomenon. where an ordinary chatter spends no less than 3 hours daily on Yahoo! Messenger to meet his or her epals. 5 . and spreads its communication through word-of-mouth faster than anything else. and the nature of the navigation business. In some countries like Vietnam and China. (one of the largest online communities) which provide easy-to-use and innovative tools to allow users to publish content on the site. Yahoo! Messenger attracts more than 1 million chatters daily. message boards. and email. One of the most recognized Yahoo! communities is the famous Yahoo! Messenger. Customer Care Yahoo! responds to customer inquiries via e-mail.
and through communications via email. Yahoo! aggressively promoted the site through public relations. as experience surfers tend to be loyal to their search engine. As a result. This was especially important. 82% of Internet users and 23% of people intending to go online. These near surfers represented (and still do) a large and fast growing group and. BRAND-BUILDING STRATEGY Yahoo! is a marketing machine. While Internet companies were targeting existing Internet users through the use of online promotion methods. 6 . At the time this was considered a breakthrough.people who are not yet online but are likely to use the Internet in the near future.Communication By positioning itself as a site that users frequently visit. they hired Black Rocket to create a brand awareness campaign that became very successful through the development of the tag line “Do You Yahoo!?” which conveyed the brand's irreverent personality. Yahoo! maintains close contact with customers. Yahoo! extended beyond this to use traditional offline media. and its implications of a good time. by building a recognised brand name. Yahoo! also encourages customers to email ideas and feedback. recognise the name Yahoo!. and it formed a critical link in Yahoo’s brand building strategy. Yahoo’s brand-building success starts with its name. TV commercials and radio spots during drive time. Their strategy was to target “near surfers” . It is often highly praised for its brand-building ability and promotion strategies through the use of traditional (offline) media and guerrilla marketing techniques to build awareness. Yahoo! avoided characterising itself as a technology-oriented company. and the company has always communicated the utility of its service in a way that reinforces other. Given the unease with which the average consumer approaches technology. an approachable nature. Yahoo! would be one of the first sites that they visited. therefore. In 1996. and according to Intellect-quest. Core brand attributes – a sense of irreverence. and an inherent friendliness.
breath mints. 92% of Yahoo! users rate the service as “excellent” or “very good” which is significantly higher than those of other sites. and 76% turned to Yahoo! before visiting another search engine or navigational site. Yahoo's ability to quickly pick up on user’s interests has been a key factor contributing to their success.In addition. We need to be one step ahead in order to have a better service than our competition”. it's too late. customers quickly discover its value and through a high quality experience (7Cs). Although this seems like a shotgun approach. it is in fact a carefully orchestrated campaign that requires each branding opportunity to meet one strict test . a little wacky and inviting”. which has fans screaming Yahoo! to cheer their team as the Yahoo’s logo flashes across the football stadium screen. from the Zamboni ice-shaving machine of the San Jose Sharks (Ice Hockey Team) to over 120 products. ER) and Hollywood movies. snowboards.with its name being plastered on everything. They even have a barter deal with the San Francisco 49ers. VP-Brand Marketing. T-shirts. parachutes. Yahoo! adopted “guerrilla marketing” techniques . including backpacks. According to a recent study. to create Yahoo! Internet Life. They also teamed up with publisher Ziff-Davis Co. a monthly magazine guide to what's new on the web and it has co-branded products. Their innovation. as well as TV shows (Ally. the research shows that 73% of Yahoo! users bookmark the service . The chapter proceeds to describe the influence of brands on the buying process. Yahoo! has managed to cultivate high brand loyalty. In this chapter. and the importance of customer 7 . and yo-yos. services and contests with well known brands such as Ben & Jerry's.it must reinforce the image of the company as “a service that is fun. Once customers access the site. According to Karen Edwards. Visa and MCI.higher than all other services. these layers are unravelled to reveal the nature of brands and their reason for existence. In addition. sailboats. Yahoo! has paid little for this exposure. The nature of brands Introduction Brands are made up of many layers and dimensions. stating that “if we wait to hear about it in the news. new services and customised features highlight their ability to relate to customers' needs. which has been instrumental in establishing Yahoo! as a household name.
These concepts are central to brands and brandbuilding. intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to 8 . The most common barrier to competition is building a brand. both to customers. However. or a combination of them. symbol. the augmented brand and the potential brand. Branding is about creating “value”. if properly managed. The core Product / Service At the most basic level.the core product or service. explaining the value of brands. the basic brand.satisfaction and brand loyalty. This value stems from the products and services that companies create and bring to the market. The concept of brand equity is outlined. term. or design. sign. WHAT IS A BRAND? “A mixture of tangible and intangible attributes symbolised in a trademark. but extends further to encompass added values derived from factors such as the brandcustomer relationship. whether online or offline and they form the backbone of this dissertation. creates influence and generates value” This definition truly captures the essence of a brand. and highlights the importance of brand management. which. the brand's emotional benefits and its self-expressive benefits. most products and services cannot survive on functionality alone as this is usually matched in time. and to companies. THE LAYERS OF A BRAND Brands are made up of four layers . The Basic Brand The basic brand consists of the “name. customers buy products to meet certain functional needs. and for the company. both for customers.
PRODUCT AND SERVICE BRANDS Product brands are the original brand carriers. Motorola.g.g. actually sell products. These products and services add value and make the offering much more difficult for competitors to emulate. this is the case with all Internet companies. not the products it sells The Gap stores. In fact. 9 . even when the alternatives are substantially cheaper or more readily available (e. but the brand itself is the store. For instance: Ford. Southwest Airlines and Amazon. with supplementary products and services (e.differentiate them from those of competitors”2. as they essentially perform the function of a “virtual” intermediary or “infomediary” and are intangible. etc. They are the historical core of branding because they are the most prevalent. preferring things they can see and touch. quick delivery) that enhance the customer’s total purchasing and use experience. Certain service brands. this should support the offering's performance and differentiate the brand from those of competitors. Coke. Intangible services are also more challenging to “package” and sell to consumers who often have difficulty conceptualising. such as in retailing. Essentially. Kodak. Service Brands (intangible) are much less numerous than their product counter parts.com are examples. Coca-Cola. The Augmented Brand Successful companies seek a competitive edge through the enlargement of the core product or service. Levi's). The Potential Brand A brand achieves its potential when added values are so great that customers will not willingly accept substitutes. information. Honda. and because they most readily come to mind when consumers are asked to recall brands.
therefore make contribution to their market share increase in the future.com CD-now EBay 10 . including: Amazon. Scope of the Study To understand what vital role a brand name might play in contributing to the success of a cyber company. The study also shows the perception and awareness of people towards some brand names. it will be necessary to understand the context of current issues within the Dotcom industry and to identify the main players within the Dotcom industry. their successes and failures. The study reveals the dotcoms’ chance of viability in the market to tap the potential customers and to increase their market share. the significance of brand name to a cyber company. as well as to analyze the information which may help cyber companies to formulate their brand building strategies in accordance with customers’ mind and perception. their brand building strategies. The study helps in analysing the viability of some brand names.Need for the Study The study concentrates on the field of global Dotcom industry. The need of the study emphasises on the market research of the brands. During the study. as well as its position in the customers’ mind. and which brand they want to deal with most. The project work covers brand building strategies with special reference to six typical cyber companies. and how to build up a successful brand. and lessons from them. I tried to find out the potential customers and collect relevant information.com Fashion mall.
customer perception. This study also tried to bring out the perceptions that e-customers finding while carrying out an e-commerce transaction. factors of influence.Gap. 11 . In the study. and on what foundation a potential customer decides to join the mainstream of cyber purchase. I also carried out my analysis and interpretation based on unconventional sources of information like cyber reference materials. e-opinion poll. During the study. and which factors cast influence on his or her decision of buying. such as basis of customer. text books.com Yahoo And the survey has been conducted randomly selected respondents within the city of Chennai. thereof bring out a lesson regarding how to build a successful brand on Internet. and reference materials. Statement of the Problem This project has been undertaken to study about the strategies of brand building within start-up industry. frequency of e-purchasing monthly. level of satisfaction and convenience. level of transaction. besides using my own market researching result. level of beware ness towards a certain brand name. etc. The study tries to analyse brand building strategies of 6 cyber companies. which attach to the success and failure of each and every of them. This study tries to extract to customers’ attitude and beware ness towards respective brands. I interviewed potential e-customers on certain significant points.
tools and strategies to build brands on the Internet. 3. only 6 companies are selected. 6. supported by secondary data related to aspects of online business from accredited and published sources 12 . Objectives The objectives of this dissertation are as follows: To gain an understanding of the role of brands and how they have traditionally been built. The limitation of time horizon therefore is another constraint of this study. Thus the results are applicable only in Chennai city. are not willing to part with it. 4. 7. Out of 1 lacks odd dotcoms in the world. The project is to be completed within 3 months. so we can not generalize the findings. To explore how the Internet is changing the brand-building environment. This study was carried out in Chennai city. Given suggestions and interpretations are limited to particular companies only. Academic literature and an analysis of the impacts of the Internet will be used to investigate these factors. Some of the data are collected from word-of-mouth that can be biased. The data available on this are limited and companies. A review and analysis of leading academic thinking will be used to explore these issues. because of their business secret. and to identify new sources of value. only some aspects of their brand building strategies are taken into consideration. 2.Limitations of the Study 1. Biased and concealed responses by the respondents can’t be averted. 5. Even though comparative analysis of different cyber companies is done. Hence the results must not be extended to the national level as the psychographics and demographics vary significantly across the country. which is insufficient for a further in-dept analysis.
To identify the key factors and characteristics that contributes to the development of successful Internet brands. with reference to the theoretical themes that emerge from the literature review and in terms of the practical implications for companies.1.1: Research Methodology caac. Figure 2.RESEARCH METHODOL Academic Research Hypothesis Case Studies Conclusion Secondary Data The 7Cs Framework Primary & the Interactive Data Brand-Building Process 13 . 2.2 . This is based on the outcome of the primary research (in-depth case studies). REVIEW OF LITERATURE Procedure Methodology The methodology used in this dissertation is illustrated in Figure 2.
and is used to provide insight into some of the factors that contribute to the development of successful brands. to provide an in-depth analysis of the psychological and social dimensions of brands. These are further refined using the insight obtained through the case studies.com). The resulting 7Cs Framework and Interactive Brand-Building Model outline key sources of added value and the tools available for companies to create a high-impact customer experience that is critical in building an online brand. 14 .com). eBay and Yahoo!). marketing. The combination of cases provides a useful and practical insight into brand-building issues and problems. traditional “bricks-and-mortar” companies that rose to the challenge of taking their brands to the Internet (Gap. strategy and economics. Case Studies: The dissertation is essentially built on the in-depth analysis of the brand building efforts of six online companies. CDnow. certain key factors are highlighted in their relevance to the dissertation.com.Academic Research: Given that the Internet is such a new area. this also highlights the true value of the dissertation. there is more work in popular rather than academic literature. While there is no attempt. Consequently. as well as a recent Internet failure (Boo. nor desire. Hypothesis (Framework): This is based on the literature review and secondary data. The absence of academic literature on Internet branding posed a major obstacle. Secondary Data: This consists primarily of key facts and survey results quoted by leading consultancy and research firms. The case studies include born-on-the-web companies that are among the most recognised Internet Brands (Amazon. and factors that contribute to a brand's success. the literature review draws on leading academic thinking in more established areas such as brand management. however. relationship management.
b). d) Sample size: Keeping in mind the budgetary. and Books etc. Data was sought from cyber companies and e-customers. 15 . Magazines. Method of collection: The survey was conducted to collect primary data both quantitative and qualitative. Type of data used: Both primary data and secondary data where used. and by collecting them from the respondents at a later date in some cases. administration offices. the total sample selected was 100 all of them were conducted in Chennai.Conclusion: Discusses the key findings and areas for further research. Secondary data was obtained from sources like brochures of cyber companies. Primary data was obtained from direct interviews with e-customers. c) Tools for data collection: The primary data was collected with the help of questionnaire. and potential purchasers. The questionnaire was designed to obtain necessary information that can help me to fulfill this study. a). companies. time and manpower constraints. Methodology Assumption This section outlines the procedure followed in collecting data and analyzing it. The questionnaire was administered by me through direct visit to institutes. Web sites. web-users. and residences.
The World Wide Web (www) is a large network of documents. Information is becoming a major part of the products and services that people buy. This chapter provides an overview of the Internet and its defining characteristics. and provides the opportunity for dynamic interaction. and the “world wide web” (www). I had used percentage analysis. and a critical source of added value 16 . it offers a number of alternative channels that enable businesses and people to communicate. Though the sample size is limited to 100. The three core channels include e-mail (the most common). creating new challenges and opportunities. which contain hypertext and pictures. In essence. which suits the best. I felt it is good enough to come to conclusion about how to build a recognized brand name on Internet. INTRODUCTION The Internet is transforming the business environment. highlighting the key developments that have contributed to its explosive growth and its impact on the business environment. In doing so. Hypertext allows information to be organised in a user-friendly way that is easily accessible. it is a common technology platform that allows computing devices to communicate with each other. news groups and mailing lists.e) Assumption: The information from the respondents has been treated as the correct information. To analyze and interpret the primary data. OVERVIEW OF THE INTERNET The Internet is a world-wide network of networks.
The Internet becomes an information-rich “virtual” market space through which buyers and sellers interact.The Defining Characteristics of the Internet The distinctive characteristics of the Internet can be summarised in three key points: It dramatically Reduces Information Costs . 7 days a week. content. fax. The buyer and seller “face” 17 . By allowing for direct. THE INTERNET AND E-COMMERCE E-commerce describes the use of the Internet as a medium and as a market for commerce. The main difference between the Internet and other electronic media (i.not previously available with mass medium forms of communication. and people. These 'virtual' marketplaces are not fixed in physical territory but are created by the combination of standards-based networks. ubiquitous links to anyone. These defining characteristics have fuelled its explosive growth. and deliver new products and services at low cost. It Overcomes the Barriers of Time and Space . Conducting business over the Internet (e-business) represents a fundamental shift in how buyers and sellers interact. It Allows for Two-way Communication and Interactivity . the Internet lets individuals and companies build interactive relationships with customers and suppliers.the cost of searching for information and the cost of the information itself is significantly reduced (and in many cases is free). The Internet can also be accessed at any time .this radically alters the process of interaction between communicating parties. allowing both parties to identify each other and build one-to-one relationships . regardless of where the computer or Internet access device is physically located. anywhere.e. telephone) is that the Internet goes beyond just enabling transactions. software. web browsers. These characteristics combine to create a very powerful medium. These qualities eliminate the barriers of time and space that exist in the physical world.24 hours a day.The Internet is a global network and can be reached from everywhere.
suppliers. A “virtual” presence can mitigate the cost of having to invest in physical facilities.g. how they compete and how they serve their customers . over which the organisation’s processes flow. they all project the value e-commerce transactions to grow at unprecedented rates. Globalisation of Business The Internet facilitates the globalisation of business by providing access to a global audience.each other through an electronic connection. CISCO e-enabled its financial systems and now has the capability to close its financial year within one day. Although the particular impact will differ between industries.how companies operate. which are often disruptive to traditional business models. and no cash register. no order book. a number of sweeping impacts are identifiable: The Development of Electronic Intermediation The Internet is enabling companies to break through organisational and geographic boundaries to create new structures that link businesses “virtually” (electronically) with customers. represents a level of efficiency and integration previously unattainable. partners and other corporate constituencies.and revolutionary new business models are emerging. For example. However. The Internet also facilitates the development and co-ordination of global activities (e. Instead there is a website. There is no need to travel to a physical location. Improved Core Business Processes The use of Internet-based technologies as the platform. through the use of extranets). THE IMPACT OF THE INTERNET ON BUSINESS The Internet has had a profound impact on the way business is being conducted . 18 . The value of e-commerce transactions and market forecasts vary widely among research firms and government agencies.
the development of a knowledge economy. fierce competition. the diminishing barriers-to-entry and the lower switching costs.The Balance of Power is shifting to the Customer The Internet empowers customers. It also provides easy access to competitors’ offers and allows customers to consider every available alternative. switching costs are much lower. as they are just one 'click' away. combined with the emergence of electronic intermediaries. This. their organisations must harness knowledge . Competition is intensifying Although the Internet removes the geographical constraints of reaching customers.in developing products. it also removes the geographical protection from competitors. getting closer to customers and ultimately staying ahead of competitors. products and services.internally and externally . Knowledge is becoming a Key Strategic Asset Many companies have recognised that if they want to succeed. empowered customers. the typical clock-speed at which companies need to operate has accelerated. as they have access to more information leading to more informed decision-making. 19 . improving processes. the globalisation of business. The Pace of Business is Accelerating With the fast pace of technological change. As a result. allowing employees to share knowledge. has resulted in a fierce competitive environment. collaborate more effectively and ultimately embed organisational intelligence within processes. Internet technology can be used to exploit collective learning and knowledge. and the 24 x 7 environment.
companies have looked upon alliances only as a means of filling gaps.Revolutionising Sales and Brand Management The Internet provides companies with a new channel to reach a new breed of customer. The extent of this partnering highlights the typical structure and dynamics of an online company. achieve global reach and realise a new source of cost advantage. supply chain cooperation. The Strategic Importance of Alliances and Partnerships Although this point has already been touched upon. Traditionally. alliances and partnerships have taken on a new level of strategic importance. 20 . New Ways of Organising and Structuring Business Transformed communications costs and capabilities are helping to drive a fundamental rethink of how firms should organise themselves. most Internet and ecommerce partnerships extend beyond this. It allows companies to improve customer service. Examples of emerging information age business structures include flat versus hierarchical. and most traditional partnerships were vertical. extensive outsourcing. Enhanced communication capabilities allow companies to build one-to-one relationships with their customers and suppliers that were previously impossible. linking companies with suppliers and customers up and down a pre-defined value chain. However. linking companies with competitors and players from entirely different industries and business sectors. thus creating a “value net”. and multiple strategic alliances and partnerships.
has placed greater importance on trust and security. However. including the interactive approach to attracting customers and building loyalty. and sites that understand the user's needs and preferences. in most cases.sites that provide a wealth of information and make comparison shopping easy. the Internet makes search and comparison much easier. etc. The limitations of brand-building on the Internet are also discussed. people have concerns about sharing personal information. they have never handled or seen (except on-screen). This highlights the surfacing of information and relationships as key sources of added value in the Internet economy. THE NEW DYNAMICS OF BRANDS Traditionally. This threatens to undermine the value of brands. the logic of the Internet cuts another way. addresses. New strategies and tools for building brands on the Internet are identified. brands were a substitute for information . In addition. This chapter explores the new dynamics of brands and the critical importance of customer loyalty online. Customers derive added 21 .BUILDING BRANDS ON THE INTERNET A HYPOTHESIS INTRODUCTION The Internet is changing the brand environment or “brandscape”. Transactions on the Internet require customers to provide detailed personal information . in addition to providing added value. and the fact that customers are buying goods that. credit card numbers. On the other hand.a way for consumers to simplify the time-consuming process of search and comparison before deciding what to buy. People only tend to transact with sites they know and trust . Generally. the intangible nature of the Internet. where the user feels a part of.names.
However. Which identified the following factors? .value through the provision of information on the products or services they buy. - Repeat customers refer more people and bring in more business . rather than simply speaking at customers. THE IMPORTANCE OF ONLINE CUSTOMER LOYALTY According to a recent study8. This creates the opportunity for companies to build stronger relationships than previously attainable. The Internet. 22 . brands have been developed in an environment whereby a company creates a brand. customer acquisition costs are high. a company can listen. In doing so. whereby the company can establish a dialogue and interact with individual consumers on a one-to-one basis. In response. it is very unlikely that an online retailer can break even on a one-time shopper.often. and to recover their investment. it could be argued that customer loyalty is even more critical online. unless they are selling high-price. In fact.Companies will not break-even on one-time shoppers . and some are spending over $500. on the other hand. understand and relate to customers. companies need to retain customers so that they return to the site repeatedly. Many e-retailers ('e-retailers') are averaging more than $100 to acquire a new customer. 75% of senior executives believe the success of an e-business initiative depends entirely on its ability to build customer loyalty. this also poses a challenge as these relationships may take on a life and character of their own. Traditionally. and projects it onto a third party intermediary (the media). offers interactivity.due to more frequent shopping and larger purchases. high-margin items. as well as on topics of interest related to the brand and product characteristics. learn. - Repeat purchasers spend more and generate larger transactions . Therefore.word-of-mouth is the single most effective and economical way online businesses grow their sites. many unnamed customers develop a “relationship” with the brand.
The Gap offers a balance of modern and seasonal styles of clothing. These points stress the importance of online customer loyalty.com is an example of successful crossover marketing. Even the collapse of the global Dotcom industry in middle 2000 showed a very little effect to Gap.COM COMPANY OVERVIEW Gap opened its first store in San Francisco in 1969. CASE STUDY: GAP. almost 70% of The Gap online shoppers said that they would consider buying furniture from The Gap. In late 1997. online sales are only available to US customers. and with customers holding all the power. Canada. Gap's online sales tripled in 1998 alone. up from $20 million in 1998. Gap. Its reach extends across more than 1. service and value to everyone”. Gap started selling items online . and are still relatively small compared to Gap's $9 billion in annual sales. UK. however.an early convert to the then-revolutionary idea of clothes retailing on the Internet. This is further reinforced by the fact that. Gap. and sales in 1999 amounted to $80 million. Germany and Japan. During the period of 2000-2001. the growth prospects are enormous. companies must ensure that they provide a completely satisfying end-to-end customer experience. but also provides more opportunities for cross-selling. This success is largely due to their simple formula – “to deliver style.- Loyal customers are more willing to buy other products from the company. For example. Repeat purchasing not only binds trust. 23 . Currently.800 stores in the US. a disgruntled online customer tells 10 people about a poor experience. on average. and today it is the 29th most valuable brand in the world.com. from jeans and T-shirts to khakis and jackets. and provides useful insight into how traditional brands can leverage their strength online.com was the only cyber company who could claim profit.
letting customers access the Gap brands. making navigation even faster..com content consists of detailed information on its full range of products. the extensive integration of Gap's online and offline activities are clearly evident. describes the company's brand personality as “direct and straightforward . Gap online exploits the accessibility and convenience of the Internet.. SOURCES OF VALUE – THE 7Cs FRAMEWORK In terms of the 7Cs framework.. The site also offers sharp graphics. Gap Online primarily focuses on Convenience.. and BabyGap. to provide customers with greater convenience and options. The site's virtual style feature also allows customers to mixand-match combinations of clothing. and customers can view their latest TV adverts for buying inspiration.... head of Gap Online. 24 . This personality is reinforced online through the simple structure and layout. Michael. Visiting the gap. “this is about being clicks-and-mortar. from the blue and white colour scheme to the easy-to-shop format . Unlike other companies that transform from “brick and mortar” to cyber.making visual references to its offline roots. GapKids. standard styles are well suited to online shopping. Executive Vice President of Global Marketing. and Customer Care. whether in the store or online14”. Content. making it convenient.com store one immediately notices the consistency between the online and retail stores.very easy. from shirts to accessories and hard-to-find sizes. and Gap online provides access to the full range of items at Gap. as well as sample all of the latest shades of fingernail polish on a virtual hand. According to Jeanne Jackson. very efficient”15.VALUE PROPOSITION Gap's simple. allowing shoppers to contrast different cuts and styles. In addition. and easy-to-use. which would not be possible in the store. but provides customers with the option of viewing text-only. Gap.
and had recently established marketing deals with AOL and CDnow. customers can return goods purchased online to their neighbourhood store.) that also promote the online store. In addition. In order to integrate its offline and online operations and logistics.com allows customers to track the status of online purchases and provides contact information on the nearest store. on shopping bags and even on the cash register. etc. and customers can register to get e-mail reminders of upcoming holidays and birthdays. This level of customer care is an important factor in making customers feels more comfortable with online purchasing. it is fully leveraging its offline presence to build awareness. Gap communicates with customers through customised e-mails. and goods bought online get returned at the same rate as store purchases . once customers are registered online. promoting its specials and including links directly to items on Gap's website.com also provides a Gift Central feature which offers gift suggestion from Gap. Gap made a decision to charge sales tax on online sales. Gap's simple. standard styles are well suited to online clothes shopping.ship”. BRAND-BUILDING STRATEGY – EXTENSIVE INTEGRATION Gap. By doing so. billboards. without causing complications.com. Gap. However. which displays “Shop online at www. twice a month. 25 .gap. by displaying the URL in store windows with the slogan “surf.com has been able to piggy-back on The Gap's offline advertisements (in TV. Gap has also developed an affiliate programme.shop.com" on the display screens between transactions. Gap does not provide any community features on its site.Unlike the case of Boo. Magazines. GapKids. and BabyGap. on counter cards.as most Gap online shoppers have a good idea of how Gap clothes fit. In addition. The Gap site connects to other Gap online stores including GapKids and BabyGap. Gap.
they send the customer a $20 Gap Shop-Card. or to refer shoppers to Gap's website. ncouraging sites to establish links to gap. To convert walk-in shoppers to cybershoppers. Gap has also supplemented this with online promotions: -year commerce and marketing agreement with AOL that gives Gap more visibility on the Internet by linking to the world's largest online shopping destination: Shop@AOL marketplace. whereby for every $100 a customer spends at Gap Online. the retailer has installed “Web lounges” that lure buyers with comfortable couches and terminals hooked up to Gap.com. -Card.Store clerks are also trained to look for products online for their customers if the store does not have them in stock. In certain high traffic Gap and GapKids stores. which can be used towards future purchases. providing a useful way to directly reach customers. either online or in stores. however. by offering a 10% discount and free shipping on their first online purchase. These efforts doubled the size of Gap's e-mail database. 26 .com in return for a 5% commission on every sale referred through the site. Gap has held in-store campaigns to get customers to submit their e-mail addresses. Most of Gap's online traffic is generated by leveraging its physical presence. flooded with e-mails form customers asking how they could buy a recording of the music played in Gap TV commercials.
With their brand awareness and network of retail outlets. This type of seamless integration and symbiotic relationship is critical in building successful “clicks-and-mortar” brands. Gap had a significant advantage over pure online players in attracting customers and building critical mass. Age group Break-up SL. 1 2 3 Total Age 15-19 years 20-24 years 25 years above No.com is an example of successful crossover marketing. on the other hand. have already established the back-end operations and can use them as the cornerstone of their online business.CONCLUSION Gap. and can also provide access to different customer segments who may not usually buy the products at all . while reaping the benefits of low customer acquisition costs and extended reach. whereas established companies. such as Gap. By aggressively marketing both the stores and the website. Total no of respondents = 100 2.thereby increasing the company's reach. A key factor has been Gap's consistency and ability to deliver the same level of service quality that is expected from the brand. Pure online players have to invest heavily in logistics. provides existing customers with added value through the convenience of purchasing online. The Internet. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF INTERNET STRATEGIES 1. and allowing each to leverage the strengths of the other. Gap has been able to significantly strengthen their brand-customer relationship. thereby reinforcing its brand identity. of Respondents 23 47 30 100 Percentage 23% 47% 30% 100% 27 . No.
3. Qualification Break-up of Respondents SL. Respondents 1 Yes 71 71% of Percentage 2 No 29 29% Total 100 100% 28 . of Respondents 33 51 16 100 Percentage 33% 51% 16% 100% 4. Break-up of Computer and Internet Literate Sl. No. Particulars No. No. 1 2 3 Total Qualification Under graduate Graduate Post graduate No.
No. The profession of respondents Sl. Occupation No. of Respondents Percentage 1 Student 35 35% 2 Computer engineer 13 13% 3 Faculty 21 21% 4 Businessman 16 16% 5 Others 15 15% Total 100 100% 29 .5.
Table No. No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Particulars E-mail General Information Surfing Reading Hobbies Product Information Travel Information Business / Work Entertainment Purchasing Stock Quotes Job Search Chat Rooms Homework Auctions Banking Trading stocks No.1: What are people doing online? SL. of Respondents 91 78 72 70 67 64 55 50 35 35 29 26 25 22 17 15 9 Percentage 91% 78% 72% 70% 67% 64% 55% 50% 35% 35% 29% 26% 25 % 22% 17% 15% 9% 30 .
00% 10. etc). it is clear that the majority of respondents have surfed on Internet to check their e-mail (91%).00% 20.00% 80.00% E-mail General Information Surfing Reading Hobbies Product Information Travel Information Business / Work Entertainment Purchasing Stock Quotes Job Search Chat Rooms Homework Auctions Banking Trading stocks 31 .00% 90. searched for general information (78%).00% 50. chatting. Figure 1: What are people doing online 100. hobbies. only 70 logged on cyber companies for purchasing. Out of 100respondents. surfing. and attended recreational activities (reading.Source: Survey Interpretation: From the above table. entertainment. and only 36 had the real intention to buy or sell online.00% 60.00% 0.00% 40.00% 30.00% 70.
No. hobbies. The other majority 82% surfed on the World Wide Web for other activities (reading.Table No. 1 2 Total Particulars Yes No No. product searching. of Respondents 18 82 100 Percentage 18% 82% 100% Source: Survey Interpretation: It is evident from the above table that the minority 18% of the respondents has actually bought or sold on Internet.2: Number of respondents who really carried out business transactions on Internet SL. chatting. etc). entertainment. Advertisement should be aimed at this small potion of customers rather than pursuing the whole vast market. surfing. Figure 2: Number of respondents who really carried out business transactions on Internet Real E-purchaser Ordinary surfer 32 .
eBay has got the biggest number of transactions.8% 5.com got none. 33 . of Respondents 9 0 2 13 0 10 2 36 Percentage 25% 0% 5.com CDnow eBay Gap.4% 100% Source: Survey Interpretation: The above table shows the degree of popularity and credibility among different brands. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total Company Amazon. No.Table No.com.com Yahoo! Others No.com and Gap. Among six respective brand names.6% 36% 0% 27.3: Name of cyber companies that you actually dealt with SL. and Boo. The fourth brand has only 2 customers. following by Yahoo! and Amazon.com Boo.
Figure 3: Name of cyber companies that you actually dealt with
Amazon.com Boo.com Cdnow eBay Gap.com Yahoo! Others
Table No.4: Number of e-purchasers who want to come back for future transactions
SL. No. 1 2 Total
Particulars Yes No
No. of Respondents 34 2 36
Percentage 94.4% 5.6% 100%
Source: Survey Interpretation: Among the real e-purchaser, the majority of 94.4% wants to come back to respective cyber companies they dealt with before. It shows the solidity of business transactions and relations on the Internet. Once customers are satisfied, they intend to keep the nexus with the company they know, rather than shifting from company to company. It highlights the significance of keeping up with customer’s standard and perception right in the first transaction (the moment of truth)
Figure 4: Number of e-purchasers who want to come back for future transaction.
Table No. 5: Standards for a good online company
SL. No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Total Source: Survey
Particulars Brand Cost Convenience Means of payment Variability Promotion & discount Others
No. of Respondents 30 13 16 5 9 16 11 100
Percentage 30% 13% 16% 5% 9% 16% 11% 100%
Interpretation: Among the above factors (brand, cost, convenience, means of payment, variability of goods and services, promotion and discount), brand name holds the most significant position, with 60 out of 200 respondents claimed that is was the most important factor to a company. The next important factors are convenience (16%), promotion and discount (15.5%), cost (13%), variability (9%), and means of payment (5%).
Figure 5: Standards for a good online
30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0%
Brand Cost Convenience Means of payment Variability Promotion & discount Others
Table No.6: Keys to Web brand Loyalty
SL. No. 1 2
Particulars Ease of use & navigation Fast response time
No. of Respondents 37 26
Percentage 37% 26%
40 to Familiarity (20%).3 4 Total Familiarity Relevant & accurate information 20 17 100 20% 17% 100% Source: Survey Interpretation: The above table shows the key factors that ensure web brand loyalty. Out of 200 respondents. and 34 supported Relevant & accurate information (17%). Figure 6: Keys to Web brand Loyalty 40% 35% 30% 25% Ease of use & navigation Fast response time 20% Familiarity 15% 10% 5% 0% 37 Relevant & accurate information . whereas 52 gave their vote to Fast response time (26%). 74 claimed that the Ease of use & navigation is the most important element (37%).
whereas 24 attributed to slow response time (24%). No. Out of 100 respondents. and 28 to Poor customer service (28%).7: Killers of Web brand Loyalty SL. 22 to Site downtime (22%). 1 2 3 4 Total Particulars Outdated information Slow response time Site downtime Poor customer service No. 26 claimed that outdated information is the key element that demolishes customers’ belief (26%).Table No. of Respondents 26 24 22 28 100 Percentage 26% 24% 22% 28% 100% Source: Survey Interpretation: The above table shows the key factors that destroy web brand loyalty. Figure 7: Killers of Web brand Loyalty 30% 25% Outdated information 20% Slow response time 15% Site downtime 10% Poor customer service 5% 0% 38 .
most of them (75% & 67%) chose consumable and garments & footwear respectively.Table No. we can see the tendency of what people want to buy on Internet. and luxury were hardly chosen. 39 . 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Particulars Consumable Luxury Interior Garments & footwear Vehicle Real estate Antiquities Others No. Out of 100 respondents. Whereas goods with high value like real estate. of Respondents 75 16 26 67 24 7 31 40 Percentage 75% 16% 26% 67 % 24% 7% 31% 40% Source: Survey Interpretation: From the above table. No.8: Things you want to buy online SL. vehicles.
com Source: Survey Interpretation: From the table No. following by Yahoo! and Amazon. Yahoo! transcends eBay and Amazon. It proves how effective Yahoo! is in 40 . we can see eBay has got the biggest number of transactions among the lot.3. But with regard to level of recognition and awareness.com Boo.com CDnow Gap.com.9: Ranking the popularity of six below cyber companies Rank 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th Company Yahoo! eBay Amazon.Figure 8: Things you want to buy online 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Consumable Luxury Interior Garments & footwear Vehicle Real estate Antiquities Others Table No.com.
No. bulk-mails do not have the same significance like before. Table No. however. the extensive research and in-depth case studies provided in this dissertation indicate certain common underlying characteristics which can be summarised as follows: 41 . It is called as “self-protection reaction”. including viral effect and wordof-mouth. But as time goes by. Key factors that contribute to building a successful online brand There is no one-size-fits-all solution for building a successful brand on the Internet. Cyber companies should develop other kinds of promotion and brand building rather than relying on chain-mails.creating community activities and spreading public relationship. 1 2 Total Particulars Yes No No. of Respondents 19 81 100 Percentage 19% 81% 100% Source: Survey Interpretation: Chain-mails and bulk-mails are often used to get customer awareness and attention. 10: Do you usually read chain mails & bulk mails? SL. and customers usually refer bulk-mails as “garbage” and try to delete them without casting a single glance at.
Content. Content. Customer Care and Communication.A Compelling Value Proposition Successful online brands are exploiting every capability offered by the Internet to deliver compelling value propositions that appeal to customers. and access to more information on the products or services being provided. The 7Cs framework allows companies to deliver a tangible customer experience. lower prices. They are providing greater convenience (24x7). Connectivity. the extensive research and in-depth case studies provided in this dissertation indicate certain common underlying characteristics which can be summarised as follows: Successful online brands are exploiting every capability offered by the Internet to deliver compelling value propositions that appeal to customers. Community. wider selections. Customisation. Key factors that contribute to building a successful online brand There is no one-size-fits-all solution for building a successful brand on the Internet. and enhancing this with layers of added-value through the '7Cs' Convenience. Successful brands recognise that the value proposition must more than compensate for the loss of in-person contact. Compelling Value Proposition Strong Internet brands are those that create a high quality engaging online customer experience. They are providing greater convenience (24x7). by offering more value than attainable through traditional “bricks-and-mortar” establishments. by ingraining convenience 42 . Customer Care and Communication. wider selections. Community. however. and enhancing this with layers of added-value through the '7Cs' Convenience. and access to more information on the products or services being provided. Successful brands recognise that the value proposition must more than compensate for the loss of in-person contact. lower prices. Connectivity. Customisation. by offering more value than attainable through traditional “bricks-and-mortar” establishments. Successful online brands meet the demands inherent in each of the 7C categories.
By placing emphasis on different 'Cs'. Strong Communications Programme & Efficient Customer Acquisition Strategy The key Internet brands have made major commitments to building awareness and have developed multifaceted. integrating customer care. they are cultivating a reputation for excellence. making connectivity easy. A well executed customer experience that satisfies customers. A well Strong Internet brands are those that create a high quality engaging online customer experience. customising the experience. which builds confidence and trust that not only entices customers to do repeat business with the company. delivering compelling content. quick-to-load and easy-to-navigate. delivering compelling content. In doing so. customising the experience. but leads them to spread positive word-of-mouth. attracting other customers to the site. integrated customer acquisition strategies. they are differentiating their experience from those of competitors. and establishing two-way communication. developing a community feel. by ingraining convenience and making the site easy-to-use. integrating customer care. A Reputation for Excellence (Delivering on their e-Promises) Fulfilment and delivering on e-promises is the acid test of online brands. making connectivity easy.and making the site easy-to-use. Successful online brands meet the demands inherent in each of the 7C categories. By placing emphasis on different 'Cs'. The 7Cs framework allows companies to deliver a tangible customer experience. they are differentiating their experience from those of competitors. Quality customers who are heavy users of the brand are important as they not only offset the cost of customer acquisition. and customer care to ensure a completely satisfying end-to-end customer experience. results in higher brand equity. distribution centres. developing a community feel. but also provide added value 43 . The successful brands are those who are investing heavily in logistics. quick-to-load and easy-to-navigate. They are targeting their promotions to attract quality customers and to keep customer acquisition costs down. ranging from online methods to traditional offline media. and establishing two-way communication.
to maintain consistency. brands are harder for competitors to emulate. Unique Positioning Concept & Distinct Brand Image Strong brands are developing unique positioning concepts. content. As a result. these companies are creating even stronger value propositions. leading brands have focused on building strong partnerships and alliances. particularly to secure content and widen reach to new customer segments and niches. before it fractures. whereby each party benefits from the other's expertise or skills. and convenience. a company can leverage the partner's brand and reputation to reinforce its own. Alliances and partnerships play an important role in achieving speed and momentum. to distinguish themselves from competitors. offering customers the best in quality. Yahoo's success can be largely attributed to its unique positioning strategy and distinct image that appeals to its target market. variety.to the brand community. and exclusive alliances can lock out competitors from valuable content or online real estate. The most successful partnerships are symbiotic matches. Strong Partnerships and Strategic Alliances Rather than doing everything on their own. as well as determine how far the brand can be meaningfully stretched to other products and market segments. Properly orchestrated “guerrilla marketing” ploys can also be effective in building awareness and reinforcing brand image. while ultimately benefiting the end-customers. By distinguishing their offering and focusing on unique sources of value-added. these companies must have an inherent understanding of their brand identity and core values. and by partnering with well-known brands. In addition. Alliances with leading portals and popular sites are important to generate traffic and brand visibility. 44 .
and benefited from additional hype. and by focusing on customer needs. Getting to market quickly can provide an Internet company with significant momentum and a valuable boost over the competition. and it can acquire customers while it is still inexpensive to do so. are leveraging this customer knowledge (learning) to nurture relationships (relate). It locks up important content and distribution partnerships. Identified a market opportunity early and moved quickly to capitalise on the potential they saw. that comes with innovation. These brands are accumulating knowledge about customers. The challenge then lies in keeping up the momentum. These brands are accumulating knowledge about customers. and develop a detailed understanding of their customers' needs. and develop a detailed understanding of their customers' needs. Customer focus builds trust and credibility that is central to developing a strong brand-customer relationship. and traffic. customisation and customer care. A first-mover advantage is an important asset for an online brand. through past transactions and solicited input. and by focusing on customer needs. are leveraging this customer knowledge (learning) to nurture relationships (relate). Many strong online brands were also early-movers on the internet. by providing better services. As Internet penetration exploded. 45 . By getting to market early. by providing better services. through past transactions and solicited input. First-Mover & Early-Mover Advantage Most of the successful online brand leading online brands have an intense customer focus. these wellpublicised brands also took off. and it aligns itself with the most influential venture capital sources. customisation and customer care.Intense Customer Focus Leading online brands have an intense customer focus. the company benefits from the buzz. and extensive word-of-mouth due to its novelty. Customer focus builds trust and credibility that is central to developing a strong brand-customer relationship.
value remains (and always will) the basic building block for every successful brand. They possess critical assets that give them an advantage over pure online start-ups. They have an established brand. 11: Different approaches in brand-building a glance at the different routes to brand building on the new dynamics of brands. Through extensive and seamless integration. to create new services and content that satisfies customer needs. Strong clicks-and-mortar brands are integrating their online and offline activities to leverage the strengths of each other. The era of Internet brings a totally new approach to building a brand name. these innovations are difficult for competitors to reproduce. one component remains unchanged . This type of relentless innovation is instrumental in ensuring brands develop traction and build momentum to keep ahead of competitors. The Internet has radically changed the business and competitive environments. Let’s have Table No. expand the brand experience to meet customers' expectations in the online world. and a physical presence (tangibility) . giving the brand an edge.factors that clearly differentiate them from pure players. and are continuously adding new services and functionality to their sites. these brands must respect their core brand elements and maintain consistency in the service quality that is expected. By leveraging unique customer information. clicks-and-mortar brands are providing customers with true added-value. the innovations are the result of the company's ability to record its vast database of customer information. 46 . established fulfilment systems and infrastructure.Relentless Innovation Successful Internet brands are continuously looking for new ways to wrap more value around their core service and offering. In many cases. Yet while everything is being turned upside down. but at the same time. Ability to Leverage Offline Brand and Assets Bricks-and-mortar brands are often well positioned to succeed on the Internet. In doing so. while reaping the benefits of lower customer acquisition costs and extended reach. established customer relationships. and differentiating it from other brands.
building relationships and satisfying needs. there has been a limited time horizon to evaluate the durability of Internet brands. In addition. Nevertheless. approach Standardised Customised One-to-One Approach Dialogue Private Individual Named Collaborative Focused on relationship over time Intimate learning “stimulus-response” Genuine needs driven. Therefore. 47 . ongoing research would be necessary to build on the findings of this dissertation.The Emerging Brand-building Environment Traditional Approach Monologue Public Mass Anonymous Adversarial Focus primarily on one-off transaction Remote research Manipulative. service approach Given that the commercial Internet only began to take off in 1994. with the emergence of wireless access and new platforms. it that the core concepts and key factors identified that contributes to successful online brands is likely to persist. new opportunities and dynamics will emerge as companies develop innovative ways of acquiring customers.
an in-depth analysis.Brands and brand-building tools tend to be associated with consumer markets.8 2. Based on my own research and survey. Having established a strategic perspective on building online brands. they are equally important in business markets. As such. Nevertheless.0 to 5. drawing on several case studies from business markets.3 3. 12: Popularity and effectiveness of brand building methods Method Banners E-mails to customers Buttons Public relations Magazines Sponsorships Popularity 89% 77% 55% 45% 34% 34% Effectiveness (rank from 0. however. would represent an exciting opportunity for further research. their popularity.2 4. this dissertation would benefit from complementary in-depth research in the social and psychological dynamics of the Internet and its impact on consumer behaviour. Table No.4 3. and their respective effectiveness. I had recognised the often used brand promotion method.1 3.3 48 . tools and key factors outlined in this dissertation are also applicable to business markets.0) 2. the concepts.
Newspapers Radio Direct mail Television E-mail to opt-in lists Outdoor Affiliate programs 32% 32% 30% 30% 23% 17% 17% 2.4 3.3 Figure c.0 3.6 3.5 3.4 4.7 4.1: Popularity of method 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Banners E-mails to customers Buttons Public relations Magazines Sponsorships Newspapers Radio Direct mail Television E-mail to opt-in lists Outdoor Affiliate programs 49 .
it is clear that some usually used promotion methods like banners and email showed little effect towards customers. .5 4 Banners 3.com.Public relation and outdoor activities.5 1 0.5 0 E-mail to opt-in lists Outdoor Affiliate programs From the above table. to enhance awareness and brand image.2: Effectiveness of methods 4. or AOL. Therefore. or eBay.Figure c. Amazon. 50 .5 2 1. company should increase the use of: . It is the way has been chosen by many successful ones like Gap.com.5 3 E-mails to customers Buttons Public relations Magazines Sponsorships Newspapers Radio Direct mail Television 2.Affiliate programs: with other already-recognised online companies like Yahoo!.
cigarette and alcohol. Don’t try to dig on valuable items like antiquities. Because of its particular risk and configuration.com of building a website that requires a powerful computer configuration and a wide Internet runway. Make sure that the availability of goods and variability of categories are ensured. or real estate. garments and footwear. When a customer posts Further. upholstery. an online company should focus on small value items like books. The result is website is too slow to load. feedback must be given within 48 hours. His or her mail to ask some question with regard to product info search. there are some more suggestions from this study to cyber companies regarding how to create a strong brand name on Internet: Supply relevant and accurate info. When using credit card as the most popular means of payment. luxury. Build a simple website with humble graphic and accessible info. Site must be easily used and navigated. and leads to nothing but frustration of customers. etc. instead of viral chain-mails and bulk-mails. 51 . For instance: sending e-mails to a regular patron informing about goods available in which he or she may be interested. Further. company must ensure the privacy of customer. consumable. Avoid the mistake by Boo.E-mail to op-in list: bulk-mails are sent to an interested group of customers only. Beware o hackers at the top most level.. there are some more suggestions from this study to cyber companies regarding how to create a strong brand name on Internet: Have a credible logistics with acceptable quality of goods and service.
Customization. and access to more information on the products or services being provided. by offering more value than attainable through traditional “bricks-and-mortar” establishments. Customer Care and Communication. lower prices. wider selections. They are providing greater convenience (24x7). and enhancing this with layers of added-value through the '7Cs' Convenience. however. and enhancing this with layers of added-value through the '7Cs' - 52 . and access to more information on the products or services being provided.Yes No Key factors that contribute to building a successful online brand There is no one-size-fits-all solution for building a successful brand on the Internet. Connectivity. Community. They are providing greater convenience (24x7). the extensive research and in-depth case studies provided in this dissertation indicate certain common underlying characteristics which can be summarized as follows: Successful online brands are exploiting every capability offered by the Internet to deliver compelling value propositions that appeal to customers. wider selections. lower prices. Successful brands recognize that the value proposition must more than compensate for the loss of in-person contact Compelling Value Proposition Successful online brands are exploiting every capability offered by the Internet to deliver compelling value propositions that appeal to customers. by offering more value than attainable through traditional “bricks-and-mortar” establishments. Content.
The successful brands are those who are investing heavily in logistics. The 7Cs framework allows companies to deliver a tangible customer experience. and establishing two-way communication. A well executed customer experience that satisfies customers. By placing emphasis on different 'Cs'. A well executed customer experience that satisfies customer Strong Internet brands is those that create a high quality engaging online customer experience. Customization. developing a community feel. making connectivity easy. Connectivity. quick-to-load and easy-to-navigate. delivering compelling content. customizing the experience. Customer Care and Communication. A Reputation for Excellence (Delivering on their e-Promises) Fulfillment and delivering on e-promises is the acid test of online brands. A High Quality Online Experience Strong Internet brands are those that create a high quality engaging online customer experience. Content. which builds confidence and trust that not only entices customers to do 53 . and establishing two-way communication. developing a community feel. and customer care to ensure a completely satisfying end-to-end customer experience. quick-toload and easy-to-navigate. distribution centers. The 7Cs framework allows companies to deliver a tangible customer experience. In doing so. Successful online brands meet the demands inherent in each of the 7C categories. delivering compelling content. making connectivity easy. customizing the experience. results in higher brand equity.Convenience. they are cultivating a reputation for excellence. they are differentiating their experience from those of competitors. by ingraining convenience and making the site easy-to-use. integrating customer care. Successful online brands meet the demands inherent in each of the 7C categories. Successful brands recognize that the value proposition must more than compensate for the loss of in-person contact. Community. they are differentiating their experience from those of competitors. By placing emphasis on different 'Cs'. integrating customer care. by ingraining convenience and making the site easy-to-use.
Unique Positioning Concept & Distinct Brand Image Strong brands are developing unique positioning concepts. They are targeting their promotions to attract quality customers and to keep customer acquisition costs down. particularly to secure content and widen reach to new customer segments and niches. and convenience. By distinguishing their offering and focusing on unique sources of value-added. attracting other customers to the site. as well as determine how far the brand can be meaningfully stretched to other products and market segments. In addition. but leads them to spread positive word-of-mouth. offering customers the best in quality. Alliances and 54 . Strong Communications Programmed & Efficient Customer Acquisition Strategy The key Internet brands have made major commitments to building awareness and have developed multifaceted. these companies must have an inherent understanding of their brand identity and core values. leading brands have focused on building strong partnerships and alliances. content. integrated customer acquisition strategies. Quality customers who are heavy users of the brand are important as they not only offset the cost of customer acquisition. Yahoo’s success can be largely attributed to its unique positioning strategy and distinct image that appeals to its target market. Strong Partnerships and Strategic Alliances Rather than doing everything on their own. As a result. variety. but also provide added value to the brand community. before it fractures. ranging from online methods to traditional offline media. to maintain consistency.repeat business with the company. these companies are creating even stronger value propositions. brands are harder for competitors to emulate. Properly orchestrated “guerrilla marketing” ploys can also be effective in building awareness and reinforcing brand image. to distinguish themselves from competitors.
These brands are accumulating knowledge about customers. the company benefits from the buzz. s identified a market opportunity early and moved quickly to capitalize on the potential they saw. Intense Customer Focus Leading online brands have an intense customer focus. Customer focus builds trust and credibility that is central to developing a strong brand-customer relationship. Getting to market quickly can provide an Internet company with significant momentum and a valuable boost over the competition. First-Mover & Early-Mover Advantage Most of the successful online brand leading online brands have an intense customer focus.partnerships play an important role in achieving speed and momentum. These brands are accumulating knowledge about customers. It locks up important content and distribution partnerships. and by focusing on customer needs. are leveraging this customer knowledge (learning) to nurture relationships (relate). and it can acquire customers while it is still inexpensive to do so. and benefited from additional hype. while ultimately benefiting the end-customers. A first-mover advantage is an important asset for an online brand. through past transactions and solicited input. The challenge then lies in keeping up the momentum. Customer focus builds trust and credibility that is central to developing a strong brand-customer relationship. and develop a detailed understanding of their customers' needs. customization and customer care. The most successful partnerships are symbiotic matches. are leveraging this customer knowledge (learning) to nurture relationships (relate). By getting to market early. and exclusive alliances can lock out competitors from valuable content or online real estate. and it aligns itself with the most influential venture capital sources. and by focusing on customer needs. Alliances with leading portals and popular sites are important to generate traffic and brand visibility. customization and customer care. and develop a detailed understanding of their customers' needs. Many strong online brands were also early-movers on the Internet. by providing better services. that comes with innovation. through past transactions and solicited input. and 55 . and traffic. a company can leverage the partner's brand and reputation to reinforce its own. whereby each party benefits from the other's expertise or skills. by providing better services. and by partnering with well-known brands.
They have an established brand. expand the brand experience to meet customers' expectations in the online world. This type of relentless innovation is instrumental in ensuring brands develop traction and build momentum to keep ahead of competitors. these innovations are difficult for competitors to reproduce. these wellpublicized brands also took off. giving the brand an edge. established customer relationships. As Internet penetration exploded. and are continuously adding new services and functionality to their sites. these brands must respect their core brand elements and maintain consistency in the service quality that is expected.factors that clearly differentiate them from pure players. By leveraging unique customer information. Strong clicks-and-mortar brands are integrating their online and offline activities to leverage the strengths of each other. The Internet has radically changed the business and competitive environments. In doing so.extensive word-of-mouth due to its novelty. one component remains unchanged . Yet while everything is being turned upside down. the innovations are the result of the company's ability to record its vast database of customer information. and a physical presence (tangibility) . They possess critical assets that give them an advantage over pure online start-ups. 56 . established fulfillment systems and infrastructure. while reaping the benefits of lower customer acquisition costs and extended reach. to create new services and content that satisfies customer needs. and differentiating it from other brands. Through extensive and seamless integration. but at the same time.value remains (and always will) the basic building block for every successful brand. Ability to Leverage Offline Brand and Assets Bricks-and-mortar brands are often well positioned to succeed on the Internet. clicks-and-mortar brands are providing customers with true added-value. Relentless Innovation Successful Internet brands are continuously looking for new ways to wrap more value around their core service and offering. In many cases.
The major points of consideration are: • Visibility on the search engines As most of the users use search engines to get information on any subject. Companies are developing Corporate Internet marketing Strategies to fully utilize this interesting as well as efficient medium. Most of the corporate organizations aim at reducing the overall costs of the business and providing new virtual products. The websites have to be very focused to appeal to the specific target audience. PR campaigns and affiliate marketing. 57 . Secure exchange and information overload have led to the development of regional search engines and more sophisticated search engines where you get well organized information that help in Internet Branding and improving visibility. As internet is a dynamic medium. outlines a strategy for online presence. Internet connects us to the world. Mosaic services is one of the major Internet Marketing experts India. garner supplier support and Corporate Internet Branding. This can be done with the help of search engine optimization. constantly changing and evolving itself. reducing the communication time. therefore the Corporate Internet marketing Strategies too need to be changed as per the market requirements. pay-perclick advertising. the design and information on the site should interest him. a few years ago nobody imagined the extent of the involvement of internet in our day to day lives. • Impression on the visitor After the visitor reaches the site. The content should be easy to understand and the site should be user friendly and easily negotiable. Corporate Internet marketing Strategies include maintaining a proper and efficient marketing site along with building customer loyalty.SUMMARY Internet has influenced the way we live and work drastically. New technological advancements give rise to fresh opportunities that have to be tapped to make optimum utilization of the internet. visibility in search engine is the key factor.
11: Different approaches in brand-building The Emerging Brand-building Environment Traditional Approach Monologue Public Mass Anonymous Adversarial One-to-One Approach Dialogue Private Individual Named Collaborative 58 . is the solution to your online marketing needs. An internet marketing campaign and e-commerce strategy help in increasing the conversion after an initial curiosity is aroused in the visitor or the target audience.com to get more information about the services being offered by the internet marketing company. Conclusion The era of Internet brings a totally new approach to building a brand name. Let’s have a glance at the different routes to brand building on the new dynamics of brands.mosaicservice. Visit the site www. These elements help in increasing visitors as well as business from present clients. Table No. Mosaic services. • Retention of the visitor or client. The site must have features that attract repeat visitors.• Conversion of the visitor into a client The goal of any marketing strategy is to convert the visitor into a client.
ongoing research would be necessary to build on the findings of this dissertation. and their respective effectiveness. with the emergence of wireless access and new platforms. Brands and brand-building tools tend to be associated with consumer markets. it that the core concepts and key factors identified that contributes to successful online brands is likely to persist. they are equally important in business markets.Focus primarily on one-off transaction Remote research Manipulative. service approach Customized Given that the commercial Internet only began to take off in 1994. Based on my own research and survey. In addition. Nevertheless. Nevertheless. I had recognized the often used brand promotion method. this dissertation would benefit from complementary in-depth research in the social and psychological dynamics of the Internet and its impact on consumer behavior. 59 . building relationships and satisfying needs. new opportunities and dynamics will emerge as companies develop innovative ways of acquiring customers. an in-depth analysis. there has been a limited time horizon to evaluate the durability of Internet brands. their popularity. Therefore. Having established a strategic perspective on building online brands. would represent an exciting opportunity for further research. approach Standardized Focused on relationship over time Intimate learning “stimulus-response” Genuine needs driven. however. drawing on several case studies from business markets. tools and key factors outlined in this dissertation are also applicable to business markets. As such. the concepts.
12: Popularity and effectiveness of brand building methods Method Banners E-mails to customers Buttons Public relations Magazines Sponsorships Newspapers Radio Direct mail Television E-mail to opt-in lists Outdoor Affiliate programs Popularity 89% 77% 55% 45% 34% 34% 32% 32% 30% 30% 23% 17% 17% Effectiveness (rank from 0.6 3.5 3.0 3.3 60 .4 4.0 to 5.7 4.4 3.3 3.0) 2.1 3.2 4.8 2.4 3.3 2.Table No.
5 1 0.1: Popularity of methods 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Banners E-mails to customers Buttons Public relations Magazines Sponsorships Newspapers Radio Direct mail Television E-mail to opt-in lists Outdoor Affiliate programs Figure c.Figure c.5 2 Banners E-mails to customers Buttons Public relations Magazines Sponsorships Newspapers Radio Direct mail Television E-mail to opt-in lists 1.5 4 3.2: Effectiveness of methods 4.5 3 2.5 0 Outdoor Affiliate programs 61 .
com. Make sure that the availability of goods and variability of categories are ensured. to enhance awareness and brand image. company must ensure the privacy of customer. or eBay. or AOL. For instance: sending e-mails to a regular patron informing about goods available in which he or she may be interested. . 62 . instead of viral chain-mails and bulk-mails.E-mail to op-in list: bulk-mails are sent to an interested group of customers only. Build a simple website with humble graphic and accessible info. It is the way has been chosen by many successful ones like Gap. Site must be easily used and navigated. and leads to nothing but frustration of customers. The result is website is too slow to load.From the above table. Therefore. company should increase the use of: . When a customer posts Further.com of building a website that requires a powerful computer configuration and a wide Internet runway. Supply relevant and accurate info. .Public relation and outdoor activities. Avoid the mistake by Boo. it is clear that some usually used promotion methods like banners and email showed little effect towards customers. When using credit card as the most popular means of payment. His or her mail to ask some question with regard to product info search. Beware o hackers at the top most level. there are some more suggestions from this study to cyber companies regarding how to create a strong brand name on Internet: Have a credible logistics with acceptable quality of goods and service. Amazon.com.Affiliate programs: with other already-recognised online companies like Yahoo!. feedback must be given within 48 hours.
track the performances of banner ads and allow them to analyze the ads placed. Targeting is generally done by the pattern of past behavior. there is a need of adopting industry edged solutions of advertising. income group etc. SCOPE OF THE SYSTEM The brands have to be launched with full bang. Because of its particular risk and configuration. The agencies that run campaigns for the advertisers. tracking. By this means. 63 . cigarette and alcohol. an online company should focus on small value items like books.Don’t try to dig on valuable items like antiquities. browser. and analysis. Following this practice gives recognition to the brands that are newly introduced. The banner advertising consists of serving the particular ad to a relevant user. The banner advertisement has the potential for effective targeting. The range of interactive banner advertisement campaign keeps on enticing the viewers and achieves responses. on the basis of profile. connection. The advertisers. They avail the services of an online ad agency and run banner advertisement campaigns. Today. garments and footwear. The Internet users come across web pages that have relevant content to satisfy their need. etc. page rank and SERP listings. The ad campaigns consist of the interactive ads that are designed on the basis of the products and services. consider banner advertisement as the first effort towards a brand building regime. The prospective customers obtain more information by click through and banner ads are also served them over the screen. who plan to launch their brands. It is made possible by replacing them quickly and efficiently. The advertisers have to modify the campaign and withdraw non-performing ads. data. This inclination for information brings them to web pages of the publishers with good site metrics. luxury. or real estate. when the competition in the marketplace is rising. consumable. upholstery. the business enterprises start establishing a place for their brands. demography.
Internet bookings have surpassed GDS hotel bookings.1%).8% (24. The newly launched brands get an edge in the industry after these effective services. This CRS distribution ratio shows rapid growth in the Internet channel.8% in Q1 2007). occupancy rates in North America fell by 2.2% (34. Each year since 2004. and are looking for new and innovative ways to generate incremental online revenues. There was a further acceleration of these trends in Q1 2008: Internet bookings comprised 47% of CRS bookings (41. especially on the local level. Internet Marketing Strategies Surveys show that up to 84% of travel research and planning in the U. and a declining voice channel. So how does this apply to major hotel chains? Over the past 5-6 years. low-cost Internet revenue opportunities.S. The Internet has become the single most important travel planning and distribution channel in hospitality. In the first half of 2008. a flat GDS channel.4%.9%. in Europe by 1. over 40% of all revenues in hospitality will be generated by the Internet. will help weather the economic storm and complement their traditional revenue sources and brand contributions. 64 . the advertisers obtain useful leads and take them into sales process or lead conversion process.1% in Q1) and voice 20. In 2009.SUGGESTION In this way. compared to the same period a year ago Franchisees are starting to realize that the hotel chains’ e-Commerce departments cannot possibly capture all available online revenue opportunities for their property. is conducted via the Web (e-Marketer/TIA). GDS was 32. most of the leading hotel brands have become proficient national and international e-Marketers. and have learned how to build brand equity on the Web. as described here.3% and in the Asia Pacific by 3. The climate of the current economic environment is forcing franchised hotels to become more involved in their brand’s marketing strategies and seek untapped. Hubs believes that launching a robust Local Internet Marketing Strategy. and another third of hotel bookings will be influenced by the Internet but done offline.
concerts and performances • Local group and social event planning • Local search – over a third of all searches via the major search engines like Go ogle. sports events. festivals.Due to the nature of online travel consumers’ purchasing habits and the way search engines index and present content on the Web. Yahoo. MSN is local in character • Online yellow pages and directories • Links and sponsorships on directories and portals • Email marketing and sponsorship opportunities • Local feeder market and key customer segment initiative 65 . there are many online revenue opportunities at the property-level that derive from local audiences and markets. These opportunities fall outside the scope and “bandwidth” of the major hotel brands’ Internet marketing efforts: • Local events that generate overnight stays: county fairs.
amazon.com www.ey.com www.com www.com www.atkearney.com www.com www.ebusinessforum.com www.cdnow. In which the following websites were employed to be used: www.com www.com www.com 66 .com www.com www.BIBLIOGRAPHY World Wide Web The Internet was used to collect information on Dotcom industry.ebay.boo.durlacher.economist.com www.ac.forrester.com www.bain.com www.gap.bcg.com www.gapinc.businessweek.
com www.pwcglobal.interbrand.com www.yahoo.www.nua.com www.mckinseyquarterly.com www.com Magazines Monthly business magazines in Chennai: The Economist The Wall Street Journal The Week The Financial Times Forbes Business Week Sales and Marketing Management Computer World Far Eastern Economic Review Advertising Age 67 .
D “Managing Brand Equity: Capitalizing on the Value of a Brand Name”. R.. P. D.. “Building Strong Brands” Clifton. “Marketing Management –the Millennium Edition” Aaker. E. Aaker. “The Future of Brands” 68 . & Maugham.Books Kotler.
You are a: Under graduate Graduate Post graduate 3.Appendix – Questionnaire 1. What best describes your age? 15-19 years 20-24 years 25 years & above 2. Are you a Computer and Internet Literate? Yes No 4. What is your profession? Student Computer engineer Faculty Businessman Others 69 .
What are you usually doing on Internet? Reading and writing email Searching for general information Surfing Reading Hobbies Searching for product information Travel information Doing your business / work Entertainment Purchasing Stock quotes Job search Chatting Doing your homework / assignment Auctions Banking Trading stocks 70 .SECTION B 1.
2.com Yahoo.com Gap. How long you usually spend on Internet Less than 7 hours per week 8-14 hours per week 15-28 hours per week 3.com Boo. Have you ever carried out your business transaction(s) on Internet? Yes No 4. If yes.com eBay. Do you want to come back to those companies for further transactions? Yes No 71 . name the company that you dealt with Amazon.com CDnow.com Others 5.
According to you.6. what is/are the most important element(s) for a good online company? Brand Cost Convenience Means of payment Variability of items Promotion & discount Others 7. According to you. what is the killer of Web brand loyalty? Outdated information Slow response time Site downtime Poor customer service 72 . According to you. what is the key to Web brand loyalty? Ease of use and navigation Fast response time Familiarity Relevant and accurate information 8.
9.com 11.com Gap.com CDnow eBay. Rank six below companies from 1 to 6 in order of the most to the least recognized brand Yahoo!com Amazon.com Boo. Do you usually read chain mail or bulk-mail? Yes No 73 . Things you want to buy online Consumable Luxury Interior Garments & footwear Vehicles Real estate Antiquities Others 10.
What kind of advertisement normally attracts your attention? Chain mail & bulk-mail Direct mail Television Newspapers Radio Buttons Banners Ads featuring gifts and discounts 13.12. If you wish to add any other remark. please do so ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………… ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 74 .
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