The objective of a branding campaign is to impress your firm's brand identity on potential customers, not necessarily to entice users to visit your site or to capture an immediate sale (although both of these may result from a branding-oriented banner). Because of this very specific objective, branding campaigns are more appropriate for certain phases of your business's growth than for others. How do you determine whether to launch a branding campaign? Here are some of the most common reasons to do so.
Use a Branding Campaign if Your Business or Product Is New
Branding builds name recognition for your company or product, and there's no better time to do this than right at the beginning. By having a powerful branding campaign in place when the doors open or the site launches - or both - you'll have a jump-start on future marketing initiatives (and perhaps on your competition as well).
Use a Branding Campaign if Your Business Is Developing an Online Presence
If you have a traditional offline business and are now moving into e-commerce, your new venture will require some branding of its own. Particularly if your offline business relies heavily on brick-and-mortar brand associations, you'll need to invoke different - but equally compelling - associations for your online brand. Consider clothing retailer Lands' End, whose brand historically has been more about sturdy, practical, and classic apparel than convenience or immediacy (the products were available by mail-order catalog only). Now the company's site, which has live online service and virtual fitting rooms, is recognized as a leader in e-commerce, expanding the brand emphasis from practicality to cutting-edge, customer-focused service.
Use a Branding Campaign if You Need to Set Yourself Apart from Close Competitors
One result of effective branding is that it gives the impression that you are the biggest and best player in your market. If you have stiff competition, some savvy branding may be in order. Just think of the fierce competition among the many pet-related e-commerce sites: Pets.com, Petopia, PETsMART.com, Petstore.com, and others. The sites that haven't built strong brand identities either by leveraging their brick-and-mortar reputation (PETsMART) or by playing up online convenience (as in Pets.com's tag line "Because pets can't drive") will not succeed.
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