Long Live (Web) Branding

Long Live (Web) Branding

According to an article by Debbie MacInnis in the July issue of Darwin Magazine, critiquing "Forget What You Knew About Branding. The Web Changes Everything," she notes that the biggest area of marketing subject to false notions is branding. The author notes several myths about online branding about which she proposes "setting the record straight."

Myth#1: Branding is Advertising, and Advertising is Branding

Brand meaning comes from many sources, and advertising is only one. Brand meaning comes from messages that are consistent across time and medium. To say that branding is advertising is to say that New York City is the Empire State Building, says the writer.

Myth #2: Branding is Loyalty

A poorly identified brand concept or a poorly executed one will surely cause consumers to defect. Defection does not mean that branding itself is bad-perhaps that its initial conception was ill conceived or its execution has failed..

Myth #3: Branding Changes Consumer Behavior

Branding cannot change consumer behavior. In fact, the causal logic is opposite-knowledge of consumer behavior drives branding decisions..

Myth #4: Because a Company Focuses on Price It's Not Branding

She says this is nonsense. For many brands, their meaning is rooted in associations like "economical" or "low price."

Myth #5: Because a Brand Fails, Branding is Bad or Dead

There are many, many reasons why brands fail:
- not competitively priced;
- advertising isn't sufficient, is confusing, is inconsistent, or misplaced;
- a market where there is insufficient need for the product;
- quality isn't on par with that of competitors' similarly positioned products;
- missed the big market growth period;
- under-financed;
- a PR disaster;
- weren't in tune with what consumers wanted, or how they shop;
- blindsided by competitors who offered more for less, The failure of a brand should not suggest that branding is an archaic concept.

Myth #6: The Web Makes Branding More Difficult

There is no necessary reason why this should be so. Web brands, like all brands, have product and service attributes, price, distribution methods and issues, logos, names, and any number of other tactics (ads, endorsements) to convey what the brand stands for. The colors and design of the web-site, its ease of navigation, the FAQ's, the presence of customer comments, the presence of advertising for other companies, the extent to which check out is hassle-free, among many other elements all convey information about what the web-based brand means.

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