The International Writers Magazine:Marketing Issues
Branding: The 2006 Corporate Challenge
is losing its power as now "free" is in. Global competition
is so fierce and the labor-cost disparity is so wide that most
bargain pricing is no longer effective, as there is always some
other supplier to offer a product for far less -- or even for
Imagine: One morning
you see roads and highways everywhere but you are totally unaware of
the invention of a car. Holding just a wheel in your hand, you ponder
some vague possibilities as to how the million miles of roads and highways
might be used. That's exactly where we are today with respect to the
So far, there are flashy Web sites, and there are e-mail addresses.
The situation is primitive. This is just like having a wheel in your
hand and being totally oblivious to the finer workings of an automobile
-- never mind a tractor, a forty-foot trailer or a bullet train.
Corporations are in need of quick and serious shock therapy to prod
them out of the complacency of owning a few flashy Web sites. The exuberance
that attended these early achievements fueled the false notion in many
corporate boardrooms that their firms had become "the master players
of global e-commerce
Let's face it; most organizations were able to perpetrate this misconception
because they had a few Web pages linking to the Net. That won't work
anymore. E-commerce has become vast, and it demands a deeper understanding
of how to capitalize on this freely available trillion-dollar public
It is time for a reality check.
Some 10,000 Web sites of the top businesses around the world were analyzed
in a recent study by ABC Namebank on the issues of cyber-branding. Each
was measured on its distinct personality and visibility, as well as
its value to the end user. The study was divided into two parts: the
timeline of initial adoptability and the bottom line of returns and
profitability. The results were alarming. Following are some key points
for the corporate world to take to heart.
Companies scored very high during the adoptability phase, with most
successful at quickly creating a modest Web site. Their efforts to strive
for increased readership were effective.
However, most continue to struggle to ensure minimum hits for their
online banner advertising. Strengthening their e-commerce image is now
becoming a major challenge for many corporate communications departments.
The ability to apply sophisticated e-commerce models to understand the
precise nature and the rules of profitability was found to be extremely
poor in the ABC Namebank analysis.
Thousands of companies relied on the same few overused models and fell
flat. As with e-commerce, in general, only the best -- the top names
in a category -- will survive. In this race for the top, millions will
sink to the bottom.
Surprisingly, the Web sites of some big operations were lost in the
depths. The road can be perilous for e-commerce players, as they move
by the thousands in a straight-line queue, anxiously waiting to get
Following are the top two reasons for most e-commerce failures, according
to the study.
of a Selling Proposition
There are millions of e-commerce sites selling millions of basic products
and services. So what? Commoditization will certainly kill the business,
as some sales are made only by sheer accident.
It's one thing to compete selling screwdrivers, but to offer advanced
assembly ideas, with a screwdriver provided as one of the essential
tools, is a better selling proposition.
"Cheap" is losing its power as now "free" is in.
Global competition is so fierce and the labor-cost disparity is so wide
that most bargain pricing is no longer effective, as there is always
some other supplier to offer a product for far less -- or even for free.
Most corporations are still stuck in the print-advertising mentality,
and they see their selling proposition somewhere in the middle of an
old-fashioned glossy brochure.
The traditional promotional model with its typical graphic overdose
is often replaced on the e-commerce front with animation overload. This
approach replaces all the intelligence from the actual proposition with
little, or useless, information, giving sharp deal hunters little motivation
to act or to come back for another visit.
Any Web site or portal -- or any e-commerce strategy -- is simply doomed
from the start without a Five Star Standard of Naming.
Ninety-nine percent of e-commerce sites are unsearchable. This means
that unless a potential customer remembers all the twisted spellings
and all the added differentiators of a URL -- including dashes and slashes
-- and is also aware of whether the suffix is dot-com or dot-net, access
is close to impossible.
When a site is lost in oblivion, it's doomed, and the e-commerce game
is over. Period. With millions of sites being added all the time around
the world, there is much to be said about the practice of using simple,
unique, one-of-a-kind, globally protected identities. This requirement
demands the application of a Five Star Standard.
If your company is serious about e-commerce, you should formulate a
management task force to review your approach as a critical boardroom-level
Bring open-minded IT teams closer to marketing operations. Seriously
explore your selling proposition and image-positioning strategy, and
examine your current URLs' naming with an eye to any related difficulties
with getting search-engine exposure. Bring in some fresh expertise
to assess the issues. Old approach will not work.
Professionally audit the liabilities of your URLs, and have them analyzed
using some proper standards. Nothing less then an open debate in search
of a perfect solution will work.
Welcome to 2006.
Naseem Javed, author of Naming for Power is recognized as a world authority
on corporate image, global name identities and cyber branding issues.
Javed founded ABC Namebank, a consultancy he established a quarter century
ago, and conducts executive workshops on cutting ideas on image building
and achieveing higher visibility.
Future of Adult Branding
Naseem Javed on XXX.com
Is Your Brand Worth Billions?
Naseem Javed on brand values
Naseem Javed on the smell of money
all rights reserved - all comments are the writers' own responsibiltiy
- no liability accepted by hackwriters.com or affiliates.