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Chapter 7. E-branding—The Emergence of New Global Brands

Chapter 7. E-branding—The Emergence of New Global Brands

Note

Everything has been thought of before, but the problem is to think of it again.

Johann W. von Goethe


The emergence of the Internet as a vehicle through which organizations can transact has been remarkable. The creation of a truly new sales channel occurs so rarely that, when it does, the impact of the new channel upon staid industries, where many companies may have become complacent in a status quo environment, can be extremely radical. The key to organizational survival is, of course, to be aware of change and to be flexible enough to react to change in all aspects of the organization's value chain. The ultimate goal is to ensure that the customers, at all times, receive added value from the product, goods, or services from the company with which they are engaging, at all points of contact and at service levels that surpass their expectations.

Note

Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator and change has its enemies.

Robert F. Kennedy


So far in this book we have examined three positional dimensions upon which successful e-commerce strategies are based: technology, market, and service leadership. However, any of these three leadership traits alone is not sufficient for success—an obsessive focus on one or more of these traits to the exclusion of the others can lead to disastrous brand positioning. For example, there is a temptation for organizations to focus on their technology and service levels—Do we have the correct hardware, software, and bandwidth? Does it interact with our infrastructure correctly? Is our service level adequate? What is the cost basis of this service level? Alternatively, organizations become obsessive with the mass-customization, one-to-one marketing dimension of this channel, focusing their marketing vision through the data mining. In order to understand the importance and relative position of these online issues, we must see them in a larger context, that of the organization's overall strategy, one of the key pillars of which is a corporation's brand and its branding strategy—an issue that IBM's CEO Louis Gerstner thinks "will dominate business thinking, for a decade or more." [1]

[1] IBM Executive Conference on Information Systems, Latin America, Miami, FL, September 1, 1998.

In this chapter we propose that key to the creation of a successful e-commerce strategy is the careful crafting of a balanced branding strategy, of which we identified four major variants: brand creator, brand follower, brand reinforcement, and brand repositioning.

Figure 7.1. Internet Branding Strategies



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