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Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy

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Cyberbranding: Brand Building in the Digital Economy


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  • Copyright 2001
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-089710-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-089710-7

The first complete framework for integrating offline and online marketing!

  • Step-by-step processes for reengineering any brand!
  • Achieving true synergies between online and offline brands
  • Includes interviews with the world's leading Internet branding executives

The Internet has changed all the business rules you live by–especially the rules for branding your products, services, and organization. Cyberbranding doesn't merely show you how the rules have changed: it presents a complete framework for branding that works now–and for years to come. Drawing on her extensive experience as a marketing consultant–and on interviews with many of the world's leading Internet branding executives–Deirdre Breakenridge answers these and other crucial questions:

  • How do you move your brand online without compromising the values it already holds in the "real" world?
  • How can you re-engineer an existing brand in the wake of the Internet revolution?
  • How can you create a new brand that leverages the full power of the Web?

The Internet. It isn't easy money. It isn't an excuse to forget the fundamentals. But for marketers willing to work hard, and work intelligently, it is the brand-building opportunity of a lifetime.

In Cyberbranding, Deirdre Breakenridge shows how to use the Internet to build brands–and customer relationships–of remarkable depth and power. Drawing on the Internet's most impressive success stories–and its cautionary tales of disaster–she shows how to:

  • Develop the vision of your online brand
  • Identify your true online audience
  • Persuade your customers by empowering them
  • Personalize without becoming intrusive
  • Make the most of online and offline research
  • Use the much-maligned banner ad as a key branding tool
  • Integrate Internet-based and off-line branding activities
  • Appeal more effectively to today's multi-tasking consumer
  • Draw the repeat traffic you're looking for
  • Create affiliate marketing programs that work

With Cyberbranding you can master lessons others spent billions to learn-and build 21st century brands worth billions to own.

Whether you're a business leader, strategist, marketing professional, or public relations specialist, Cyberbranding gives you an action plan for strengthening your brand online and off–and leveraging it for maximum competitive advantage.

"Finally, a book that covers all the important aspects of Internet marketing!"

–Chuck Riegel, EVP Worldwide Marketing, Cybercash

From the Foreword:
"...Smart CyberBranding is not about building the next Amazon or Yahoo or eBay... The new phase of the Internet revolution is about how businesses–often derisively referred to as "old economy" companies–take advantage of the new medium to vastly improve their bottom lines. And Breakenridge has done her part to point them in the right direction."

–Thomas J. DeLoughry, Former Executive Editor, Internet World

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Marketing: Making the Transition to the Internet

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Click here for a sample chapter for this book: 0130897108.pdf

Table of Contents

1.The Power of Branding.

A Quick Branding Story—Yahoo! Another Speedy Brand Amazon.com. The Historical Brand Promise. Brands That Evolve to Stand the Test of Time. Brands Influence Our Behavior. Brands with No Boundaries. Global Brands and Cultural Issues. Summing Up the Ingredients for the Global Brand. Wall Street Endorses Branding. Brands and Technology Evolve Together.

2. Making the Transition to the Internet.

A Transition to Support the Brand. The Ongoing Battle Over Internet Commitment. Growing Statistics Reinforce the Commitment. Devoting Dollars to the Internet. The Internet Is a Powerful Piece of the Branding Campaign. Industries Taking the Plunge. Internet Issues Turn into Internet Opportunities. The Smooth Transition of the Brand.

3. The Impact of the Internet on the Brand.

The Components of the Cyberbrand. New Levels to Which Cyberbranding Takes a Brand. More Ways to “Think” Internet in Support of the Brand. Internal and External Dimensions of the Brand. Cyberbranding Theories. The Cyberbrander's Checklist.

4. The Emergence of the Cyberbrand.

Consumer Trust and cyberbranding Go Hand in Hand. The Differentiating Factors of the Cyberbrand. The Benefits of Having a Well-Known Traditional Brand. Consumers Care about Brands Online. Tricks from the New Kids on the Block. Convergence of the Traditional Brand and the Cyberbrand.

5. Using Technology Properly to Cyberbrand.

Cyberbranding Trial and Error of the 1990s. Misconception Number 1: With the Internet. There's a Worldwide Audience. Misconception Number 2: Having a 24/7 Web Site Allows a Company to Pay Less Attention to Consumer Needs. Misconception Number 3: Launching a Site Means Web Surfers Will Find It. Misconception Number 4: The Web Creates an Equal Opportunity for the Little Guy to Compete with the Giants of the Industry. Misconception Number 5: Powerful Graphics Are the Key to a “Killer” Web Site. The Simple Cyberlessons Learned.

6. Web Site Design to Enhance the Cyberbrand.

A Web Site Is Not about a Company. Number 1: Ease-of-Use Principle. Number 2: Provide Up-to-Date Information. Number 3: Faster Than a Speeding Bullet…. The Importance of a Fast Download. Number 4: Using Attractive Design Consistent with Company Image and Audience Appeal. Number 5: Providing the Right Content. Cyber Do's.


7. Start with the Organization and the Cyberbrand Vision.

Vision beyond the Entrepreneurial Idea. Avoiding the “Rushed” Vision . Developing the Vision through Offline versus Online Comparison. Call in the Coalition to Guide the Vision. Cyberbrand Visions That Exist Postlaunch.

8. Empowered Online Audiences.

The Makings of an Empowered Audience. Offering Additional Information to Build. Relationships . Personalization to Build Relationships. Customization to Build Relationships. Building Relationships through Incentive Programs.

9. Cyberstrategies to Optimize Audience Response.

Move beyond the Search Engine. Institute Contagious Viral Marketing Campaigns. Get Serious about E-mail with Opt-In Programs. Be Sensitive to Online Audiences and Privacy Issues.

10. Persuasion in Cyberspace.

Powerful Persuasive Tactics . Persuasion in Its Infancy Stage. Beyond the Traditional Endorsement. Technology Intensifies Persuasion. The Fine Line between Persuasion and Invasion. Varying Levels of Acceptance of Persuasion.


11. Traditional Research Aids in Cyberspace.

The Value of Market Research. Traditional Research and the Cyberbrand. Transformation of the Traditional Method. Questionnaires. Transformation of the Traditional Method. Focus Groups.

12. Online Research—Leave It Up to the Technology Experts.

When to Turn to Online Methods. Tradition and the Internet—The Best of Both Worlds. Benefiting the Brand and the Consumer. Extending Beyond Offline Limits…. Research—Finding the Middle Ground.

13. The System of Web Tracking Analysis.

The Phases of Surveillance and “The System”. When Too Much Data Leads to Paralysis. How Research Guides the Branding Campaign. Understanding Tracking Measurements. Issues and Opportunities with Professional Tracking Software. Turning the Tables on the Trackers.

14. Ethics on the Internet.

Broadcast Ethics of the Past. Ethical Beginnings on the Internet. Privacy, Fraud, and Other Internet Issues. Industries Developing Ethics. A Cyberbrand's Road to Ethics.


15. Changing Market Landscapes.

Five Seconds of Stability and Fifty-Five Seconds of Change. Lessons from the Heavy Hitters. How Cyberbrands Are Gaining Customer Share. Standing Apart from the Dot-Com Crowd.

16. Banner Ad Sustenance in Cyberspace.

Banner Ad Survival. Banner Ads Serve a Purpose. Banner Ad Basics. Elements of Design. Questions to Ask in Banner Ad Placement. Banner Ad Campaign Results.

17. Affiliate Marketing for the Future.

Moving Beyond the Traditional Model. Setting Up a Winning Program. Implementing a Program That Attracts Affiliates. Working with Affiliates to Maximize Results. Jazzing Up Programs for the Future.

18. Driving Traffic on the Cyberhighway.

Communicating to Suit the New-Economy Lifestyle. Using More Vehicles for More Reach and Greater Impact. Getting Cyberattention the “Traditional” Way. Moving Out of the Box.


19. Public Relations—Is There Room for Tradition in Cyberspace?

PR of the Past Updates in the Twenty-First Century. Proven PR Techniques Are Still Apparent. From Static to Interactive. Know the Media in Cyberspace. PR Comes Full Circle.

20. PR Cybertools for Cyberspeed.

Retiring Outdated PR Resources. Updating PR Tools Cyberstyle. Using Basic Cybertools—Media Guides Move Online. More Cyber Tools—Editorial Calendars; Clipping and Monitoring Services.

21. Relationship-Building Tactics with the Media.

A Quick PR Relationship-Building Test. First Things First—Nail Down the Relationship-Building Basics.

22. Best PR Practices.

Telltale Signs of PR Fluff. PR Accountability Demonstrated by Professionals. Best-Case Scenarios to Generate Interest. Helpful PR Hints for Successful Campaigns.

23. Cyberbranding—Beyond Trial and Tribulation.
Appendix A.
Appendix B.



It has become fashionable in recent months to beat up on the Internet evangelists who told us how brands like eToys.com and Furniture.com were going to make the world forget about Toys "r" Us and Ethan Allen. The notion that young, aggressive entrepreneurs were going to change the rules of business and steal the bread off the tables of traditional companies was too good a story to ignore. Netscape's Marc Andreessen and Yahoo's Jerry Yang and David Filo were poster children for the new era. Stock options promised to turn even low-level programmers into millionaires.

During my four years as an editor of Internet World magazine, our publication was one of several voices to warn that the Wall Street rollercoaster ride would ultimately hit a big descent. We saw fundamental challenges related to customer acquisition costs, low-margin merchandise, poor customer service, and the logistical nightmares of shipping dining room sets and other products across the country. But still the IPOs kept coming and every wild success drove more half-baked business plans into the public markets.

Nearly a year after the April, 2000 NASDAQ correction, almost as much ink and as many screen pixels have been devoted to chronicling the collapses as were spent on feeding the hype. But many of those who've joined the Internet backlash overlook the fact that the network has changed the business world significantly since the Mosaic Web browser emerged from the University of Illinois supercomputer center in 1993.

As Deirdre Breakenridge so aptly chronicles in the pages that follow, every business needs to have an Internet strategy. The Net may no longer be the province of instant millionaires, but it is definitely a channel through which tens of millions—possibly hundreds of millions—of people will be exposed to your company and its brands.

Brand managers who once concerned themselves with finding a jingle to imprint on the American consciousness through 30-second radio and TV spots now have the opportunity to hold the attention of potential consumers much longer and to vastly improve their impressions of a brand. The new challenge is to come up with the tools, contests, or other Internet content that leaves the potential consumer satisfied and coming back for more. The many examples of smart cyberbranding that Breakenridge cites range from Benjamin Moore's paint calculator to Pampers' parenting institute to Nabisco's arcade, and they deserve the close attention of anyone trying to use the Internet to raise brand awareness.

Each illustrates the Net's ability to grab the attention of interested consumers—those leaning into their computer screens with mouse in hand rather than those leaning back on their sofas in front of the television. While some just want to be entertained, others are in search of information to guide them in purchasing decisions or bigger lifetime decisions. The brands they associate with helping them achieve their goals are likely to benefit.

Determining just what you need to do to carry your brand into cyberspace is the hard part, of course. As Breakenridge points out, you still need to know your audience and the best approach for reaching it. Successful Internet brands like Yahoo! and Amazon have demonstrated the power of personalization—knowing enough about their customers to offer them the information and products most likely to fit with their interests. Both companies have also demonstrated the importance of having solid plans for building out your Web activities to ensure that customer demands do not get beyond the levels of service that your technology or your people can provide.

In the end, however, smart cyberbranding is not about building the next Amazon or Yahoo! or eBay. Current market conditions all but guarantee that no pure-play Internet start-up will achieve their phenomenal levels of brand awareness anytime soon. The new phase of the Internet revolution is about how businesses—often derisively referred to as "old economy" companies—take advantage of the new medium to vastly improve their bottom lines. And Breakenridge has done her part to point them in the right direction.

Thomas J. DeLoughry
Westwood, New Jersey
January 2001


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