From the Inside Flap
It has become fashionable in recent months to beat up on the Internet evangelists who told us how brands like eToys and Furniture 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 millionspossibly hundreds of millionsof 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 consumersthose 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 personalizationknowing 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 businessesoften derisively referred to as "old economy" companiestake 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
From the Back Cover
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 byespecially 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 nowand for years to come. Drawing on her extensive experience as a marketing consultantand on interviews with many of the world's leading Internet branding executivesDeirdre 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 brandsand customer relationshipsof remarkable depth and power. Drawing on the Internet's most impressive success storiesand its cautionary tales of disastershe 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 offand leveraging it for maximum competitive advantage. "Finally, a book that covers all the important aspects of Internet marketing!" Chuck Riegel, EVP Worldwide Marketing, CybercashFrom 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 businessesoften derisively referred to as "old economy" companiestake 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