The Brand Stands Alone
Don't mess with a good thing when establishing your on-line identity
If you already have a successful brand, let it work for you on the Web.
That's the advice Peter Winter, president of Cox Interactive Media, gave
at Stanford University's recent Publishing on the Web workshop in Monterey,
When companies first began to research how to represent themselves on-line,
some spent a great deal of money building and promoting new brands separate
from already successful, recognizable products, Winter says For instance,
instead of relying on its powerful titles such as Timeand Fortune,Time
Warner spent millions of dollars developing Pathfinder.com, which has been
criticized as "unwieldy" in its attempt to combine too many disparate
properties into one unfamiliar identity.
American Airlines learned that lesson the hard way. The airline originally
branded its Web site Access, invoking the image of an on-line travel agent,
and gave it the domain name www.americanair.com. The resulting identity
was too complicated for customers, says John Samuel, American's managing
director of interactive marketing, in an article in Internet Businessmagazine.
The airline realized it was a "dumb mistake" to try to create
a new identity on-line, he says, and subsequently rebranded itself AA.com,
a more familiar handle for travelers.
by Stacey King
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.