Ebrands: Building an Internet Business at Breakneck Speed

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9780875849294: Ebrands: Building an Internet Business at Breakneck Speed

This book contains essential strategies for building powerful eBrands. At the turn of the millennium, myriad companies have filled the Web with more than 800 million pages of content. Overwhelmed by choice and starved for time, customers are casting their clicks with brands they trust. The companies that win their wallets will be those that invest now in building premier electronic brands, or 'eBrands'. While scores of books have promoted various Internet marketing tactics and Web site design rules, none has provided the necessary strategic context in which true eBrand builders make names for themselves. Through thoughtful analysis of the overall marketing strategies of six Web innovators - Yahoo!, CDNow, iVillage, Onsale, Barnesandnoble.com, and Fogdog Sports - veteran Silicon Valley marketing executive Phil Carpenter takes a hard look at how a core set of companies have pushed to develop powerful Internet brands. Carpenter takes readers backstage in his in-depth interviews with more than forty company executives and industry experts. Recounting the successes, failures, and fears of eBrand pioneers, the author assesses the opportunities and vulnerabilities of his case study companies compared to those of their on- and offline competitors. His analysis shows how several 'pure play' Internet ventures have established brand awareness and credibility, how an offline leader has boldly asserted itself in this new medium, and how a start-up has battled to distinguish its brand among the many deeper-pocketed players. Carpenter argues that Internet contenders must expand their notion of branding far beyond such assets as logotypes, trademarks, and brand names to include programs for building brand awareness, forging alliances, and cultivating customer loyalty, to name a few. Through these bedrock best practices distilled from the experiences of the online elite, even a dot.com nobody can become a cyberbranded star. For anyone with a stake in ebusiness - from CEOs to entrepreneurs, from marketers to customer service and PR specialists, and from venture capitalists to financial analysts - "eBrands" will prove a thoughtful guide to creating truly durable brands in the electronic marketplace.

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Review:

The Internet and brands are probably the two hottest business topics of the moment. So Phil Carpenter's timely book eBrands, which looks at building brands on the Internet, scores a double whammy on the business groove-o-meter. Carpenter, director of corporate marketing for Silicon Valley start-up Remarq, foregoes the theoretical, business-school approach in favor of the more easily absorbed case-study method, with detailed analysis, interviews, and behind-the-scenes peeks at six Internet businesses that have already established themselves successfully as brands. They include Yahoo!, Fogdog Sports, iVillage, and Barnesandnoble.com.

Carpenter's basic argument is: "In an environment characterized by extreme choice, perplexed customers will turn to the familiar. They will establish relationships with specific Internet brands and do business with them repeatedly." The book is thoroughly researched. In fact, it's amazing Carpenter got his subjects to share so openly and honestly, not only their learning but also the details of their mistakes. For instance, he writes of online CD retailer CDNow's customer acquisition program, "CDNow is already paying an average of $45 per person for each new customer.... this puts even more pressure on CDNOW to wring greater value from online shoppers".

Carpenter makes much of the point that a brand is far more than a logo or marquee and includes everything the company does, from publicity to answering the phone to order fulfillment. While it's an argument that will be old hat to anybody with a marketing background, it's a point well made for those coming from a more technical or general business environment--as many net entrepreneurs tend to do. This is an excellent marketing primer for anyone who needs to know how to make e-business work. --Alex Benady, Amazon.co.uk

From the Back Cover:

"eBrands provides insightful case studies of some of the most interesting Internet brands. If you are new to Internet marketing, this book is an excellent place to begin. If you already work in the Internet world, Carpenter brings new perspectives to an ever-changing environment."
—Julie Wainwright, CEO, Pets.com

At a time when sheer choice is overwhelming consumers, strong brands will be what separate Web winners from losers. eBrands unveils the marketing insights your company needs to emerge on the top of the heap."
—Kevin Harvey, General Partner, Benchmark Capital

"Carpenter does an excellent job of outlining the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to building strong Internet brands. eBrands is the perfect primer for anyone trying to grapple with the new economics of marketing where brand potential is rewarded at the expense of short-term profits."
—Jay Walker, Founder and Vice Chairman, priceline.com

"Carpenter reveals both the strategies and the tactics necessary for forging powerful Internet brands. Web start-ups and industrial incumbents alike will benefit from his analysis of innovative e-commerce and content companies."
—Robert Allen, President and COO, Modem Media

TOC: Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. iVillage
2. CDnow
3. Barnesandnoble.com
4. Yahoo!
5. Fogdog Sports
6. Onsale
Conclusion
Notes
Index
About the Author AUTHORBIO: Phil Carpenter is Director of Marketing for Critical Path, a global provider of Internet messaging and collaboration solutions. He lives with his family in Redwood Shores, CA. END

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