20 Sep Avoid oblivion by choosing a brand name that dominates
Today’s hot topic is Google and the search-engine ranking of brand identities. All businesses, whether big or small, are trying to dominate the accessibility of their corporate identity, images and brand names, mostly via cyber mediums, fluid Web sites, new cyber branding and digital domain-name management techniques.
For this reason, cyber-image corporations like Yahoo, Amazon, E-Trade, Google, eBay, and millions of other successful operations worldwide do not conjure up the images of overpowering logos on skyscrapers, specific logo designs with color identities, taglines with gigantic billboards or repetitive visual advertising campaigns. Rather, they are almost invisible in the traditional corporate identity arena.
These newly emerging cyber giants are quietly working, humming and residing in our laptops and other gadgets snug and warm in our pockets. And who knows if these are the same companies that crawl out from our computers in the middle of the night and wash up our dishes, too. Today, corporate accessibility is built for global cyber economies using search-engine techniques as a new standard because it is fast, user friendly and extremely cheap.
Bigger images seem sluggish
Big business images of the past were of status- and symbol-driven corporations projecting their power. They plastered their names and logos at every corner, offering a limited-access, 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday format while appearing formal, boring and, at times, unaffordable.
But in cyber-identity domination, a corporation provides interactive, 24/7, user-friendly service that focuses on being extremely economical and on constantly emulating a corporate presence in a viral formation. Today, the bigger the image, the more sluggish, complicated and unreliable it appears.
Cyber corporations, under the new rules, are developing sophisticated Web presence and working on global portalization of the entire corporation. In this major shift, there is a serious decline of the traditional collateral material that corporations produced under the old rules of corporate identities, intricate bulky brochures, thick catalogues and colorful annual reports.
Rather, all imaging and information is being transferred to user-friendly, sophisticated, fluid sites where information changes constantly and services are available at bullet speed. Corporations that are small, agile and have open access are now the winners.
Corporations practicing the old corporate identity rules were absolutely convinced that the entire globe was their potential target audience. In every instance, these corporations used general broadcast and shotgun methods to relay their messages — including skyscrapers, billboards and bulky brochures — all addressing the “global occupant.”
Now, cyber domination provides custom information to a select, potential client base located in specific demographics worldwide. The message is highly pertinent, clear, precise and user-friendly, offering instant results. Selected and targeted messages get the results.
In the old strategy, the key to success was in the total graphic image. The name of a corporation was not the key issue, but rather a part of an advertising jigsaw puzzle. All the emphasis was placed on the visuals: logos, specific colors and graphic designs, tag lines and other paraphernalia, to create a total visual-identity experience. Names were treated as a small hip-hop exercise, something to be dragged to success by a big and expensive blowout campaign. Hence branding needed huge budgets.
Now that a new reality has set in it has become imperative that a name must be highly functional on its own and would not require a bottomless pit. Good names work and climb on their own in cyber-branding. Names have their own directional sense, an upward or a downward mobility of their own. Ad spending can assist just hold a bit but cannot save a downward slide.
The rule of cyber domination is very different. It all boils down to a powerful name that makes for a powerful URL, which is then used as a key to find and unlock the Web site in a complex global maze. It is all based on how well you can remember the name, how easily you can type it, how to find the corporation right up front on a search engine, and how to get instant accessibility and long-term visibility.
Why traditional print and design-driven branding is dying
This is a very big change all over the world and has created a noticeable shift in how companies build global corporate images in cyberspace. This shift also explains the sudden meltdown in traditional advertising agencies, as well as advertisers’ confusion regarding cyber marketing. In today’s corporate world, the key to success, or the “magic,” clearly lies in the name — a URL to set the company apart in the global e-commerce arena.
Let’s face it. When a name cannot be found easily on the Internet, the corporation is no longer in cyber domination — rather, it is in cyber oblivion.
Symptoms of cyber oblivion include when a name is lost in the crowd and doesn’t ring cash registers; when a name is too old fashioned and doesn’t convey today’s dynamics; when the spelling of a name requires a higher IQ or more money is spent in explaining the origin of the name; when a corporation does not own a trademark or an identical dot-com name; when the name is embarrassing in certain countries; when the name is too long, too difficult, too confusing, too complicated. All or any of the above will simply sink great projects, great ideas and keep the corporate branding in oblivion.
Special Offer: E-mail your URLs or current business names for a complimentary evaluation from Naseem Javed. However, this analysis is a very serious business so please identify your title and provide some background about your company and the use of that name. All correspondence will be treated as strictly confidential. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naseem Javed, author of Naming for Power and Domain Wars, is recognized as a world authority on global name identities and domain issues. Javed founded ABC Namebank International, a consultancy he established a quarter century ago, and conducts executive workshops on image and name identity issues. For comments reach Naseem at email@example.com.
The opinions expressed herein or statements made in the above column are solely those of the author, & do not necessarily reflect the views of Wisconsin Technology Network, LLC. (WTN). WTN, LLC accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein.