This is probably the most common approach. Companies with brands that are well established in the real world can build on the brand by duplicating it online. Sites from companies such as Ford, Argos and Guinness (Figure 5.6) all have consistent brand identities and values that would be expected from experience of their offline brands. The Guinness site has additional brand messages to explain the online value proposition including online merchandise sales. Increasingly, companies will also replicate their offline branding campaigns online. Mobile operator Orange has achieved this since the first edition of this book and others such as Ford have become adept at doing it, but this unified messaging across channels is often not achieved by many companies, due to the organisational and technical challenges of integrating messages into the web site. The only risk of migrating existing brands online is that the brand equity may be reduced if the site is of poor quality in terms of performance, structure or information content. There may also be a missed opportunity to use the online channel to add to the experience of the brand, as explained below.
Guinness Irish Stout Beer, Guinness Official website - Microsoft Internet Explorer
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