When you are deciding to introduce a new brand to the marketplace, you have to decide whether it is going to be an online brand or a brick and mortar brand. To make your mark on the Internet you have to follow some of the same principles that would make your brand successful in the real world.
You will want to be the first to do something and create your own category making your brand the leader and authority. Take YouTube for example, they have become the leader in the category of videos of all kinds on the Internet. This is an example of a web-based brand that has used the Internet to its advantage. Amazon is another company that is a web-based brand and they also dominate their category. Amazon has become the leading seller of books on the Internet, far outpacing brick and mortar stores like Barnes & Noble and Boarders that have a presence online to sell books.
If you are thinking about starting a brand on the Internet, you need to ask yourself if your product or service will work online. This is important, because not everything does. You will have to decide on how you want to use the Internet. Are you going to use it as a home for your business or is it just going to be a way that consumers can also reach you besides brick and mortar stores.
You will not be able to dominate both. Go back to the Amazon, Barnes & Noble example; Barnes & Noble is the most successful brick and mortar bookstore, far outselling their competition. Yet, on the Internet, it does not even come close to the same sales as Amazon. Amazon concentrated on being an Internet brand and dominates its category.
If you’re going to focus on online sales, consider getting involved in selling downloadable products – files that visitors can download directly from your website. Look for a web host that includes an automated system for handling customer file purchases. That way you can sell ebooks, music files, PDFs or any other type of file and, when a customer makes a purchase, that customer will get auto-emailed a message that includes a link to download the purchased files. MadBeeTech Web Hosting is a perfect example of a host that has a low-cost plan that includes a site builder, a shopping cart and a sytem that automates the selling of downloadable files.
To get an idea if the Internet should be used as a place where you can start a brand or use it as a secondary source for customers to reach you there are a few factors that you can explore that will help you decide. First, think about what your brand is. Is it something that you can hold in your hand and touch or is it something that is more subtle? If your band is something that consumers can touch or hold in their hand, then it is probably best that you use the Internet as a secondary source for consumers to get your brand.
If your brand is something more subtle, perhaps a serviced based company like an insurance company or a travel agency, then Internet branding is the way to go. Esurance has done well by only offering insurance online and sites like Expedia and Travelocity have done well offering discounts on travel.
Second, ask yourself questions about the brand. Is the brand something that could be considered trendy or stylish? If so, then the brand would best to use the Internet as a secondary source for your consumers to reach you. You will find that a lot of clothing stores have websites online where consumers can buy their clothes but the vast majority of their income comes from their brick and mortar stores.
If your brand is something that is not considered trendy or stylish then being an Internet brand will be the best place for you to go. Examples, of brands that are not considered trendy or stylish would be sporting equipment, computers, and books. These items could easily be Internet brands and sold exclusively online. Make sure to invest in search engine optimization to make your website, and your brand, known to the Internet world. You can find reasonable priced SEO services from the same MadBeeTech web host mentioned above – you’ll find the SEO plans listed at their http://seo.madbeetech.com website.
Third, think about how much diversity there is with the brand. If the brand is available in countless varieties then Internet branding is the right way to go. Again, this goes back to the example of Amazon and Barnes & Noble. With Barnes & Noble being primarily a brick and mortar store there is no way that they can keep the same amount to books in stock as Amazon can.
Amazon will also be able to keep more obscure books available for consumers that will not be able to find them at Barnes & Noble. This is a limitation for brick and mortar stores, they have a lot less space to hold inventory and if they want to be successful, they will only stock products that sell. This directly affects the amount of variety that brick and mortar stores can offer customers.
Fourth, ask yourself if how much the brand costs and is that a major reason why consumers buy the product. If the brand is more likely to be purchased because the price is low then the Internet is probably the best way to go. The main reason for this is that there are many sites on the Internet allow consumers to instantly compare prices of many site at once.
One advantage that online business have over their brick and mortar counterparts is that there is no tax on the Internet, which might not seem like a big deal, but the bigger the purchase the more the consumer is going to save. In addition, when consumers are able to save any amount of money they feel like they have won something, which can even make purchasing a brand at a low price feel even better.
Lastly, if you are thinking about starting an Internet brand you must consider shipping costs. If your proposed Internet brand is going to incur expensive shipping costs when a consumer purchases your brand it is probably not a good idea to focus on the web and stay with the brick and mortar concept. However, if your Internet brand is subtle like Esurance, Expedia, or Travelocity your shipping cost are going to minimal.
Most of their customers will have the opportunity to print out on their home computer all the paperwork that they will need. The biggest thing that you would have to ship, if that is what the consumer requests is paperwork and that is a lot cheaper than products and brands that have weight to them.