By now, you're probably aware of the concept of branding. A company goes out of its way to ensure as many eyes will take a gander at their advertisment - over and over and over again. By doing this, they create brand awareness in hopes that when confronted with anything to do with their industry/field you will think of their company first.
Branding can be expensive, but as advertising prices are dropping, perhaps it is becoming a more likely goal for advertisors?
To keep with the subject of these boards - and to try and give an example - read the following words:
What ads/companies come to mind when you read those? All of those are - for many, if not most of the SitePoint visitors - from companies trying to establish their brand.
How effective do you think this brand awareness is, I mean say for a small/new business would it be better to try and:
-market for direct sales
-market for brand awareness
-try to balance both types of advertising
I think this is something that doesn't get talked about since we tend to take it for granted. Heck, if you've read the other forums I was even caught in this web myself as I openly wondered the effectiveness of banners on SitePoint that I not once clicked on - but could remember the company of.
What do you think?
it depends on what type of small/new business (not much of an ad budget) u r. if ur business is for a diverse group of consumers or the general public. i don't think branding will work to well, cost to much to reach them all, go with direct sales.
however, if ur consumers are a small or targeted group. then branding could definitely work by advertising on sites that cater to that small/targeted group.
Some very large and established companies still do sweepstakes and free services. It isn't just for newer companies.
I wasn't saying that, I was simply trying to name a few more specific fields in which marketing on the net is HUGE. Large sites do have big sweepstakes, as a result most people will associate sweepstakes with a certain company who put its banners everywhere. Same thing goes for free services, there are some HUGE sites (everyone.net "Free Email @yourdomain") that offer free services, and we know them because they seem to be everywhere.
I think brand awareness is important (at least it has been to our company). We started small, and worked diligently to raise awareness, and to ally ourselves with "household" names. I used to spend hours a day on the phone cold calling for business. We are a web design firm, so I would start with, "This is Veesha, calling from eDirect America, an IBM web integrator partner...."In real life this means very little, although it was and is true. However, the PERCEPTION of the person on the other end of the phone line was what was important. They heard IBM, and all of a sudden, I converted a 99% probability of "NO", into an "OK, what can I do for you?" It gave us credibility. Until you have credibility, you have nothing.
I think it mainly matters depending on what you envision your company's eventual reach to be (both in longevity and in geography).
A small business in a small town will develop "branding" regardless of trying to do so. Same with a company around for several decades in the same area. As your reach and longevity expand the importance of "branding" would also.
I do disagree on a couple of points made though. I don't believe branding has to be expensive. Branding, just like effective advertising can be done cheaply. Second I disagree that branding is "[a] company go[ing] out of its way to ensure as many eyes will take a gander at their advertisement - over and over and over again." "Branding" is an attempt by a company to associate secondary, non-
obvious characteristics with their product or service - for instance the consistent quality of McDonald's hamburgers, the down-to-earth information and humor of Motley Fool.com, or the powerhouse and sturdy image of IBM computers. The difference, I believe, is crucial. It doesn't matter how many eyes see your ads if your company has a lousy reputation for quality and service.
Just my 2 pennies.
Live the life of your dreams!