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THE CUTTING EDGE | RECOMMENDED READING

What Internet Firms and Cattle Ranchers Have in Common

"Deep Branding on the Internet: Applying Heat and Pressure Online to Ensure a Lasting Brand" By Marc Braunstein and Edward H. Levine; Prima Publishing, 380 pages.

October 26, 2000|ELAINE ZINNGRABE

If Internet entrepreneurs had read this book before throwing millions of dollars into advertising, they could have invested a bit more into developing their actual products.

"Deep Branding" starts with the basic tenet that a URL is not a brand and that a recognizable brand that has meaning to customers can't be built or bought overnight. Moreover, the book discusses how to use the Internet to augment, not replace, an existing business.

The authors apply the metaphor of cattle branding in the Old West to the requirements of a successful brand today. "Heat" is the differentiated meaning of the brand, the message that a company sends its customers, while "pressure" is the combination of sales and marketing techniques that send that message. Without both--and Internet companies often lack the former--there's little to separate one "dot-com" from another.

The two- to three-page chapters leave the book lacking in-depth analysis of some issues. And one demerit goes to the authors for using their own book publisher as an example of brand deepening using the Internet. Still, "Deep Branding" pays for itself by dispelling many of the myths of marketing on the Internet, what online customers want and the economics of building a successful site. It's a valuable resource for those who are starting Internet businesses or looking for direction in putting an existing business online.

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