Experiential Brand – the final differentiator

According to a recent Pew Internet & American Life report 42% of US homes now have broadband access and over 73% of respondents (147 million adults) use the internet. The vast majority of those users shop. They shop for health care, or new consumer electronics or filter information feeds about their hobbies – but they shop.

Corporations large and small have put their wares online in the hopes of selling products and services through the inexpensive medium. They have spent millions of dollars to ‘promote’ and market through search engine optimization and keyword buys. The larger players have gone to great pains to ensure their marketing message is on key and logo perfect.

But have they invested in their Experiential Brand? The most important brand trait online is the user experience.

Experiential Brand is what people think of your company. Not if the corporate color chart was used correctly, but if the actual web interface allowed users easy access to the information THEY were seeking. Are you helpful and easy to use (read – do business with) or are you aloof and difficult to understand (and generate less sales as a result)?

Ultimately every company who wants to deliver goods and services online will have the commodity of transactional technology to handle the sale. But the truly successful online ventures will have experiential brand tendancies that make their site the preferred venue for those transactions.

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