Your Brand Image and the Internet

"Brand" pertains to more than the trademarked logos of consumer-goods manufacturers, it pertains to the identity and reputation of any company, even any individual, and it should be carefully managed.

Your Personal Brand on the Net

The author begins with an example of personal reputation online, and how the mentions of an individual's name can help or harm their online reputation, as a demonstration of the way the same is true of business, even small ones.

Address for Success

Some tips on choosing a domain name - largely common sense at this point, and moot for most companies, as their sites are already established.

There's also a brief discussion of the option of using a neutral address (for example, P&G used clothesline.com to market tide detergent rather than tide.com), but the author doesn't seem to draw a firm conclusion.

Starting a Brand Online

Companies that wish to launch a new brand online face an uphill battle. It was fairly simple in the early days of the Internet to be the first mover in any given area - but anymore, there's lots of competition for virtually everything (and if there's a niche that's not been populated, consider whether it's profitable at all).

If you have an offline brand, or an existing Internet brand, it's a fairly simple matter to apply it online and get instant recognition (to the degree the original brand was recognized, at least).

Marketing to Yourself

A bit of advice that has more to do with user experience is that you shouldn't consider yourself as your target market - allowing your personal tastes and proclivities to drive the design of the site. You often need an outside opinion of someone who can look at things from the customer's perspective.


The author addresses the concept of "online community," but it's equally true of most fads: just because a gimmick or concept is popular doesn't mean it's good. Just because some businesses have used it successfully doesn't mean it's a good fit for yours. Very few trends become permanent fixtures, and even fewer are actually productive.

A couple of key questions: Why do I need this? What would I do with this? What will it do for my business?

Design and Your Image

The author compares the Web with desktop publishing - just because you can use 10 different fonts on a page doesn't mean it looks good. With the Web, fancy tricks and gimmicks are way overused and often get in the way.

Buying Media on the Net

Marketing online consists of buying links from other sites.

The most common form of advertising, search engine ads, either displays your promotion when a person searches for something specific, or it goes into "general rotation." The author talks about negotiating the contract and the price, but they tend to be fairly standard and unless you're spending a huge amount of money, you don't have much power to make demands.

You can also seek advertising on a specific site - in some cases. It's worth mentioning that more and more sites are turning over their advertising to third-party management services rather than managing their own, so his advice here is a bit outdated.