JAMES SANTAGATA WROTE:
> I also would not agree with the premise that eBay is
> "brandless", let alone an example of Brand "X"
> vanquishing its foes. Rather eBay is the leading brand
> in its category, that of web-based auctions
TO WHICH ROB FRANKEL REPLIED:
> Actually, your points about EBay and Yahoo serve to
> illustrate the illusion of first movers being
> well-branded. They're not. They were simply the
> first to achieve awareness.
THEN JAMES SANTAGATA RESPONDED:
> A couple of points here.
> It is true that both eBay and Yahoo have enjoyed first
> mover advantages, but it doesn't follow that these
> companies are, therefore, brandless.
I don't think Frankel was saying that first mover = no
brand. He was saying that they are successful and
well-recognized because they are first movers, not
because they have a strong brand. You can be a first
mover and a strong brand, but being a first mover
doesn't entrain a brand.
I disagree with Santagata's examples that associating a
particular name with a particular category equals a
good brand. Again, that's recognition, not branding.
RECOGNITION MEANS: Name a grocery store = Safeway.
Kudos to you, Safeway, you got the recognition because
you have a million locations & flyers in every Sunday's
BRANDING MEANS: Tell me something about Larry's Market
= they are upscale with many imported goods that I
can't find anywhere else, and they have the best
quality & selection so I'm willing to pay more. Kudos
to you, Larry's Marketing, you have created a message,
I have absorbed it, my experience in the market has
reinforced that brand image.
HUGE difference here in recognition and branding.
Branding is specifically a message that YOU pick, YOU
communicate, the customer ABSORBS and AGREES WITH.
Branding means you pick a value that resonates with the
market, then consistently communicate & fulfill that
You can have low recognition and high branding (Rolls
Royce - not the first car company that comes to mind,
but everyone has a strong associated value with their
name). Or you can have high recognition and low
branding (Ford - top of my head car company, but not
everyone would describe them the same way).
Back to the original questions, I would describe eBay
as low-branded or no-brand, because if you were to ask
a big focus group, "What do you know about eBay?", they
would probably say:
"I bought a book there and it was great"
"I tried to buy a baseball card and I got screwed"
"I read that they get phony bids"
"You can save a lot of money"
"They have everything there you could ever want"
"It's mostly crap, like a big garage sale"
"I'm not sure what they sell"
"They have Beanie Babies I can't find anywhere else"
Get it? There is no consistent message that you can
name. Because they don't articulate a message in their
ads or on the site, so the message is defined by the
users. And user experiences have varied widely.
Products vary widely. The service itself is
transparent to the buyer and seller, so they wouldn't
really say, "Their servers are so scalable" or "I
admire their security measures."
That's why I originally put forth that they are
brandless, yet high-recognition and successful. Yes?
Received on Thu Mar 16 2000 - 15:55:44 CST
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