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During the last century, mega corporations throughout the world followed the prime rules of building corporate image and name identity in the strictest sense. Their goal was simply to achieve an elite, world-class image by having their name and logo brightly displayed on skyscrapers in every city. They ran massive advertising campaigns to promote their identity and claimed ownership to specific colors and designs, all in an effort to create a single visual global icon. They used every opportunity, from naming stadiums to sponsoring parades.The objective was simple: to demonstrate their exclusive power and their domination by big image.
This expensive shotgun approach often created successful and powerful images for a period, but at times, it also created the corporate images of rigid, monolithically dysfunctional giants.The last decade can easily summarize the winners and losers of this expensive corporate identity game, but in an Internet-savvy age of global cultures, this approach has proven to be unsuitable for today's corporations. Today, there is a major shift in thinking on how to build a major corporate personality.
To play the game, one
must clearly figure out the secret powers of e-commerce and the role
of new technologies in contrast to traditional print and
old-fashioned, mass-advertising driven models. New rules for building
global corporate images demand serious re-evaluation. It is all about
being discovered with speed and efficiency or sluggishly lost in
Secret Powers of Cyber Domination
For this reason, corporations like Yahoo, Amazon, eTrade, eBay and millions of others worldwide do not conjure up the images of overpowering logos on skyscrapers, specific colors, irrelevant and forgetful taglines or repetitive advertising campaigns. Rather they are almost invisible in the traditional corporate identity sense.
cyber-giants are quietly working and residing in our laptops and
personal digital assistants (PDAs), snug and warm in our pockets. Who
knows if these little icons come out in the middle of the night when
we are fast asleep and clean our dishes too? This is how corporate
accessibility and images will be built in the cyber-economies of the
globe -- because it is fast, user-friendly and extremely cheap.
"We are very Big, You are very small"
In the old days, status- and symbol-driven corporations conveyed their powers; they offered a limited-access, 9-to-5, Monday-through-Friday format, while appearing formal, boring and, at times, unaffordable. However, in cyber-domination, a corporation provides interactive, 24/7, user-friendly service that focuses on being extremely economical and efficient. This can be achieved very economically in cyberspace, by constantly emulating a corporate presence in a viral formation.
Corporations, under the
new rules, are developing sophisticated Web presence and working on
global portalization of the entire corporation. In this major shift,
there is a serious decline of the traditional collateral material
that corporations produced under the old rules of corporate
identities: intricate brochures, thick catalogs and colorful annual
reports. Rather, all imaging and information is being transferred to
user-friendly, sophisticated Web sites -- where information changes
in an instant and services are available at bullet speed.
The World is our Customer -- Really?
Corporations practicing the old corporate identity rules were absolutely convinced that the entire globe was their potential target audience. In every instance, these corporations used general broadcast and shotgun methods to relay their messages, including skyscrapers, billboards and bulky brochures, all addressing the "global occupant."
provides custom information to a select, potential client base,
located in specific demographics worldwide. The message is highly
pertinent, clear, precise and user-friendly, offering instant
results. Today it is one-to-one in a very smart way.
In the old strategy, the key for success was in the total image, including the logo, design and color. The name of a corporation was not the key issue, but rather a small part of the design puzzle. The emphasis was placed on the logo, specific colors and graphic designs, taglines and other paraphernalia, to create a total visual-identity experience.
The rule of cyber-domination is very simple: It all boils down to a powerful name, which equates to a powerful domain name or URL which is then used as a key to find and unlock the Web site in a complex global maze. It is all based on how well you can remember the name, how easily you can type it in, how to find the corporation right up front on a search engine and how to get instant accessibility.
This is a very big change and has created a noticeable shift in how companies build global corporate images in cyberspace. This explains the decline of advertising agencies as image builders, and confusion in boardrooms creating budgets for corporate image.
In today's corporate
world, the key to success, or the "magic," clearly lies in
the name -- a URL to set the company apart in the global e-commerce
arena. Let's face it, when a name cannot be found easily on the
Internet, the corporation is no longer in cyber-domination, rather,
it is in cyber-oblivion.
Naseem Javed, author of Naming for Power and also Domain Wars is recognized as a world authority on Name Identities and Domain Issues and he is the President of ABC Namebank ( www.abcnamebank.com ) with offices in New York & Toronto. e-Mail him your URLs or current business names for a complimentary evalution. This analysis is serious business, so please identitfy your job title and background information on your company and the use of that name. All correspondence is confidential. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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