There was an article online on The Telegraph site talking about the latest data on the top 50 UK web brands, comparing 2011 to 2004. The headline was dramatic saying: Tesco and BT oust dotcom darlings.
The writer of the article was trying to make the point that increasingly the “web only” brands were less dominant, and that brands that had on “off line” presence were growing.
On the surface it sounded like the old “bricks and mortar” brands were taking over online. The writer had taken any brand that required people to do things “off line” (like eBay) or physical products were involved (like Amazon) into the off line category, as well as brands who started as off-line and are trying to do more online (like retailers like Tesco and Argos, or utilities suppliers like BT).
I think this interpretation hides some very key trends and learning from the data. At the bottom of this posting is a link to the article, but the top 10 brands in Jan 2011 were: Google; MSN; Facebook; Yahoo; BBC; Microsoft; Amazon and YouTube. Tesco was 17th and BT not in the top 20...
I would like to suggest a different set of conclusions that we all should consider and take on board are from the data:
1. Media channels where consumers view and consume content are the largest and most important brands and channels online, and remain so. And will do so.
The key is to have a presence where consumers are. Fish where the fish are. Consumers will always go to where they can source the best and broadest information, education, entertainment, news and so on. These will be best delivered by content experts, just as TV channels, magazines and newspapers have provided it in traditional media. These big broad and increasingly “mass reach” channels online will always be key to success online, and that is where companies and brands need to be advertising, engaging or available
2. Tools that enable transactions between people or companies will always be strong. Amazon, eBay and the like have made it easier (and cheaper) to find things you need and want. These facilitation tools will be important and big, and grow. And they offer choice and the ability to access and compare what you are seeking.
3. Tools and brands that enable people to interact and engage will always be strong. Brands that offer email are still strong. Brands that offer chat are strong, and now brands that offer other forms of engagement (like Facebook) will be strong and get stronger. This is where time gets spent on time and where
4. Traditional brands will never be major destination sites or places versus the 3 above. They may play a role to address your current customers and consumers, or where people that really want to transact in some way with your brand. But remember that is the key role. Focus on being where your core target is. If that is a niche on your destination then fine, but if not be where they are going to be.
The article that inspired this is at:
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