LETTERS: Banners Do Have a Role in Branding

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To a certain degree, I agree with the Nov. 27 editorial, "Banners Don't Brand."

(www.dmnews.com/articles/2000-11-27/11867.html) However, I would take the definition of branding a step further, in that the brand is also the "experience" they have with the product or service. If you purchase a product or even put it in your consideration set before buying, you must have had some experience with the brand.

Why is this important? Your last line, "Then at least marketers could focus on honing banners' ability to help gather leads and drive impulse purchases, certainly a worthy pursuit," is not consistent.

I would imagine that for some products, marketers are willing to have potential customers come to the site, learn more and experience the brand.

• Paul F. Herber

Marketing services manager



• I think "Banners Don't Brand" is only partially correct. Branding is a combination of two components. The first is brand equity. In this regard, the editorial is correct. Banners indeed do very little to help build a clear rational and emotional connection with the consumer. However, branding also requires building brand awareness, both aided and unaided.

Consumers need to become familiar with what you stand for, but they also need to get familiar with who the heck you are (brand awareness). Banners, beyond merely acting as a direct response mechanism, can also help build this brand awareness as part of a fully integrated campaign.

The Web is a virtual highway. On a real highway, each time you drive by a McDonald's or Starbucks, it increases your brand awareness, and the next time you're driving along and get hungry or want a cup of coffee, you just might stop in.

On the Web, you don't drive by any signs. So while you may not click on every Amazon.com banner you see, you just might type in Amazon.com on the day you decide you want to order a book on the Web. Did those banners build brand equity? Of course not. Did they help build brand awareness? You bet.

• Gerard Meyer

Vice president, marketing ad sales

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