Branding for E-commerce Success


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Pro marketers have a secret. The key to successful e-commerce is great branding.

A great brand means more than a snappy domain name, but in today’s web-savvy marketplace, your domain name is the start for the whole gamut of your marketing endeavors.

Your domain name should be short, memorable, and easy to pronounce. Marketing pros suggest five to ten characters, with the shorter, one-or-two-syllable names being preferred.

Brand equity is the capital you build up on the basis of your domain name. That capital accumulates from giving your customers a pleasant experience with every contact they have with your brand. Their loyalty forms the bedrock of your brand equity.

As the name suggests, branding began with the physical branding of property to mark ownership. After the industrial revolution, attentive manufacturers discovered they could differentiate themselves from other manufactures, particularly in commodity markets, by metaphorically “branding” their products. They then discovered what is today common knowledge. Give your customers consistent quality, and you’ll grow their loyalty.

When manufacturers began to advertise their brands, they discovered something more. Over time, your brand acquires a “personality.” Consumers relate to your brand as they would to a person.

In today’s crowded markets, it’s more vital than ever that you establish this personal relationship with your customers. A personable brand cuts through the clutter. Your demographic notices you and becomes your customers. Your customers remember your brand and recommend it to their friends.

In the Internet world, additional considerations apply above and beyond those of the bricks-and-mortar world. Marketers call this specialized area “digital” marketing. With so many offerings available at the click of a mouse, differentiating yourself assumes even greater importance. Your brand becomes more critical than ever before, and branding acquires extra dimensions. How do users of social media perceive your brand, for example? Do your product and your brand lend themselves to an affiliate program? These are questions that did not exist before the digital age.

The scope of branding is greater than ever before.

And it all begins with a great domain name.

Jewelry Today


Every year, consumers spend over a hundred billion dollars on jewelry. That’s billion. That’s massive! Human beings have been wearing jewelry for tens of thousands of years, and demand shows no sign of abating.

As metal-working skills improved, so did the sophistication of jewelry. Simple shells and bones were replaced by copper bracelets. Gold became the favored metal, a status that persists to this day. Even as long ago as 3000 B.C., jewelry-making was a recognized skilled craft in the ancient Near East. By the end of the first millennium B.C., jewelers had mastered the craft of fitting precious stones into metal necklaces, bracelets, and anklets. European designs of the Middle Ages show the continued increase in the intricacy of the jeweler’s craft.

By the nineteenth century, most of the infrastructure of today’s jewelry trade had been established. An added emphasis was placed on the value of jewelry as art. This created an ultra-luxury end to the market, where the intrinsic beauty of the objects was enhanced by the cachet of high culture. Whatever the academic understanding of the preciousness of an object, the willingness of buyers to pay higher prices for perceived value became the only ultimate measure of worth.

A specialized place within the jewelry maker’s craft is held by the science of gemology. Here the jeweler or an independent expert assesses the quality and hence the value of an individual stone. Gemology encompasses not only precious stones but also semi-precious stones. The science has become increasingly technical over the years, and today’s gemologists employ spectroscopy (the measurement of light) to assist them in their evaluation.

The United States continues to be the largest jewelry market in the world, but the increasing wealth of India and China has led to them fast catching up as consumers of jewelry. Europe, once the center of the jewelry trade, now makes up less and less of a share of the global jewelry market.

Despite jewelry’s reputation as a luxury product, the growing appreciation of jewelry has produced a large mass market for cheaper objects. To better appeal to the mass market, some manufacturers are now branding their products. At the same time, the desire for high-end products continues to grow.


maersk line

There are over 100,000 commercial ships around the globe today. Between them, they carry the vast majority of internationally traded goods. Most of them are quite small. Only 30,000 exceed the 1,000-ton mark.

The traditional image of a seaman is a man who spends days at a time in exotic foreign ports. Nowadays, shipping owners aim for a quick turnaround. Sailors may spend only a few hours in port before they are back to sea again.

Different types of ship specialize in different kinds of cargo. Bulk containers carry grain or similar dry commodities. Container ships are the face of modern shipping, and the containers themselves are of a specialized design to facilitate intermodal transport by ship, train, or truck. Tankers carry liquid cargo, the most important of which obviously is oil.

While passenger ships in the days of ocean liners tried to cross the ocean as quickly as possible, cargo ships may cruise at slower speeds, since this produces optimal fuel consumption. The famous five-day crossing of the Atlantic for liners may be extended to ten or more days for cargo for economic reasons.

The countries with the largest number of ships registered to them are Panama and Liberia. These are, of course, flags of convenience rather than an indicator of trading significance.

The shipping industry has grown as world trade has grown, and so too has the shipbuilding industry. Economic forces since the mid-twentieth century have driven the industry from its traditional local bases around the world to a concentration in Asia, first in Japan and South Korea, and now in China. Despite fierce competition over prices and resultant over-capacity, South Korea remains the world’s most important shipbuilding nation for now.

Technology can only go so far in protecting against the dangers of ocean transportation, and shipping insurance remains a significant enabling industry. Very large companies can to some extent self-insure against some kinds of losses, but most shipping companies will buy from the specialized shipping insurance industry. Since 1688, Lloyd’s of London – actually a marketplace for syndicates rather than a single company – has been the historic name for marine insurance.