To derive an applicable conceptual framework of branding via the internet form; to show how that framework can, by organising and integrating current knowledge, assist marketing planners in the development of successful internet‐based branding strategies.
The conceptual framework presented here derives from a thorough analytical and critical review of the literature on branding in the conventional and virtual marketing environments.
There are three key themes in the mainstream branding literature, supplemented in the proposed framework by a fourth research stream self‐evidently relevant to internet‐based branding. It is clear that the resulting four main elements of the framework are strongly interrelated in the practice of brand management in the online environment.
The “Four Pillars of i‐Branding” should be of intellectual interest and practical value to marketing planners and those advising them, providing a more systematic approach to the understanding and application of branding, online.
The literature of “i‐Branding” is at present at a formative stage, with limited integration among its themes. The framework described here provides the basis for the rational formulation and implementation of branding strategies, applying internet‐based tools to the tasks of marketing communication and customer relationship‐building in particular.
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