Factors Affecting the Success of Online Branding: An Empirical Study

Factors Affecting the Success of Online Branding: An Empirical Study

Riyad Eid (United Arab Emirates University, UAE), Raja Yahya Al Sharief (King Abdul Aziz University, Saudi Arabia) and Laila Hussein (Tanta University, Egypt)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-1861-9.ch017
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Abstract

Online branding has become a crucial part of companies’ activity since the mid-90s, when internet expansion began. As internet activity starts playing bigger and greater roles in sales and marketing communications, online branding becomes more important. However, the challenge for organisations today is to advance their online business activities. To address this challenge, organisations need to understand the critical success factors for building an online brand. This paper discusses this issue proposes 9 critical factors classified into two categories and validated empirically through a sample of 150 university students. The significance, importance, and implications for each category are discussed and then recommendations are made.
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Introduction

Internet Marketing (IM) is heralded by some as the new paradigm of marketing (see, for example, Hoffman et al., 1999; Eid & Trueman, 2002, 2004; Eid et al., 2006). Eid and Trueman (2002) indicate that much of the current literature considers Internet marketing to be a completely new phenomenon. Hence, there has been little attempt to integrate the study of its impacts into existing knowledge. Calls for more research into the Internet and online branding remain unheeded. A small number of studies do relate to the factors that affect the success of online branding. The dominant focus of these studies is on the way the Internet is used, drivers and barriers to its use and how these might be overcome (Eid & Elbeltagi, 2005; Hamill & Gregory, 1997; Morgan-Thomas & Bridgewater, 2004; Eid et al., 2006).

Avlonitis and Karayanni (2000), Chiang et al. (2008), Christodoulides (2006), Eid and Trueman (2004), Porter (2001), and Smith (2008) conducted in-depth studies to gain an understanding of those factors which enhance the online branding. They conclude that organisations need to understand how to identify the critical factors that affect the implementation process and address them effectively to reduce risk and realise potential of Internet marketing.

However, although by far most online branding has been researched before in a number of academic publications, research has been implemented from customer point of view and focused on the trust and attitudinal factors. There is a very little research done examining factors behind the success of online brands. Most research on Internet marketing has been descriptive, theoretical or speculative. There are few solid research models to guide future research or application in this area. There have been a number of attempts to identify the full Critical Success Factors (CSFs) for online branding (Avlonitis & Karayanni, 2000; Chiang et al., 2008; Christodoulides, 2006; Eid & Trueman, 2004; Porter, 2001; Smith, 2008); however, few of them can provide strong theoretical for the existence of these CSFs. On the other hand, some authors and practitioners present a plethora of critical factors based on individual experiences (e.g., Chiang et al., 2008; Christodoulides, 2006). Others have addressed one main aspect of online brand. For instance, Chiang et al. (2008) covers the meaningful, clearness, and trust feature of the online brand, whereas Furnell and Karweni (1999) address security and successful relationship aspects, whereas Clauser (2001) focuses only on effective order processing, fulfillment and service. Hence, a practical full-scale research conducted in a highly scientific manner is required to understand and identify the full CSFs for the online branding.

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Research Objectives

The main objective of this paper is twofold:

  • 1.

    Identify CSFs for online branding and,

  • 2.

    Examine how these CSFs have been operationalised in real organisational settings.

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