Brand image holds the key

According to the latest report from IDC, many Internet services firms are busy trying to redefine their brand as it becomes more and more important to an Internet service provider's success.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  July 12, 2001

According to the latest report from IDC, many Internet services firms are busy trying to redefine their brand as it becomes more and more important to an Internet service provider's success.

What's more, factors that contributed to a positive brand just a year ago may now be detrimental.

"Firms that once reaped the benefits of being most closely associated with the dot-com market are struggling to build the perception that they can serve enterprise clients," said Pooneh Fooladi, senior analyst with IDC's Internet Services research program.

"Conversely, while the global IT service provider was once faulted for being too stodgy to meet the needs of a new breed of client, those same clients are now often choosing these firms because they are global and safe," he adds.

To determine the role brand plays in corporations' choice of an Internet services firm, the analyst house surveyed 125 U.S. executives involved in the selection of service firms for their companies' web initiatives.

"As with most business decisions, an emotional element is involved in choosing an Internet services firm [and] selecting between service providers is a complicated process involving memory, impression, and experience. All these components affect the service provider's image," says Fooladi.

The results of the survey determined that whilst the size of the Internet service firm and the number of engagements it has been involved in translates into high levels of overall brand awareness, they do not necessarily translate into a high rating for more specific service categories such as track record, technical expertise, or price competitiveness.

"For service providers, the take-away message is that a brand's effectiveness is dynamic. It's measured by its alignment with market opportunity, clients' needs for specific qualities, and the ability to shout the right message," concludes Fooladi.

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