In a tough, “all-hands-on-deck” economy, belt-tightening takes on a whole new meaning. So when some marketing person tells you branding is more important than ever, you’d be right to question their sanity. Or would you? When the economy falters, and companies go under, you’ve got a choice to make. Do you:
- Let your goods or services become commoditized and fight it out in the arena of lowest price wins.
- Shore up your marketing efforts and give consumers a reason to pay more for what you’re selling.
If you chose “A,” good luck to you and the roughly 1 billion Chinese who are fighting it out for the same table scraps. If you chose “B,” then you need to be focusing on your brand. But what does that even mean?
A lot has been published about brand building, brand equity, brand standards and even creating a brand for multiple brands. But the core premise is simple in concept, if perhaps a bit trickier in execution. Following are a few of the basics.
The widespread adoption of the iPhone is catapulting mobile web usage into the mainstream. According to Morgan Stanley, the adoption of the iPhone and iPod Touch is out-pacing even the early adoption rate of the desktop Internet itself. In fact, over 46 Million people in the US actively browse the mobile web each month. Surprisingly, it’s not just the early adopters that are using these devices. Morgan Stanley notes that the iPhone has had the fastest hardware user growth in the entire history of consumer electronics. It has not only grown faster than the enormously popular Nintendo Wii, it has blown right past even the ubiquitous iPod. And that’s just the iPhone…
Clearly mobile device usage is on the rise, and it’s no longer something smart marketers can ignore. Just because a device uses a small screen does not mean you should have a small online mobile presence. And while browser usage is currently being dominated by the iPhone, the fact remains that a variety of devices access mobile websites. Sometimes you navigate with your finger, other times you move a pointer with keys. It all depends on the device, and each of these devices also has a different resolution, different screen size and a different orientation, adding additional layers of complexity. Fortunately, the dominate operating systems (Apple iPhone OS, Google Android and others) currently all run Webkit, a standards-based browser that renders code very well.
A mobile version of your website can be created as an add-on to any existing website, or as part of the development of a new website. There are a few ways your website can be made to detect mobile devices, their capabilities and screen sizes. Tools like deviceatlas.com and detectmobilebrowsers.mobi work well, but rarely perfectly. Testing a website in a variety of devices is the only surefire way to make sure it looks good in all browsers. A large number of mobile website developers use WebKit, which supports a majority of the HTML 5 specifications for future browser compatibility.