The relationship between corporate websites and brand equity - a conceptual framework and research agenda

Evmorfia Argyriou
University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

Philip J. Kitchen
University of Hull Business School, Hull, UK

T.C. Melewar
Brunel Business School, Brunel University, UK

INTRODUCTION

Despite the bursting of the dotcom bubble, many companies are still turning to the web to interact with current customers and reach new markets (Ilfeld & Winer 2002). The main reason for this is that the internet is hypothesised to lead to increased efficiencies in consumer information search costs (Alba & Lynch 1997; Barwise et al. 2002; Thorbjornsen et al. 2002), which makes it a unique environment for promoting goods and services, thereby potentially changing the process of marketing communications (marcoms). However, as Porter (2001) states, the internet is not necessarily a blessing. As with every tool, it has its strengths, limits and weaknesses, and business people should explore these issues. One major problem is that companies have been myopic and confused by the excitement of the new medium and have assumed that e-business is about buying and selling products on the internet. On the contrary, e-business involves distinctive strategic positioning, which stems from the use of information and communication technology to interact with customers (Schultz & Kitchen 2000; Dussart 2001; Porter 2001; Barwise et al. 2002).