AOL tops exec poll as most recognized Internet brand

STAMFORD, CT: In a survey of top corporate pros, America Online was named the most recognizable and one of the most PR-savvy Internet brands - all before the company announced the largest media acquisition in history.

STAMFORD, CT: In a survey of top corporate pros, America Online was named the most recognizable and one of the most PR-savvy Internet brands - all before the company announced the largest media acquisition in history.

STAMFORD, CT: In a survey of top corporate pros, America Online was

named the most recognizable and one of the most PR-savvy Internet brands

- all before the company announced the largest media acquisition in

history.



The survey, conducted by Corporate Branding, found AOL narrowly edging

out Yahoo! for the top spot in the firm’s first e-Branding Index. Both

easily outdistanced the likes of Amazon.com, Netscape and eBay (which,

in order, rounded out the top five).



’Obviously, this is a fast growth industry where companies are devoting

a lot of money to building brands up quickly,’ said Corporate Branding

CEO James Gregory. ’These companies come off an IPO and realize they

need to get onto the radar fast.’



The index gauges how familiar and favorable an Internet company is in

the eyes of top decision-makers, a group composed of VPs and

higher-ranked executives at the top 20% of US corporations in terms of

revenue.



’First we ask the recipients if they are familiar with the company, and

then we ask them about reputation and perceptions of management and

financial performance,’ Gregory explained. ’From that, we extrapolate a

familiarity score and a favorability score, which is used to formulate a

brand-power score.’



Corporate Branding also surveyed respondents on other Internet branding

and PR topics, which revealed a surprisingly low standing for IBM in the

business-to-business sector.



’It was surprising IBM scored relatively low, especially considering all

of the money they’ve spent on their e-business,’ said Gregory. ’People

know the brand and think highly of the company, but they’re still not

thought of as an e-commerce business.’



Also, AOL still lags well behind the Fords and FedExes of the general

business world. ’Following the acquisition, it’s going to be fun to see

what happens,’ Gregory said. ’Whatever they decide, they need to get

behind the brand and state what they are going to do, then do it within

the next six months to get the most impact.’



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