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February 1, 2007

100 Lucky Brand Names in Yahoo! Brand Universe

According to the Huffington Post, Yahoo's plans to launch 100 brand name mini-sites via its “Brand Universe” program this year is a “Big Branding Bang” meant to “connect the dots between content and users.”

Wii-logo-1.gifThis project has been in the offing for some time and while you can’t buy your way into the program, current Brand Universe overseer Vince Broady says that “Yahoo fully plans to share traffic, behavioral data with featured companies/brands.”

This initiative allows Yahoo to offer users a more seamless and concentrated branding experience: its Wii site got 1.2 million impressions in November, now the TV show Lost and Harry Potter are set to experience similar strengthening of their online profile. Look for short and sweet domain names with the “brand name baked right in." Think, for instance.

I agree with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch, who notes that while Yahoo claims to be unconcerned about the monetization of these new sites and for the time being will not be working with the brands themselves. I bet this is likely to change.

How could it not? Brand managers, especially those responsible for name development efforts, will soon be aggressively approaching Yahoo hoping to advertise on Brand Universe.

Yahoo_Logo-1.gifJohn Battelle points out that this move solidifies Yahoo as a marketing platform of choice and says, accurately I think, that “brands are the new water coolers.” Do you agree?

Consumers love to hang out with out favorite brand names online, and Yahoo may be offering a third place between social networking portals and brand promotional sites.

It really leads me to the logical next question: whose brand name is it anyway? The brand’s or the users’?

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Posted by William Lozito at February 1, 2007 8:21 AM
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