The Internet Case Study Book – A guide to Implementing successful Internet business strategies

Jul 06, 2010 by Tom Jones

TASCHEN publishing scores an A+ with its sophisticated explanation of how different types of organizations have implemented various Internet plans and technologies that were successful in achieving, for all intents and purposes, their various business, promotional, sales and other goals through their Internet presence.

Although many of the case studies presented in the book are technologically complicated, the manner in which certain key decisions and analyses were made and chosen is what’s important for readers to understand–the crucial insight needed into how and why a particular Internet undertaking was selected, which resulted in a change from what was, to what would make it better.

The Internet Case Study Book presents 60 different website makeovers that accomplished successful results which are explained throughout the book.

For example, it reviewed a makeover of an old brand such as was the case when Doritos initiated a do-over to attract “flavor memories” to bring back two of their most intense flavors; interactive experiences with the audience to be more involved with a product, such as McDonald’s “Lost Ring” project as part of their sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. To date, The Lost Ring has been the world’s biggest and first truly global alternate reality games from over 100 countries to reach across geographic; cultural, and linguistic borders to unite in solving the mystery of “six amnesiac Olympians who competed an ancient, lost Olympic sport: Labyrinth Running.”

Included in the book, are detailed explanations of why organizations choose creative solutions, so that people will change their perception about a particular company and its products. For example, “The Got Milk?” campaign wanted to change the perception that drinking milk wasn’t appealing, so they chose a strategy with the objective to make it “cool” to drink milk among a certain demographic.

The book has 57 additional case studies of well known and respected brands, companies, organizations, and governmental institutions to provide the reader with a wide swath of Internet components of creative thinking and problem solving to utilize the building blocks available to ensure a project’s success, as opposed to a failure.

Each of its 5 chapters–Campaigns, E-Commerce, Promotional, Social Media, and Corporate case studies are introduced from an accomplished ad agency interactive executive and expert, helping us to better understand the thinking “under the hood.”

Each of the stories presented, start out with “The Brief,” which outlines what the organization views as the end game in implementing its vision.

The “Challenge” pulls together the various ways to accomplish the Brief, from a technological, user experience, a detailed layout, and the various ways and means to realize the desired result.

“The Solution” explains how the organizations used various custom technologies, existing technologies, and combined them with existing Internet tools such as videos, blog promotion, country inclusion and other creative ways to bring the solution to a successful conclusion. Frequently many solutions incorporated the use of Flash programming, the use of You Tube, Facebook and other sites around the world to tie the concept together on a global scale, and other actions to enhance different messages and brands.

Lastly, “The Result” contained real world data about how a case study in The Internet Case Study Book fared in the real world —e.g., the number of hits, how many sales took place, how many countries viewed the website, number of widgets created, how many YouTube videos were viewed, the number of downloads recorded, how many people got involved with interactive components, and a throng of important metrics that professionals who do business on the Internet throughout the world, can see why each case study presented can be objectively viewed as to why it was effective.

The Internet Case Study Book features many stories of achievement, from clients’ briefings to final projects– this book, follows on from the best selling Guidelines for Online Success, provides detailed and objective studies which were divided into the aforementioned five chapters.

These subjects form the core of how to use the web for those who want their online endeavors to be successful, and the case studies in the book explain how to help differentiate your business or online presence from that of your competitors.

Strategies examined range from those of giant corporations to small businesses, but all have a common goal: a successful, efficient and cost-effective investment on the web—-from Coca-Cola to Prince of Persia, from Diesel to Domino’s Pizza, this book shows how successful businesses of any size can devise an effective online presence, and features the work of strategic innovators such as Ajaz Ahmed, Alex Bogusky, and Jeff Goodby.

Kudos to its authors, Rob Ford, who founded Favourite Website Awards (FWA) in 2000, a recognition program for cutting-edge web design. His work has featured in the Chicago Tribune, Guardian and various web related magazines. He has judged many industry award shows, contributes regularly to web design sites and magazines, and writes a regular column in Adobe’s Edge Newsletter and its editor; and the editor, Julius Wiedemann, who was born in Brazil, studied graphic design and marketing, and was an art editor for digital and design magazines in Tokyo. His many TASCHEN digital and media titles include Illustration Now!, Advertising Now, Logo Design, and Brand Identity Now!

The conclusion of The Internet Case Study Book was markedly thoughtful and truthful in explaining how the Internet should be utilized as a business and as a way of life that it has become for most of the world.

In the Afterward by Lars Bastholm, an executive with the giant ad and Internet media company Ogilvy, he informs and provides all Internet entrepreneurs with the following sage advice:

A few years ago, we were still looking at postage stamp-sized videos that took forever to load (remember the World Wide Web Wait?) and most corporate websites were little more than brochure-ware stitched together with whatever budget and materials were leftover from the above-the-line campaign. It took years of relentless innovation, tenacity, salesmanship and, most importantly, changing consumer habits and demands to get us to where we are today.

I think we have now arrived at a moment of reckoning of sorts. We’ve reached the kind of technological maturity that effectively means that if we can dream it, we can create it. This is obviously a wonderful thing, it’s also a challenge for all of us. While we were held back by technological limitations, even small dreams looked like big achievements when they were brought to life. Now, we have no more excuses. We  need to dream big dreams.

For that we need big dreamers. We need more Tim Berner-Lees, more Sergei Brins and Larry Pages. But we also need our own Bill Bernback, our own David Ogilvy, and our own Lee Clow (ad agency interactive Internet experts). Not to mention our own James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, and Quentin Tarantino. People who dream big in technology, communication, and storytelling and who can help define what this medium will become in the future.

Let’s keep in mind that the Internet as a brand-building medium is still only about 15 years old. It remains an unruly teenager trying to figure out its place in the world and what it all means. It’s trying out being different things: a TV channel, a community center, a shopping mall, and anything else that might tickle its fancy for a while. So everything is possible, and the wonderful news is that we’ve only just scratched the surface of the medium’s potential.”

After reading TASCHEN’s, “The Internet Case Study Book,” you’ll feel empowered with the knowledge and ways to build your own Internet empire as the book shows us how others were able to climb to the top by carefully thinking through their place in the world, and how they achieved that by implementing carefully selected methods, means and ways to stand apart from the crowd by initiating truly “successful Internet Strategies.”

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