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Semantic branding - Creating a brand with the semantic web

Cognifide (Social Media Portal) - 27 January 2009

Semantic branding - Creating a brand with the semantic web

Greg Wolejko frontend Web developer for software development consultancy Cognifide discusses how and why the semantic web may have an impact upon brands

The subject of the semantic web is so broad that I split it into three parts.  The first article, “Are we there yet? Why we need the semantic Web" focused purely on introducing the subject of the semantic web which also discussed where the challenges lay when it comes to generating business from this new medium.

The second article, "Semantic web: trend or a future standard?"  gave real life examples of what brands are doing in the semantic web space at present.  It also discussed Hakia, a working example of semantic search - a search engine that digs through semantic data in order to display more relevant results.  This leaves one other area; to demonstrate the benefits of web 3.0 – the semantic web.
Photograph of Grzegorz Wolejko, Frontend designer at Cognifide
Even at its current level, the semantic web offers a fantastic opportunity for brands and marketers alike; this in itself presents a solid business case for companies to get involved with the semantic web.  What web 3.0 gives us is the possibility to strengthen a company's brand and make it more visible to users, clients, media and stakeholders.
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So, what are the possibilities of creating a brand (or expanding brand reach) based on the semantic web?  We live in a world where brands seem to use every possible method to win customers with prevalence of product placement is rocketing, contextual ads are on every site we visit and all manners of creative advertising surrounds us every day.  The semantic web offers something unexpected - a whole new channel of delivering a brand’s message to market.

With almost every media channel being saturated with ads and campaigns, we need fresh new media to reach targeted and advertising-desensitised users.  This (the semantic web) is not something we should be taking lightly, or dismissing because it’s not saturating the market yet – there is opportunities here and now, before the bandwagon jumping starts.

Let's talk details.  We have this thing called the semantic web and we need to create a brand using it. What possibilities does web 3.0 offer us to do this?

First thing is that by getting on board with semantic web, you automatically present yourself (your brand, your company) in the light of the early adopter.  This alone potentially gives you a great exposure as a news generator just as it is with most early adopters.  Media coverage from being one of few who set a new trend can be massively beneficial and cannot go unnoticed.

Second, you place yourself in a quite rare position where real standards and best practice are yet to be set (semantic web as technology is of course well defined, but what about commercial business standards?). This is a chance to promote your brand as innovative, as not only a leader in a new technology field but also a visionary that can spot new business opportunities.

Last but not least is the fact that you can use semantic web as a tool to leverage and improve your brand recognition.  By adopting web 3.0 you are opening more possibilities for clients, this way you can create a better service and make your brand more visible and therefore useful.  As it was said before, the semantic web offers new possibilities of expanding customer service (for instance better search and better recommendations based on semantic data), so this can be a means to strengthen your brand by offering more complex solutions and by creating a more persistent user experience. To put it in simple terms, the semantic web will enable you to be more helpful to your customer.

The semantic web is a new technology that is only just starting to take its baby steps into the business world.  Only time will tell what form it will take, but one thing is certain; – web 3.0 is the next version of the internet, and web 3.0 is built on the premise of semantic data (the semantic web) and it will be the next big thing.

The word ‘semantic’ has routes in the Greek word semantikos, which means ‘significant’.  It will indeed be a significant development, and it will offer new possibilities and new benefits.  The only question left is, are you going to be a standard setter or a follower?

Greg Wolejko is a frontend Web developer at Cognifide a software development consultancy. Greg’s develops user interfaces and creating usable and accessible websites.

See the article series:

1. Are we there yet? Why we need the semantic Web
2. Semantic web - Trend or a future standard?
3. Semantic branding - Creating a brand with the semantic web

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