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Background of Which Brand.com
The WhichBrand.com Directory Search Engine was born out of the frustration experienced by Robin Blackburne, the inventor of the Blackburne Double Strung Tennis Racquet, who, having built a spectacular Website for the Revolutionary Racquet, found it very difficult to achieve a listing on page one of any of the search engines.
After undertaking extensive research, Blackburne discovered that not only could he not obtain a decent positioning for the Blackburne Racquet website, but virtually none of the major brand names in the world had been able to achieve page one listings for their websites either. This was small comfort - but it did inspire him to conceive the idea of a brand-specific Directory Search Engine on which Brands would be listed by Category and linked to their websites. And EVERY BRAND OWNER was guaranteed a PAGE ONE listing for the brand under every product category.
Thus, Steve Encarnacao, the President of Blackburne Racquets Inc. and Robin Blackburne, President of Blackburne Advanced Racquet Systems, formed a new company - Brand Leaders International Ltd, for the specific purpose of building a Directory Search Engine to satisfy the very real needs of brand owners to have their Websites FOUND on the internet, in response to searches for the categories of their products.
Brand Leaders International undertook extensive market research to determine the extent of frustration experienced by Brand Owners whose brands could not be found on the first pages of the search engines. The results of this research not only re-affirmed the beliefs of Encarnacao and Blackburne but it demonstrated that Brand Owners were even more frustrated than at first thought.
Search Engine Technology
Blackburne had meetings with Inktomi and entered discussions with the other majors who build the engines for the search engines. Brand Leaders commissioned specialist consultants to locate an engine to drive WhichBrand.com. After nearly a year of research, including discussions with Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Yahoo, Oracle and Microsoft, the consultants were not able to come up with an engine whose functionality matched the demanding specs Blackburne and Encarnacao had envisaged and planned for their hierarchically-based directory engine.
So, reluctantly and against their better judgement, they set about having the engine custom-designed and built from the ground up - a task which only the most powerful internet players would have contemplated. It took over five years to develop and finally the structure of the engine was largely complete and the WhichBrand.com Portal was ready for population.
The Problem for Brand Owners and Internet users
Any user of the Internet has discovered how difficult it can be to find a range of products, listed by brand name, he is seeking, even by using Google, Yahoo, or Bing.
The problem is that so many millions of web-sites are linked and cross-linked that it is ever more difficult to find the exact product sites, under the selected product categories, being sought. Since thousands of new web-sites are being added to the web daily, the situation is not improving.
For example, if a user is looking to buy a car, and he wants to compare the features of cars, it is reasonable that he would start his search with "Car manufacturers", "Cars", "Automobile manufacturers" or "Auto makers".
He may not at this point be looking specifically to buy a car off the Internet but rather go to the nearest dealer actually to make his purchase. But what he wants to do initially is undertake his own Internet research to compare the features of all the latest models. And this can only be done on the web-sites of the car manufacturers.
It is surprising to note that, when the closest match of product range to what he is looking for is searched in the search engines, eg "Tennis Racquets", it is likely that only one or two Tennis Racquet brands will actually appear in the top ten or even the top twenty Bing, Google or Yahoo listings. One may have paid to obtain one of the top three paid listings, but the others are left out in the cold. So the user is not able to see a representative selection of brands--and seldom is able to find the websites of the smaller brands of the category searched.
The same applies to nearly every product category searched on every search engine. Bicycle manufactures, running shoe manufacturers, tennis racquet manufacturers, watchmakers - all the same. The number of irrelevant sites that come up sometimes exceed the sites describing the products in the category searched. This frustrates the Internet user and wastes a lot of time. In the end, the user is seldom able to compare the full range of products, since they just do not appear--and certainly not on the same page.
The search problems occur with virtually all products and here is an example relating to a search for tennis racquets. Surely Wilson, Prince, Head, Yonex, Blackburne, Dunlop or Slazenger would come up in the top twenty. Usually not. This is the same story with virtually every category of manufactured product in the market.
Not only is this frustrating for the user, but it distresses the major and minor Brand-owners since, for some reason which they cannot fathom, their brand sites just do not show up on the pages they want them to and where they should be--under the product category searched and on page one--in spite of their SEO efforts.
Most brand owners now sell their products direct to the public, enabling more attractive margins. Users like to buy direct from the brand owner for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the comfort of the solid guarantee they get from dealing direct with the manufacturer.
The WhichBrand.com Portal and how it works
WhichBrand.com is a powerful and indeed the only Global Brand Directory Search Engine in which the world's major branded products, and additionally less well known brands, are listed and indexed by product category.
Only brand names of products and services are listed in Which Brand? A search by product displays all the brand names on ONE PAGE, making web search exceptionally fast and simple.
All listed brand names are hyper-linked not only to the home page of the web-site but usually to the product sub-URLs, giving pin-point accurate search results.
It is a hierarchical directory enabling searches through the hierarchy to be undertaken in a matter of seconds. Which Brand? is used extensively by private consumers and trade buyers around the world and represents the instant link between brands and buyers.
Since brandowners all pay the same fee for listing their brands under each product category, each brandowner and brand-name is treated equally and no brand is able to dominate the category. Lesser brands are treated equally to the majors.
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