The online branding strategy and online marketing experts at How to Build a Brand had a good cackle a few years ago when we learned that cookies were being regulated. We couldn’t help but think we were all being put on some sort of low-calorie diet.

Now, hundreds of thousands of calories later, we’re looking back over the online branding strategy cookie shift and have realised, thanks to our audience’s brilliant questions, that there are a many of you who aren’t familiar with the function of cookies or the regulations that surround them.


So, today we are reviewing…providing you with a cookie overview—a sort of dessert table flyover, if you will.

There’s a Place for Cookies on your Branding Strategy Plate

Cookies are pieces of text that websites place on an internet user’s hard disk. The hard disk acts as a storage space so the website can later access that information. A cookie is not a program that can perform any tasks and it does not give any website access to information beyond its own cookie.

When an internet user asks a browser to find a webpage, the browser will search for that page as well as for a cookie that the website may have placed on the machine. If cookie data is found, it will be sent to the webpage and the user’s past activity on the site will be considered and new activity will be added. If no cookie is found, one will be created.

Internet users can change cookie preferences in their browsers so they’re notified every time a website wants to send a cookie to their hard disk, and they can accept or refuse it.

Web development and branding strategy departments love cookies. These sweet little name-value pairs allow websites to assign a unique ID to each visitor, meaning that a site can keep track of how many visitors it receives. Cookies also enable sites to track items in a shopping cart, for shoppers’ convenience.

In 2012, legislation was enacted requiring websites to ask for an internet user’s permission before storing or retrieving cookies on their computer. The UK was the first to enforce, but all European member states are participating. The ICO advised of the legislation in 2011, giving all webmasters one year to comply, making it law as of 26th May, 2012 – but that’s not all. The regulation’s text holds web design and web development professionals responsible, too.

  • Third-party cookies are largely liable for the new regulations. These cookies are the type that not only gather information, but then pass it on (usually for compensation) to third parties (usually advertisers). Special permission must be obtained to utilise this third-party cookie recipe.
  • A zombie cookie is another type of prohibited treat. Even when these cookies are manually and deliberately deleted, they are revived at the time of the next internet connection.
  • Persistent cookies are questionably compliant. This type of cookie stays on a user’s machine after a website session is ended. User permission should be obtained before installing this type of cookie.
  • First-party and non-persistent cookies are acceptable. Used for applications such as shopping carts, the information they gather is not transferred or sold and the cookie data is obliterated after the session is ended.

The online branding strategy experts at How to Build a Brand have ensured that our own website is fully cookie-compliant, and they’re here to help you do the same with your website—whilst still partaking in the indulgences that bring brilliant online marketing success.

Are you ready to learn more about the branding strategy moves that will bring your brand the greatest possible success? Then you must visit to learn more about our B.R.A.N.D. Kick Starter Masterclass, where in just one day, you’ll pick up the wisdom necessary for taking your brand to the bank. Register now, while seats are still available!

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