Nov 6, 2009

When brands get branded.

The article “when brands get branded” is telling us that as brands have personalities just like human and develop relationship also like human it’s true that brands misconduct as human misbehave. Brand misconduct is a brand’s behavior that consumers do not agree with. The example of brand misconduct is Coca-Cola’s introduction of so-called new coke in eighties. This approach also known as product-harm crisis and this occurs when the product is defective or dangerous for consumers.

Normally four types of brand misconducts occur are as: (1) product quality differs from expectations - Brands fail to fulfill customer’s expectations of functional benefits. (2) Lack of service orientation – poor customer services can influence the purchase decisions. (3) Symbolic - Psychological misconduct – Brands are not only giving social values but also psychological values to consumers. (4) Socially debatable actions – Actions those results from the violation of ethical norms and moral values of consumers.

The results of brand misconduct harms the relationship chain of brand just like human misbehave spoil all relationships with others. In the case of brands it could be brand boycott, negative image and reputation of brand and ultimately loss of customer-based brand equity. The brand misconduct consequences highly depend on the characteristics of the consumer’s group which are committed with brand, relate them with it and idealize it.

By looking at brand issues seriously and manage crisis through a strategic approach a company can get its place in the market rapidly. Brand misconduct can be best deal when the company communicates openly & transparently with consumers.

In online environment customers are empowered by World Wide Web to exchange knowledge and information easily & quickly to coordinate their activities. This opportunity even intensified the brand misconduct situations. For future it can be a powerful source of interactive communication between company owners and consumers to develop brand strategies for long-term benefits for both parties.

Article name: 'When brands get branded', Frank Huber, Johannes Vogel and Frederik Meyer, Marketing Theory 2009; 9; 131

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