More Than Words, Brand Destruction in the Online Sphere

Bokor, Tamás (2014) More Than Words, Brand Destruction in the Online Sphere. Vezetéstudomány - Budapest Management Review, 45 (2). pp. 40-45. DOI 10.14267/VEZTUD.2014.02.06

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The focus of this paper is brand destruction, however in a slightly different sense than the traditional marketing literature depicts it. The concept of brand destruction basically tends to be discussed either (1) as an accidental, counter-productive event in a campaign which leads to the ruining of the brand, or (2) an intentional act by competitors in the market, which results the same breakdown mentioned above. As this paper shows, there are other ways to consider as well, when speaking about brand destruction. An often overlooked type of brand destruction is a rather new phenomenon: destroying the brand by customers or business partners. The adequate scene for this case is the internet itself, especially different social media platforms, e. g. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc. Also popular weblogs can play an important role in brand destruction made by customers or business partners (general cases related to social media are depicted in Lipsman – Mud – Rich – Bruich, 2012). This paper presents a couple of cases in the online field and focuses basically on online communicative activities, in which a brand’s negative properties come to discussion. Both Hungarian and foreign examples are easy to find and they all demonstrate the growing power of consumers. This observation led marketing experts to start talking about the ‘smooth seizure of power by consumers’. Whilst the critic of this concept is considered to be relevant, this paper describes the elements and methods of the ‘seizure’ – from an online social point of view. The key of handling brand destruction cases efficiently lies in the role of social media users. They are not only consumers, but the opportunity for producing online contents is in their hands as well – this fact results in the idea of ‘prosumers’. Thus customers on social media platforms must be handled as a ‘critical mass’: as civic warriors with strong weapons in their armoury. No companies are allowed to feel safe, as the slightest error may well be punished by the crowd.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:online marketing, brand destruction, anti-branding, brand value, memes, social media, complaint forums, opinion leaders
ID Code:1448
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:17 Feb 2014 16:24
Last Modified:19 Jan 2021 14:02

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