Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Give it up...

It is said that the company doesn't own the brand, the consumer does.

So the question today is: why do so many corporations covet their brand equities like the holy grail and keystone holding the foundation of their company together when all consumers want is to feel the brand is part of them?

If a brand makes a concerted effort to release their equities for consumer play, then the consumer will play. Their creativity with the logos and taglines will spawn cult-like following without the heavy-handed corporate control which only translates as disingenuous.
Recently Coke decided to do just that, let the consumer keep the control over their brand. The second most trafficked page on Facebook (after Obama's) was a Coke devoted page created by two Coke fans (Dusty Sorg and Michael Jedrzejewski). (For data and Ad Age article click here)
Now, FB policy is a branded page must be "authorized by or associated with the brand." So FB decided that they would have to close the page or give it to Coke. Under traditional corporate policy, a cease and desist would be issued. But Coke did something different. They decided to work with Dusty and Michael. Coke suggested that Dusty and Michael share it with them. What a novel concept! Sharing a brand... Giving it up for all to play with...

The culting of a brand will never come from the corporation/manufacturer only from the consumers. But it can only happen if the corporation/manufacturer allows it - or one better, encourages it - to happen.

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