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Intelligencia.co

Brand and Anti-Brand management

According to the Management Study Guide, “Brand management begins with having a thorough knowledge of the term ‘brand’. It includes developing a promise, making that promise and maintaining it. It means defining the brand, positioning the brand, and delivering the brand.” Although brand management can be considered to be little more than the art of creating and sustaining the brand, Brand communities are comprised of ‘collective brand relationships’  which are created through social forces. Unlike traditional consumer-created brand communities where the brands appear to occupy minimal presence, online brand communities are increasingly hosted by the brands.

Jones and Huang list six different types of avenues that can be exploited by brands, including:

  • Branded social networks: These are customized platforms for interacting with consumers. They often include a fusion of applications, such as discussion forums or wikis.
  • External social networks: While some brands choose to create their own community websites, others just have a presence on an external social networking site, thereby taking advantage of the network’s built-in platform and audience.
  • Innovation hubs: These are unique platforms provided by the brands for users to post their ideas to the company.
  • Content aggregation sites: These are websites where users share media content with other users. They are Websites such as BookCrossing, Flickr, YouTube, and Slideshare and they often include brand-sponsored “channels” through which the brand distributes media content and allows users to engage with and comment upon the content.
  • Blogs: A normal type of blog, but filled with corporate information.
  • Micro-blogging: Brand-owned micro-blogging websites are normally used for data collection (i.e., a Twitter account that is used to track Tweets and mentions).

Brand is one thing and anti-brand is another. When it comes to anti-brand management, businesses should be well aware of the threat this unique problem entails. In his article Negative Double Jeopardy: The Role of Anti-brand Sites On the Internet, S. Umit Kucuk claims that anti-brand websites are today‘s “form of boycott and protest, developed through consumer activism as a result of increasing consumer power.” According to Kucuk and Krishnamurthy (2007) because of the advent of the Internet, “Consumers are able to clearly broadcast their messages and organize with other like-minded consumers,” which allows them to use “anti-brand websites as weapons of empowerment to battle the corporate world and its brand power on a day-to-day basis."

It doesn’t take much to set up a website these days and anti-brand sites can easily be created and used to target and attack brands by using their most powerful online branding tool against them: ‘domain names’. Although their names can be quite humorous, these websites are no laughing matter and they must be taken very seriously and the courts in the United States have been of little help; many have found in favor of these anti-brand sites.

There are four different categories—Experts, Symbolic Haters, Complainers, and Opportunists—and each of these can be devastating for a brand. For more information, check with us, we can help you understand the social conversation going on around you, even in China. 

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