A successful brand is not just about its power in the market, it’s about responsibility in our community and society. Brand jacking is a barometer of that responsibility or lack there of as was demonstrated by Greenpeace’s imaginative, ambitious, audacious brand jacking campaign sundering Lego’s long-standing relationship with Shell.
Brand jacking is perfect for the digital age because consumers want to connect and want that connection to be intense and to move them and when brand jackers push hard enough they evidently can get someplace. With regards the future, social media players are turning to a pay for play model working closely with advertisers so there will be acute pressure to ensure there is no fake paid advertising with the threat of revenue being lost. Omnicom has recently undertaken a $230M mobile marketing partnership with Twitter who will be held accountable. Is this enough to stop brand jacking or is there emerging trouble in the future where we can expect to see more brand jacking that’s well funded? And are big brands in the spot light worried that this trendy new type of activist brand jacking will sow instability?
We’re in a copycat society where Twitter and Facebook are a petri dish for brand jacking. It’s difficult for brands to control the fall out and one big question remains, what happens when you’re brand jacked? Customers take fright, brand jackers gain ground, revenue and credibility are lost and the brand collapses to demands. Here’s how brands can take the necessary steps to identify and counter the threats of brand jacking in this digital world:
Constant online monitoring
Avoid ignoring the brand jacking
Regularly communicate with user, fan and consumer sites
Bake social media deep into crisis management strategy
View the brand through the eyes of your detractors
Open all lines of communication
Use social media as the main platform for your response
Actively engage with the brand jackers
There’s nothing more valuable to a business than its reputation and the ability to secure it so the last point jangles nerves for most brands because it’s typically a burning platform. Plus they’re scared of becoming embroiled in the enmities because the brand is not entitled to its own facts the detractor is.
Brands are supposed to be a promise to consumers and an insurance policy against difficulties so when brand jacked they need to find a tone between adamantine rebut and abject prostration, one that bolsters the brands sincerity rather than forfeiting it. The truth has consequences and with brand jacking there are two things for certain: you don’t make peace with your friends and brand jacking’s got legs and those legs dance.