October 19th, 2010 By Jack Morton
Today’s article in Ad Age regarding Chevron reveals what can happen when people believe a brand doesn’t live up to a certain standard. While this case of brand hijacking is extreme, brands have to be aware of the people who don’t agree with their message. And while certain industries lend themselves more to controversy than others, the simple fact is that in the digital age, hijacking the brand is easier than ever. I believe reaching out to all stakeholders with consistent brand experiences and messages can decrease the likelihood of this type of retaliation.
This is brand sabotage is reminiscent of the Leroy Stick BP twitter feed and the British Airways magazine debacle. We are at a time in branding where individuals feel the power (and the right) to own brands, as seen in the recent Gap logo change. Bottom line: brands need to be ready to answer to the power of the consumer.