Premium Essay

The Uninvited Brand

In: Business and Management

Submitted By ABHI013
Words 12407
Pages 50
Business Horizons (2011) 54, 193—207

www.elsevier.com/locate/bushor

The uninvited brand
Susan Fournier a,*, Jill Avery b a b

Boston University School of Management, 595 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, U.S.A. Simmons School of Management, 300 The Fenway, M-336, Boston, MA 02115, U.S.A.

KEYWORDS
Branding; Brand management; Social media; Web 2.0; Co-creation

Abstract Brands rushed into social media, viewing social networks, video sharing, online communities, and microblogging sites as the panacea to diminishing returns for traditional brand building routes. But as more branding activity moves to the Web, marketers are confronted with the stark realization that social media was made for people, not for brands. In this article, we explore the emergent cultural landscape of open source branding, and identify marketing strategies directed at the hunt for consumer engagement on the People’s Web. These strategies present a paradox, for to gain coveted resonance, the brand must relinquish control. We discuss how Webbased power struggles between marketers and consumer brand authors challenge accepted branding truths and paradigms: where short-term brands can trump longterm icons; where marketing looks more like public relations; where brand building gives way to brand protection; and brand value is driven by risk, not returns. # 2011 Kelley School of Business, Indiana University. All rights reserved.

1. The party crashers: Marketers and the Social Web
Brands today claim hundreds of thousands of Facebook friends, Twitter followers, online community members, and YouTube fans; yet, it is a lonely, scary time to be a brand manager. Despite marketers’ desires to leverage Web 2.0 technologies to their advantage, a stark truth presents itself: the Web was created not to sell branded products, but to link people together in collective conversational webs....

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