In the mid-nineties, there was a trivia game called You Don’t Know Jack. As a trivia buff, I loved the game and even had it on CD-ROM (remember those?). OK, I also loved telling people, “You don’t know jack” when they answered incorrectly. Which brings me too…
Brandjacking. What is it? When someone hijacks your brand, either personal or business, in order to steal your thunder (and publicity) or to hurt your brand’s reputation. It usually happens online, especially on social media. The term is widely credited to Business Week, which used it in a 2007 article.
So what’s the problem? First of all, it’s desperate. You’re either trying to grab some cheap publicity from another brand’s (hard work &) success or trying to cause damage to someone else’s brand. Either way, you look bad.
Second, come up with your own brand. Put in the work to build your brand, formulate a strategy and put it into action. Don’t try to jump on someone else’s coattails to success without putting in the work.
Maybe I’ve just spent too much time working on companies’ brands and understand how much time, effort and money go into the branding process. As all of you fellow marketers and business owners know, it’s a lot of hard work. For someone else to benefit from that (outside of donated publicity for a non-profit or cause) is incredibly frustrating and annoying.
As a small business owner, my brands (personal and business) are my everything. I’m all in, as they say at the poker table. I’ve put every last chip I have into making Clearly Conveyed Communications work. For someone to come along and hurt my brand(s) would be a horrible blow.
So if you think brandjacking is cool (or a viable marketing tactic), then you don’t know jack about branding.
The mic is yours…
Do you agree? Or is brandjacking a viable guerrilla marketing tactic?
Are there any brandjacking examples that you feel have been a success?
Would you brandjack?
Photo credit: You Don’t Know Jack
Your trivia (& branding) buff,