You Don’t Know Jack About Brandjacking

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…

You Don't Know Jack logo

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.

Clearly Conveyed Communications logo

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.

As Tony Zayas so elegantly puts it on the Proforma blog, trust is the new business currency. If clients and prospects don’t trust you, they won’t work with you.

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?

You may also like: The Art of Branding | The Olympics: A Global Brand (Kind Of)
Rage Against the Political Machine: 5 Takeaways for Your Marketing Efforts

Photo credit: You Don’t Know Jack

Your trivia (& branding) buff,
Jaime

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Social Media’s Nice, But It’s Not IRL

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting up with professional friends for a fun night out. Despite the frigid temperatures, I was actually looking forward to bundling up and heading North for the occasion. These are people that I’ve worked long hours with, learned so much from and are just plain fun to be around. Plus, it’s always a wonderful networking opportunity for future endeavors when you hang out with well-connected people.

Yours truly with Dana Zezzo

Hanging out with Dana Zezzo, inventor of the Zoint & “Get Social” king, at a tweet-up at the House of Blues in Vegas.

You don’t need to convince me of the benefits of social media, both personal and professional. I preach them every day. But some people mistake ‘getting social’ on social media for real life socializing, which it’s not. We all need interaction with other human beings (some more than others), and there’s something about face-to-face communication that just can’t be duplicated in other communication channels.

You may also like: Enough with the Email… Pick up the Phone!

To illustrate my point, you may have come across this popular acronym during your social travels: IRL. It stands for In Real Life, as in “I finally met Lars Ulrich IRL at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yesterday. What a cool dude!”

The author with reps from Driving Impressions

Enjoying the Scottsdale weather with the guys from Driving Impressions.

So here’s my point: at some point, stop getting social online and actually meet up with some people IRL. You’ll be glad you did.

Your Turn

Agree or disagree?

Is your social calendar conducted entirely online?

When’s the last time you met someone ‘in real life?’

Where’s your favorite hangout (and I don’t mean Google+)?

Living large IRL,
Jaime

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