How to Protect your Brand from Unwanted Associations

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Millward Brown's Article "Whose Brand Is It Anyway?" reveals how you can approach the issue of having your brand take on a connotation that you did not intend.

Excerpt:

It’s every parent’s worst nightmare that a child should fall in with a bad crowd. Should the “parents” of brands — the creators, managers, and marketers — share this worry? Can a brand be damaged by the company it keeps? Conversely, can keeping good company enhance a brand’s reputation? If a brand is embraced by a group that is younger, hipper, or richer than its original target, is the status of that brand improved?

If the answer to any or all of these questions is yes, one key question remains: Should marketers attempt to intervene in brands’ relationships with consumers to maximize benefits and minimize ill effects? Is it even possible for them to do this effectively without doing more harm than good in the process?

While there is no hard-and-fast answer, in many cases marketers should heed that unfortunate new marketing mantra: “Just let go.” Assuming that they have done their job — which is to establish what the brand stands for and ensure that the brand has forged a solid relationship with target consumers — marketers should stand back and stay out of the way as their brand encounters the wider world.

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