Defending the Brand: Aggressive Strategies for Protecting by Brian H. Murray

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By Brian H. Murray

This article presents powerful options for strengthening a company's highbrow estate, model integrity and on-line resources opposed to violations by means of unscrupulous enterprise and different dangers. those comprise unauthorized model institutions, product privateness and different high priced pitfalls.

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Stinson cautions that it’s important for marketers to start taking notice of online activity. ‘‘Companies that ignore this phenomenon are ignoring [it] at the risk of their reputation. ’’12 Oftentimes, the best recourse is to stay on top of the issues and promptly address complaints before the offending site gains a following and assumes a life of its own. 13 BALLY TOTAL FITNESS Drew Faber, a customer who felt he had been misled regarding the terms of his health club membership, erected a ‘‘Bally’s Total Fitness Sucks’’ site.

Many feel that if this could happen to Microsoft, then no company is safe. ’’7 The speed and reach of the Internet has also heightened the risk that leaked or stolen information will be widely distributed in a short period of time. It is now simple for even technology-challenged individuals to send mass e-mails or launch their own websites. As a result, there is an ever-present risk that a disgruntled employee, contractor, vendor, partner, or anyone else with access to sensitive information will broadly disseminate confidential information that can threaten a brand.

The commentary further reveals that because of a recent hacking incident, security is perceived to be an increasingly important factor in the buyer’s decision-making process. To estimate how many customers the software maker might lose because of this rumor, the company applied this step-by-step calculation and assumptions: Step 1 2 3 Assumption Number of negative posts identified: 20 Average number of customers who read each post: 10,000 Total potential customers exposed to post ‫( ס‬1) ‫( ן‬2) ‫ ס‬200,000 42 Defending the Brand • Step 4 5 6 7 Assumption Percent of buyers influenced by posts: 1% Total number of customers lost ‫( ס‬3) ‫( ן‬4) ‫ ס‬2,000 Average lifetime value of a customer: $800 Total cost ‫( ס‬5) ‫( ן‬6) ‫ ס‬$1,600,000 Had the software company been actively monitoring online commentary, the results may have been much different.

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