Unbranding Traditional Branding Methods
I am a sucker for the weird and the odd especially when it comes to business. What’s even more interesting is when the weird and the odd makes more sense than the norm.
That’s how I take the revelation that brands are getting smart enough (actually sneaky enough is a better term) to find ways to disassociate themselves from moronic pop culture ‘celebrities’ like Snooki from MTV’s Jersey Shore.
Here is my full disclosure. I am from NJ but not the NJ you are thinking of. My New Jersey had farms and lots of space. I didn’t live anywhere near the Turnpike (although Exit 10 would be the best one to start your trek to the part of NJ I know). I have also never watched a second of MTV’s Jersey Shore nor do I plan to.
The trouble is that this Snooki character is all over the place and apparently she is a walking cry for an intervention of some sort. As a result she has become anathema to the brands that she likes to be seen in especially the Coach bag she apparently totes around in between drinks and fights. Not exactly the kind of person you want as the spokesperson for your brand, right?
Well, if you are afraid that someone with this little moral character or common sense is what is becoming the face of your brand what can you do? Send her a competitor’s brand so she will stop using yours! Brilliant!
In what is being called ‘unbranding’ brands are looking for ways to move away from ‘popular’ people who are notorious rather than just getting notoriety. From the Observer by way of the Business Insider War Room
Remember how Snooki, drunk or sober, was never seen without that Coach bag dangling from the crook of her arm? Snooki and her Coach were as synonymous as The Situation and his six-pack.
But then the winds of change started blowing on Jersey Shore. Every photograph of Guido-huntin’ Snooki showed her toting a new designer purse. Why the sudden disloyalty? Was she trading up? Was she vomiting into her purses and then randomly replacing them?
The answer is much more intriguing.
Allegedly, the anxious folks at these various luxury houses are all aggressively gifting our gal Snookums with free bags. No surprise, right? But here’s the shocker: They are not sending her their own bags. They are sending her each other’s bags! Competitors’ bags!
So if you are finding that your product is getting some press from the wrong sources (maybe Tiger Woods is using your Day Timer for his ‘appointments’?) send along the competitor’s stuff to keep yours out of the wrong spotlight.
Ingenious? Maybe. More like a statement on the sad times we live in. Trouble is that it’s what is happening whether we like it or not. Do you like it?