Pop Culture Controlling the Message

I think the biggest area of growth in the next two years is going to be brandjacking.

For instance I can’t make a call while driving to Denver on AT&T without it being dropped. Seven times is the fewest I can do. AT&T is horrible, and no amount of brainwashing commercials can make them suck less. What can make them suck less is their stock price going down (or customers flat leaving) because of customer dissatisfaction.

What happens when Apple, kings of marketing products, get brought down by brandjacking and pop culture?

iPad

iPad

Photo by Danny Newman

Saturday Night Live announced the iPad as “apple released a thing that does stuff that their other things already do.”

As cool as we think this product is going to be, there is a underlying sense that if you use it, you will be lame.

We can call this the Segway Problem.  You can’t look cool and use a Segway, or a Zune for that matter (sorry).

This comes to an underlying theme of this blog, don’t be lame.  How does a product become lame?  By not listening to customers, abusing their power, being overpriced, being closed to innovation or repeating past mistakes.

Call that the Apple 2010 mantra.  The iPad didn’t listen to their customers, is abusing their power (flash anyone?), overpriced (not by much, but every app added they will get a 30% cut of), a closed operating system and sticking with AT&T (holy fail of all fails).

With the iPad Apple has started the process of being unbeatable brand leader to lame.

I see smaller groups being highly effective at brandjacking companies.  Danny’s example above is a very small example.

Remember the Chevy ad campaign from a few years ago that the community went a little wild with brandjacking?  The site is down, but SFWeekly caught a great clip:

Chevy Ad

When you think of Chevy and “I still live with my parents” you are far less likely to buy a Chevy.

With high unemployment and brands marketing to wealth and status, it really is inevitable.

Example here with the new iPhone 3GS, go to hell.

Will it cause change though?

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