The Internet world is full of slimy tactics to attract consumers. It seems virtually impossible to regulate spam. The few companies who have proven successful in doing so are those that specialize in such.
With the Internet being so wide-open, investing in regulating all the hokey emails would turn in to a wild goose chase, with little results. I think if a company invests enough efforts in to building and maintaining their image, then consumers will be able to recognize that the phishing and spam is coming through a 3rd party channel and not let it tarnish their perception of the brand at all.
So in essence, brand management on the home-front is even more essential in preserving the brandís image with the emergence of phishing and spamming.
Mike Poznansky, Marketing Manager - October 29, 2005
It is most definately not a case of all communication is good communication...if the communication comes from a credible source it is a different story.
Brands are tarnishing their images and losing brand equity as a result of SPAM. Consumers will most definitely become annoyed and directly associate this with the brand in question.
Gina Mcmorran, Student, University of Johannesburg - October 31, 2005
The most vulnerable brands are those that rely on internet activities for legitimate business - experience with eBAy and spam leaves me very dubious about ever using the legitmate service, for fear of having personal/financial details swiped: thus the damage to the brand is significant. I know eBay is not responsible for the spam, but I now don't trust any communications purporting to be from eBAy legitimate or otherwise, and therefore don't trust the brand - and THAT is a serious problem for any brand. Where internet activities are ancillary rather than fundamental to the business model, brand damage is likely to be lower. The question is what can those whose business is fundamentally predicated on internet services do about it? The answer cannot be "nothing" - the movie houses have (largely succesfully) fought against piracy for years - this is not dissimilar.
Timothy Pratt, CMO, MedNet Solutions - October 31, 2005
I get a feeling Spam was called Spam for a reason. Like its artificially processed namesake, it's a low-grade, poor man's substitute that should be fed unrelentingly to the waste dispoal unit (or trash can if you've got an apple.) No matter how many times it's served up in front of you (in ever more intriguing and ingenious guises) it still makes you feel a bit sick.
Now Smash...now there's a completely different story. Give me aliens and fluffy white potato packets anyday.
Phil White, Strategy & Planning Director, Communique 360 - October 31, 2005
I agree that Spam can damage a lot of brands -- purely through the ever-developing negative associations.
I also feel that too many claims are being made for the sales and promotional efficacy of the Internet (by vested interests mainly) whilst many people's experience remains highly negative. Phishing HAS affected how we view the security of the system. Maybe we should remember that originally the Internet idea was as an Information Superhighway. This is still where it scores over anything else.
However I fear this estimable ideal has been hi-jacked -- but probably that was inevitable.
But e-Bay and amazon have proved that you CAN build a reputable brand on the Internet -- but how many others are there -- and how many will spend the time, effort and money to do it? At best I think the internet will be remain a supportive role to other media, despite the claims being made. Providing information supportive to the main thrust of the branding function and the system works, 'Your on-line brochure' is how I have always regarded it.
Norman Clark, Principal, Associates In Training - November 1, 2005