1. Consider your own online shopping patterns. How much weight do you place on the presence of a name or logo or other trademark (such as the Kitchen Aid silhouette) on a Web site when purchasing goods or services? Do you ever stop to consider whether you may have been misled? How could you tell the difference?
2. Brian Maynard of Kitchen Aid notes that the development of the Internet changed the problem of brand policing. What are some of these changes? What new challenges can you think of that did not exist in the pre-online world? Provide several examples.
3. The companies mentioned in the case (e.g., Kitchen Aid, RBC, Disney, and Coke) were well established and enjoyed strong brand recognition well before the advent of the Internet. Do you think online-only companies face the same problems as they do? Why or why not? Justify the rationale for your answer.

A reputation is a fragile thing—especially on the Internet, where trademarked images are easily borrowed, Corporate secrets can be divulged anonymously in chat rooms, and idle speculation and malicious Commentary on a blog can affect a company’s stock price. Brands are under constant attack, but companies such as Brand Protect, Mark Monitor, and Name Protect (now part of Corporation Services Company) are stepping in to offer companies some artillery in the fight for control of their brands and reputations.

  • CreatedDecember 31, 2012
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