Embrace or Protect

In today’s world of social media, limitless creativity and mashups, more companies and artists are having to answer the question – Should we allow people to be creative with our brand(s) or should we protect against it.

There are examples of companies breaking the status quo and allowing its users to contribute to building its brand.

Some of those companies are Doritos and GM. Each ran contests that allowed users to create ads for Super Bowl XL1, in January, 2007.

My Take
In most cases, I think it is good to open up to users and consumers and allow them to create the brand. However, it will not work for all brands. Some brands are more prone to spoofs than others. Some brands don’t work well

It doesn’t seem like Depend or Polident would be the best brands for this sort of thing. It probably wouldn’t work for most luxury brands either.

The ideal pairing is finding dedicated fans and providing them tools and information to create their take on your brand. Red Bull has some great examples, such as Art of the Can and Flugtag.

Side Note
This post was inspired by a Ted Talk that I recently watched. In the talk, Larry Lessig talks about how the current laws are strangling, and criminalizing, creativity.

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