Does brand dominance + banning competitors = Branned?

The Halifax Herald is reporting that attendees to this year's Olympic games in Greece may have their goods confiscated or even told to turn their clothing inside-out (!!) if these items are sporting logos from companies who compete with Olympic sponsor companies.

This isn't the 50's. Today's consumers are intelligent, media-aware, and incredibly sensitive to the "message behind the message". And one of the things they do best is smell fear.

This policy makes it look as though the IOCC is afraid that its sponsors will pull out if their competitors show up in a two-second internationally televised glance at a bottle of Pepsi. It also (more important and damaging to the companies in question) makes the sponsors look as though they're afraid of even a little competition, as though even the slightest reference to a competitive brand will undermine their media marketing message.

Consumers don't respond well to fear. If a company that big, with that much money behind it is afraid, then maybe it has reason to be. Maybe it's not as good as we all thought.

The best way to get - and keep - consumer confidence is to be confident in your company and the worth of its products or services. Be cautious of your competition, certainly... but shutting them out completely just makes the consumer want to take a second look at other options.

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2 Comments

  • Angie

    Oh, definitely. But given the ridiculousness of this "rule", I wouldn't put it past them to extend it.

    It's all so silly. If they hadn't said anything, then it would have allowed their sponsors to remain a powerful force over the games, rather than drawing attention to the brands that aren't allowed in the games.

    Despite the old adage, not all publicity is good publicity. I can't help but think this will hurt and actually undermine the marketing messages of the game sponsors in the minds of the public.

  • M

    I'm with you there, Angie. Such a move will only serve to annoy the people who are inconvenienced by this type of policy. Imagine the embarassment of having to wear your shirt inside-out in public. Yikes.

    It's a good thing they're only applying this to apparel, food, and drinks. Imagine if they applied that rule to cameras and cellular phones?!