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An organization’s brand is one way, sometimes the only way, stakeholders like you and me can “know” the organization for us. The brand is our way to digest the organization, to see it in terms of our personal wants and needs. This chapter’s focus is the special relationship between an organization’s brand, its image and people. Naturally, organizations view their brand as their most important feature. They may define their brand in terms of transportation, building products, entertainment and the beverage industry. But people don’t look at brands and organizations that way. People do not buy laundry detergent, they buy Tide®; they don’t drink soda, they drink Coke®; and they don’t join a military unit, they join ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or just Islamic State), Al Qaeda or the US Army.
In this chapter, we explore a very unique personal phenomenon, brand trauma. Brand trauma is the result of stakeholders, again like you and me, feeling that they’ve been betrayed, lied to or simply misled by an organization or professional. Brand trauma is what we feel, what we experience in these types of situations. It is a time when our once-good feelings or sentiments are replaced by “trauma tracers.” “Trauma tracers” a type of social stigmata associated with the crisis. Remember the feelings you had when a friend treated you unfairly or perhaps the trauma you experienced after being in an accident? Those are your “trauma tracers.” That’s why you vote for one candidate and not another, why you no longer believe what an organization promotes or, sometimes in the worst case, why people no longer trust the police or other authority figures.
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- Brand Trauma
Dennis W. Tafoya
- Chapter 4
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