Brand shame. Really?

"When your public sees you choosing a path that's shameful, that they don't approve of, that offends their sensibilities, it creates a dissonance that might never be erased." - Seth Godin

When I began reading Seth Godin's musing on brand shame, it instantly reminded me of an article I just finished writing for a client magazine on sporting role models and the ramifications when they go berko on Mad Monday.

See, I totes believe his assertion that 
"Brands work not because they have clever logos or taglines, not because they run a lot of ads, but because something about their story and their promise resonates with deeply held cultural beliefs."

And, while still nodding in agreement  
"When the brand stops resonating and starts undermining the way their audience thinks of themselves, it feels wrong, uncomfortable. When it crosses the line to behavior seen "as shameful, the brand fades" 
(It maybe completely erroneous, but many years ago I read that cosmetics company, Lancome was particularly heartless in its testing on animals and I've never considered putting a drop of the stuff on my face or body since ... AND DISCLAIMER: I've never even bothered looking into the matter either. So you can see how one dimensional and lazy the effect of hearing whispers of bad brand behaviour can be).

Getting back to the sporting role models and their sponsors issue ... I can't hep thinking that the jump to dump a shamed sporting team is often a jump of the gun. Really. Who. Honestly would have thought Samsung was an organisation in support of bigotry just because it sponsored some basketball team (L.A. Clippers) whose owner made some out-of-the-blue, WTF- ignorant-racist comment?

Isn't ceasing sponsorship of the athletes an over-dramatic reaction to how they think punters will react? Can't sponsors give people enough credit  to assume they have the emotional intelligence and logic that will separate a company that invests sponsorship dollars in an elite team of sporting stars from the idea that it endorses some dumb thing their cashed up owner ranted one night?

A little credit please.

Read the whole of Seth's article here.

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