When Jack Daniel’s corporate lawyers saw that a recently published book had a cover design resembling the label of their whisky bottle, they did not slap the author with a lawsuit. Rather, they wrote him a cease-and-desist letter that kindly asked him to change the cover design for when the book is reprinted and if he changed it sooner, they would help with the costs. The author of the book was so pleased with how polite the cease-and-desist letter was that he blogged about it on his book’s website and 240 people responded in agreement.

In the article, What Jack Daniel’s can teach you about the values of closely monitoring your brand, Murray Newlands explains how Jack Daniel’s dealt with a trademark infringement in a positive manner and thus gained good publicity.

Newlands says that the companies usually want financial compensation for infringement and sometimes go through great lengths in court to win. However, this can lead to negative press and lowered public opinion of your brand.

Jack Daniel’s turned a potential sticky infringement case into a showcase of its generosity and genuineness by simply writing a cease-and-desist letter. Because the author blogged about his experience reading the letter, and 240 people responded, Jack Daniel’s created a massive amount of good publicity unintentionally. This is known as the phenomenon of the second audience. Although the letter was written for one audience, the author and publisher, it was shared by the author to his audience.

If companies want to create a positive brand image, they need to realize the phenomenon of the second audience created by social media. They need to realize how easy an individuals’ experience with your company can be spread to hundreds.

-Brian Scholl


~ by goodpackagedconsumers on September 29, 2012.