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Brand World

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23/02/2015 - par Mark Tungate

Dans sa chronique Brand World cette semaine, le journaliste Mark Tungate vous entretient d'un sujet que l'on pourrait presque considérer comme inavouable de nos jours: une certaine méfiance de sa part, disons même un réel manque de confiance, à l'égard des sociétés.com. Mais sous la double influence de son épouse et... d'un plombier, son point de vue est en train d'évoluer.

It occurs to me that our relationships with brands are not only conditioned by our experience of that particular brand, but of all similar brands, throughout our lives. I’m not making sense? Here’s a case in point. I recently came across a brand called Vousfinancer.com, which wanted to help me renegotiate the loan on my apartment. There was money to be saved, so I considered it. But something made me hesitate: the brand’s name. Of course, I went online and checked out Vousfinancer.com, and there was nothing to suggest that it was anything other than a perfectly respectable service. But still I felt wary.

 

It was the .com that put me off. This is totally hypocritical, since over the years I have spent a fortune on books from Amazon.com. But even so, I came quite late to online shopping, and I still lack confidence in online-only brands. That’s because I began writing about the internet in the 1990s, when a lot of brands that ended in .com extracted huge amounts of money from investors, and then went spectacularly bust. Boo.com – hailed as the future of fashion? As dead as last season’s trends. Pets.com – the ultimate home delivery service for pet products? Chewed up and spat out. Somewhere in the back of my mind, the feeling lingers that brands that end in .com cannot be taken seriously. Completely unfair, I know, but who said our relationships with brands are rational? Do I really believe, if I’m honest, that Oliver Peoples makes the world’s most stylish eyeglasses? That Bombay Sapphire is the greatest-tasting gin? Probably not, but I have anointed them as my chosen brands.

 

My defensive attitude towards the online world was seriously undermined the other day when my wife and I tried to find a plumber. Two were sourced by the traditional word-of-mouth method, and failed to show up. My wife located a third via an online service called hellocasa.fr. (I should add here that Madame Tungate does not share my dotcom phobia; in fact, she regards the analogue world as somewhat primitive.) The plumber arrived this morning, on time. He was excellent. So that’s one positive brand experience – and one more reason to forget the past and embrace the dotcoms.

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