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Troll Proof Branding in the Age of Doppelgangers

Troll Proof Branding in the Age of Doppelgangers

  • Gaurav Sood - Professor of Marketing at Amity University, Noida
Critical Acclaim

March 2022 | 276 pages | SAGE Response
Fake news, Hacktivism, Internet trolls and Culture jamming are rampant pop culture phenomena in the age of consumerism.

Clever strategies such as emotional and cultural branding can only help your brand go as far as one little slip from grace. In the blink of an eye, your brand’s image can be tarnished by its monstrous doppelganger. Tweets by angry fans along with memes about your brand can become your worst nightmare. 

Troll Proof Branding in the Age of Doppelgangers captures the evolution of the brand alter-ego, also known as brand doppelganger, created by consumers, anti-brand activists, competitors, opinion leaders, media and the public. The book discusses the world of monstrous doppelgangers and various reasons and situations that create negative imagery of personal and public brands. Most of the time, these doppelgangers are the result of the company’s own faulty products and complacent attitudes towards consumer feedback, for instance, Pepsi and McDonald’s anti-health and obesity-promoting menu. But there are also brands like Starbucks that have their customer base built on quality and emotional loyalty to the brand.  And still, Starbucks’ reputation eventually got overshadowed by its evil twin—the one who crushes the local competition by making mom and pop stores run out of business. This means that even an emotional branding popularly used by brands can backfire! In contrast, Nike, when attacked by its doppelganger, bounced back by installing a code of conduct in its factories— SHAPE: Safety, Health, Attitude, People and Environment. Then, there are cases of personal brands such as Ravish Kumar, a seasoned Indian journalist, and Alia Bhatt, the Bollywood actress, being trolled online by anti-fans. 

This book aids you in developing strategies to counter the impact of your brand doppelgangers.

Arm yourself with strategies to promote brand positivity to fight trollers and hacktivists.
Foreword by Annurag Batra
The Monster Unleashed
Brand New World
Brand Strategies Gone Wrong
Culture Jamming
Fake News
The Psychology of Internet Trolls
Brand Hacktivism: A Weapon of Brand Destruction
Measuring Brand Doppelganger Imagery

‘Most books on branding make few connections to the current brand management environment. This book written by Dr Gaurav Sood is designed explicitly for the new world of brand and branding. A blend of theory and practice, with cases from the global brands, the book brings alive the critical dimensions of ‘brand doppelganger’ in a crisp yet comprehensive manner.’

Hari Krishnan
Strategic Advisor, Culture Drum

‘A truly International brand playbook. Gaurav’s arguments are thorough and persuasive and his breath of academic and professional experience all across the globe has helped to reflect in his story telling. The book Troll Proof Branding in the Age of Doppelgangers take aim at the darker side of the brand and the impact of the brand doppelgänger on the reputation of the brand. The book is an eye-opening reportage and wonderful analysis of how trolls, fake news, hacktivism and culture jamming creates brand’s own doppelganger and threatens its image in the popular culture. Gaurav has carefully analysed cases from across the world of brands which are victim to its own doppelganger. The book is a must-read for marketers and students to learn how to develop counter strategies and manage the brand doppelganger.’

Douglas Quintal
Sr Executive-in-Residence, Emerson College, Boston, MA, USA

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ISBN: 9789354793530