Viral Branding

Viral branding believes that consumers, and not companies, have the greatest influence in the generation of brands. Skeptical consumers will cease to listen to the messages of mass marketers, hence instead should create original brands of their own. The Internet furnished a way to speed up this creation. Consequently, what was formerly regarded as an essential mechanism that marketers could aim to motivate has at present turn out to be an objective in itself.Furthermore, several scholars nowadays suggest below-the-radar marketing, which sows the brand among individuals of powerful and influential classes in society. The fundamental assumption is that if the company can persuade these individuals to adopt the brand as their own, develop and diffuse the brand, like a virus, to establish it as a convenient and easy topic to talk about, these promoters will radically broaden their awareness in the brand to others by making use of their social networks, similar to the process of virus spreading (Mathieson 2005).At the advent of the new economic age, New York-based writer Douglas Rushkoff alerted humanity about what he referred to as ‘media viruses’. Managers of brand-creation and brand-marketing immediately turned the tables and concluded that taking on a viral approach was the speediest and most inexpensive route to brand paradise. The more swiftness through the organization, the better the brand performs (Aguirre 2001: 111).A similar insight is what Malcolm Gladwell, also a New York-based writer, has referred to as the ‘coolant.’ In this point of view, brands are not anymore directed by business organizations’ activities but to a certain extent provided meaning and significance on the streets by perspective-dominant innovators who approves the brands and grants them prestige. Consumer good firms deploy cultural investigators onto the streets of areas considered as ‘cool,’ like the recreational areas in poor urban districts or antiestablishment clubs, to survey new trends. The contest is to take hold of the latest, trendiest culture the quickest before it turns out to be a mainstream or mass culture (Robinson Rohan 2002: 48).