Published by Enrique Aguilera, June 30th, 2010

This is an interesting name for a post, which coming from a security company, you’d expect to talk about domain hijacking, server hacking or issues about property and brand ownership rights. However, it’s not about that, it’s about much more.

Who is the true owner of a brand, its legal owner or the people who use, enjoy and ‘support’ it?

As well as replying “it depends”, a lawyer would probably cite legal clauses -unintelligible to human beings-, enrique_aguilera_lapiazza_blog1explaining that the owner of a brand  is the person who registers it, pursues some kind of activity (commercial or not) related to the brand… all perfectly argued, of course.

Coming from a technical background yet having worked in the marketing area for many years, in my opinion, the brand owners are those who enjoy it, i.e. its ‘users’.  Companies that legally own brands are merely ‘managers’, but it is users who truly possess the brand.

It is therefore our clients/users who have the power, it is they we must listen to and talk with. That is what the new marketing paradigms are telling us.

So how can you measure your brand health?

By asking users what they think about it, and most of all by asking them ‘The Ultimate Question, would you recommend this brand to a friend?

This question is the basis for a management tool that helps determine the loyalty of users, the true brand owners. The tool is Net Promoter, which has been used by hundreds of companies for years, mostly new generation companies or companies that have adapted to new marketing.

Other market investigation methods such as the Voice of the customer (VOC) corroborate this hypothesis: brand users are its owners and they must be heard.

Henry Ford would probably be against this, as he believed brand users are little able to innovate, which is why one of his most famous quotes is: “If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse”.

There are also cases like Apple and its iPad. Apple has created a magic product, the Ipad, which even they don’t know what it’s for. One of their first initiatives was to ask users how and what they used the magic device for.

I have no doubts; my company manages your brand.

I am Enrique Aguilera, a dreamer and learner, as well as a teacher, but above all, I’m enthusiastic about everything I do and say. For almost two years I have been dedicating the part of my life and heart which I don’t dedicate to my family to Panda Security, trying to help develop the Online Business Department and managing it from Panda headquarters for everyone around the world.