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Brand Hijack

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Brand Hijack

Marketing Without Marketing


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Physics tells us you can't create something from nothing. So when brands appear out of nowhere, start asking questions.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


This thoughtful book fills a gap in marketing literature by explaining why some unknown products and people suddenly become huge financial and popular successes. While many people assume marketers create such stars with careful planning and huge advertising campaigns, in fact many of these brands were ignored before they emerged into the mainstream. Fringe groups popularized them, created their images and made them generally successful, often with no professional involvement at all. Author Alex Wipperfürth has done a masterful job of identifying, researching and revealing this phenomenon. In a world of repetitive marketing books, this one stands out as refreshing and insightful, complete with numerous case studies and extensive endnotes. believes it would be a welcome addition to any marketing department’s library. It can reinvigorate your creative marketing as it explains the unexpected.


Brands Out of Nowhere

The consumer revolt has begun. While major marketing gurus once thought they could build interest and drive sales through expensive advertising campaigns and other promotions, the power has now shifted to consumers, who are often doing more to build brands than the marketers themselves. It’s strange but true. How else can you account for the wild popularity of Starbucks, which has never run an extensive national media campaign? Or of The Blair Witch Project, a film that created a sensation and earned huge revenues with almost no marketing budget?

In "brand hijacking," buyers take over marketing from professionals. This represents a fundamental shift from the marketing department to the consumer. With hijacked brands, the consumers are the ones who define the brand’s image, taking it out of the hands of the professionals. As consumers gain control, their brand loyalty grows. They feel a direct ownership interest in the brand. Traditional marketing professionals may think this model is upside-down, but it is happening with increasing frequency, and it often translates into more money for the brand.

How Did that Hijack Happen?


About the Author

Alex Wipperfürth is a partner at San Francisco’s Plan B, a firm that helps major brands find markets.

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    R. T. 3 years ago
    This is a useful marketing concept to know – and the summary explained it quite well. Not one you can easily create or control, but it is important to realize the potential and recognize it if it does happen.

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