A short story about „death by search“

James Cherkoff tells us a nice little story about how tight marketing programs, the nice shop in a nice part of town, well trained sales people, the glossy leaflets and the good reputation of certain type of kitchen brand has been made obsolete by one single search on the web about what other customers of this brand had to say. The opinions were mostly negative and James ended up cancelling his order.

Of course, you would always have consulted other sources – most of all your closest peers – about opinions on any high involvement product or service. But the chances that you find many sources with the same brand of kitchen (car, dishwasher, etc.) in your closest range of peers was and is rather limited.

With todays possibilities to find opinions on anything on the web (even stuff you didn’t want to know about), it is ever more important for brands to keep their promises. People are fearing the moment of the totally transparent consumer, but hey, brands already face this complete transparency!

Defend your reputation

Interesting – someone launched a start up that takes care of your online reputation, called reputation defender.

Or so they claim. A good Idea, I think, since many people will most likely have been careless with what they do online, before they found out that this data will always be visible…

I do it, headhunters do it, journalists do it. Once you get to know a new person, you ask Google about the digital trail of this person. So it would be embarrassing, if there were videos or photos of that person being utterly wasted at some college party…

Reputation defender apparently helps in this situation by „cleaning“ the web from your embarrassing videos, photos, etc. All against a small fee, of course.

He charges $9.95 per month to $15.95 per month, depending on how long a customer signs up for the service. The company will then crawl the Web looking for comments or material that refelect negatively on you, and charge an extra $29.95 for each attempt to get the material removed, whether or not is successful.

I just wonder, how helpful this really will be, since

Presumably, only comments considered “libelous, slanderous, defamatory or invasive can” legally be forced off the Web.

And there isn’t even any guarantee attached to it!