Definition

brandjacking

Contributor(s): Laura Aberle

Brandjacking is the unauthorized use of a company's brand. 

The Internet and the popularity of social networking has made it easier than ever for an ordinary person to hijack a corporate brand's online presence. Typical scenarios include setting up a bogus social media account that seems to be affiliated with a particular brand or service,  hacking a brand's legitimate social media account and or labeling social media posts with a hashtag that is being officially used by a particular brand or service.

It's difficult for brands to counteract the problems that online brandjacking cause. Companies may threaten legal action, but censoring brandjackers can backfire, drawing more attention to the situation and further injuring the brand's image. Perhaps the best way for companies to counteract online brandjacking is to continue to build a social media presence, promote a positive brand image and partner with online brandjackers who are also well-wishers. 

 

 

This was last updated in February 2015

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How should companies avoid getting brandjacked on social media?
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Individuals are not the only victims of identity theft. Brands can be victims as well, and when this happens, we call it brandjacking. Classic signs of brandjacking include abusive domain registrations and fake goods.

To prevent attempts at brandjacking from being successful, verify your brand's social media accounts on sites that offer this option. Twitter and Facebook both put a white check mark on a blue background to distinguish official accounts from the poser ones.
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