Hacking is The Highest Form of Flattery

Don´t let lawyers run your brand.
This becomes quite apparent when you think about cease & desist from Ikea to Ikea Hackers. You have a person who has been an ambassador for your brand and indirectly urged people to buy more of your products. Yes, he has gotten some money out of it through ad sales, but seems quite petty from behemoth like Ikea to care about that. Instead they put the self-professed super-fan in jeopardy on quite dubious legal grounds. Cory Doctorow has a great argument on how the trademark is not copyright. What is most striking is that something like this still happens in 2014. It used to be my usual blog fodder to rip stupid brands harassing people who love their brand. I thought that brands had learned something throughout the years. Apparently not, so here is a reminder about two facts in this social age:

1. Hacking the brand is the highest form of flattery.
Even if someone is doing a parody about your brand, she is still using countless of hours with your brand. She would not do it, if brand would not mean anything to him. The challenge for the brands is not the negative feelings, it is that most of the people do not have any feelings (positive or negative) towards your brand.

2. Reward, don´t punish your biggest fans

Coke´s Facebook Page was originally started by fans. Instead of cease & desist, they invited those fans to visit the factory. Ikea should think about how they could collaborate with Ikea Hackers. Or maybe there would be some interesting cues for product development?

Weird mishap by otherwise generally smart brand. I think some of the solutions in this great Ikea-produced video could contribute as hacks as well:

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