“People tend to identify with a brand (i.e. logo, message, etc.) first and then they relate to it. I think it explains why there are so many fake bags (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Kate Spade, Hermes, etc.) not to mention other products on the market. It’s not that people relate to the company that owns the brand it’s that the brand (in this case a logo) gives them a perception of inclusion without the sting of the price tag.”
I think this makes an awful lot of sense, and shows that there is a need for traditional branding as well as brand relationship management in contemporary marketing. In many ways I feel that community management is now responsible for the customer retention aspect of traditional marketing (and obviously a lot more than that).