Forfeiture

If mystique has been forfeited, individual or organizational, there remains little to be lost through advertising. But the organization that seeks to retain mystique (often an unintended but advantageous byproduct of economy), will be set upon by wolves. The wolves will induce the company to talk, thereby diluting the special share the organization held in the imagination of the consumer. For the small organization, too much publicity is a bad thing. Once the talking starts, it is difficult to stop; too much is revealed. And consumers resent products into which they are unable to invest beliefs of their own, as the demystified product is not easily fetishized. When a product is not permitted a life in the imagination of the consumer, it will be its unhappy fate to be stockaded by an ad firm.

Once represented, an organization or its product ceases to represent itself. Autonomy is lost. This is the aim of the organization’s competitors: the ensnared product’s evolution in the marketplace has become guided. The organization, if its identity hinged upon the assailed product, will not easily recover from the blows struck by a competitor with better organizational intelligence and bountiful resources, and will wince at every new feint.

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