When brands hurt

Plaxo is supposedly reinventing itself as a distributed social network, which sounds good — except that it comes from Plaxo, a brand I have come to hate and equate with turning good people into spammers. Almost everyone I know can’t stand the Plaxo brand and automatically kills any email carrying that name. So why would they keep the brand for a product that is supposedly so new? The old conventional wisdom that that if you’ve spent the money to build brand recognition, you ride it. But now, brands are born and built — and ruined — more quickly. It’s going to take one helluva lot of convincing — thus marketing expense — for me to ever try something from Plaxo that wants data from me.