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> It irks me when people see corporations as these cohesive entities that only ever act with deliberate intent.

How else should we see it? Corporations are an abstraction layer, they're supposed to hide their inner workings and present one face to the customers. Hell, a corporation is a (legal) person. So I don't see a reason to not treat it as an whole, abstract entity - it's the corporation's job to figure out which internal part is causing them to have a bad name.

> How else should we see it?

I see it as it is; a constantly morphing organism, made up of thousands of people with conflicting interests and ideas, trying but often failing to present a cohesive image of itself to the public.

What, in your opinion, is the whole point behind a brand name?

We see arguments similar to yours when the subject of the Sony rootkit fiasco comes up. "It's not Sony's fault, it was just a rogue actor in a subsidiary." Um, no. The CD says "Sony" on it. That means it's Sony's fault. They spend a lot of money on branding and advertising to make sure that no one ever forgets that.

So let's not forget it.

I don't really buy into brand names, so I'm probably the wrong person to ask.

The way I see it, companies seek to use brands to exploit irrational consumer behavior, to increase their revenue beyond the level that would prevail in the absence of brands.

Yours appears to be the equal and opposite reaction to this; attacking brands and urging boycotts so as to decrease their revenue below this ordinary level.

I am advocating the middle way. Don't pay over the odds for a brand name, but equally don't boycott products or services just because you don't like the brand.

This is all true. But standing out the outside and pretending that they behave 'as intended' that is to say as a monolithic single entity, and then to guess about their behavior is counterproductive, especially if it is known that the company in question -does- deviate significantly from being a monolith.

Basically you kind of have to take both positions. Knowledge that a company is made up of bickering idiots doesn't excuse the company from acting coherently. But ignoring that fact while trying to analyze and predict a company isn't very useful either.

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