CHAPTER 2

The Customer Trap and Brand Destruction

Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.

—Alfred A. Montapert

The Customer Trap can lead to the destruction of many vital parts of a business. The power that a Mega-Customer is able to wield simply overwhelms the strategic toolkit of its supplier. As the Mega-Customer gains leverage, the producing firm loses control over its destiny and is soon nothing more than a colony serving the needs and wants of its colonial master. Once this happens, it is almost impossible to regain control. This is probably nowhere more easily seen than in the area of branding. The scope and magnitude of a deal with a Mega-Customer can quickly erode the brand equity of individual products ...

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