Consider your own online shopping patterns. How much weight do you place on the presence of a name or logo or other trademark (such as the KitchenAid silhouette) on a Web site when purchasing goods or services? Do you ever stop to consider whether you may have been misled? How could you tell the difference?
Brian Maynard of KitchenAid notes that the development of the Internet changed the problem of brand policing. What are some of these changes? What new challenges can you think of that did not exist in the preonline world? Provide several examples.
The companies mentioned in the case (e.g., Kitchen-Aid, RBC, Disney, and Coke) were well established and enjoyed strong brand recognition well before the advent of the Internet. Do you think online-only companies face the same problems as they do? Why or why not? Justify the rationale for your answer.
Do you agree with Google and Microsoft that eBay is now vulnerable to their assaults via Google Base and Windows Live Expo? Why or why not?
What are the major advantages and limitations of Google Base and Windows Live Expo? Which do you prefer, or would you use both? Why? Go to their Internet Web sites and read reviews at other sites to help you answer.
Are eBay’s development of Kijiji, acquisition of Skype, alliance with Yahoo, and other acquisitions as noted in this case enough to ward off the competitive assaults of Google and Microsoft? Defend your position.