A doppelgänger brand image or DBI is collection of disparaging images and stories about a brand that are circulated in popular culture by a loosely organized network of consumers, anti-brand activists, bloggers, and opinion leaders.
The major motivation for creating a Doppelganger Brand Image is based on the perception that a brand is being inauthentic by claiming to be something that is not or disguising its true nature.
Some of the examples of DBI’s include Pepsi-Colas fat guy and the popular website, PeopleofWalmart.com. There are incidents where DBI affect familiar brands like Starbucks, Apple, and McDonald’s. This DBI even ignores the technological innovations of the parent company. For example, Botox Cosmetic’s, a self enhancement drug helps to remove unwanted facial wrinkles on the face. But negative stories about the drug are well circulated among consumers that it is deadly poison, leads to frozen faces and addiction. Later, the company has come out with a campaign which neutralized the negative brands meaning and gained wider acceptance among consumers.