gaslight marketing is a form of customer abuse
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According to Google, to gaslight someone is to manipulate them “by psychological means into doubting their own sanity.” Here are some common example of gaslighting in abusive relationships.

These behaviours are so absurd and extreme that, over time, the abuse target begins to doubt their own sanity. Even as they are getting even more caught up in the abuser’s manipulations.

In recent times, I have noticed some global brands engaging in these behaviours, in their marketing and PR responses to faulty products. You may be familiar with the actions listed below:

Gaslight marketing sets a precedent for the fans of the brand. These true believers are only too happy to collude with the gaslighting as their identity and wellbeing are inextricably tied into the brand’s wellbeing. Every criticism of the brand, no matter how reasonable or warranted, is perceived as direct personal attacks. Fans can engage in anti-social behaviours especially on social media and support fora:

Gaslighting is the ultimate break in authenticity. It turns genuine customer relationship building into a creepy manipulative and abusive engagement. It is a destructive behaviour in all interpersonal relationships.

Brands who gaslight their customers are being disrespectful and abusive. We should call out and avoid supporting brands that engage in this practice.