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September 03, 2007

Relational Glossary Term: Dysthymic Brand

The Psychological Background:

The term “dysthymia” comes from Dysthymic Disorder, a mental disorder that affects 5 to 6 percent of all persons in the general population (Sadock & Sadock, 2003). Dysthymia is a mood disorder in which an individual chronically reports a mildly depressed mood for at least 2 years, in addition to other symptoms. However, this is distinct from Major Depression, which is characterized by a severely depressed mood for as short a time as 2 weeks (also in addition to other symptoms).

Those with Major Depression often seek treatment due to great emotional pain, a sense of hopelessness, feelings of isolation, and disturbed eating and sleeping. While individuals with dysthymia are also not “happy,” the “pain” is often not so great that they feel the need to seek treatment. As a result, they might go for years feeling “sub-par” without doing anything about it.

The Application:

Do you have a Dysthymic Brand? By this we ask, does your brand experience continual sub-par depression, or does it continually just lack that connection with people? Like with people, the danger with a Dysthymic Brand is that the perceived “pain” is not so great that brand managers see the need to do something new, when in fact, much needs to be done.

Tell us about your Dysthymic Brands.

by Michael Reiter

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