Will they actually recover? Coke did but they were a much stronger brand with more equity built into the culture. As the spot begs for forgiveness from their old customers, will that core demo come back to buy husky jeans for their teenage boys when back-to-school shopping time comes?
Even if they do recover, this will leave a scar that will never be erased. Sure, customers will forget in a few years, but it will be marketing case study fodder (just like New Coke) for years.
It’s a lesson for your brand. Don’t trash years of brand equity to rebrand. Your brand is your most important asset. Embrace it and build onto it.
It should be obvious to anyone by now, but real time publishing is powerful. It can also be dangerously chaotic and unreliable. There’s a wonderful example of it today with the @AP twitter hack. A single tweet made the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunge 140 points.
Incidents like this along with the recent Reddit witchhunts in the Boston bombings will cripple the development of new media journalism. There are archaic methods of checks and balance in traditional journalism, but how do you implement something like that across the crowd? And if you could, does it defeat the instantaneous nature of it? It’s a question I don’t have an answer for. Do you?
btw. The tweet should have been an obvious fake from the beginning because hackers don’t use AP Style. Mental Floss has a nice breakdown of that here.
While I salute the on-your-feet fast thinking of the Oreo team, I don’t buy it. (Literally. I don’t buy Oreos.) As with all social media flameup darlings that are latched onto by the social media gurus, one essential question is always missed.
Actually, there are many things I hate about Internet culture. Nearly all of them involve the way the web highlights and hastens the ignorance and decline of modern culture.
However, one in particular gets me everytime and a great case study to showcase my consternation just occurred. The very funny @badbanana just tweeted “Seventy percent chance Zooey Deschanel has a pet owl.”
Seventy percent chance Zooey Deschanel has a pet owl.
In the @replies and in the comments where he feeds into Facebook, there were several retweets and likes. But there were also a few people who tweeted/commented “Who is Zooey Deschanel?”
I’m not mocking people for their lack of knowledge of Zooey Deschanel. If they’re that sheltered from modern culture, good for them.
BUT… In the time it took to type “Who is Zooey Deschanel?” into the Facebook or Twitter box, you could have typed the same phrase into something called Google (or even Bing!) and it would have told you who Zooey Deschanel was. There would have been pictures and links and videos and you would have become a minor expert about Zooey Deschanel.
But no. You took that time to shout your ignorance from the highest rooftops.
Nearly every microwave you see has a “popcorn button”.
Nearly every package of microwave popcorn has a warning, “DO NOT USE THE POPCORN BUTTON”.
It’s an impasse.
The microwave has a sensor that monitors the moisture and other factors inside the microwave to tell it to shutdown when it senses that the popcorn is done. Meanwhile, the popcorn manufacturers don’t want you to rely on that automation and want you to use your own ears to monitor when the popping slows.
It seems both parties are trying to give you a decent serving of popcorn. (Actually if you want good popcorn, you use something like this.)
I’m sure both parties think they’re serving their customer. In reality, they are each looking out for their own interests and seeing the process from their own worldview. In the process, they’re confusing the real end user of both products.
And in this case, people don’t buy popcorn bags and microwaves. They buy corn that has been popped.
Are you looking at your business from your own perspective? Are you battling with an external force that has influence on the final marketing outcome? Instead of an impasse that the end user finds confusing or ridiculous, why not change something? Stalemates get stale.
One of the very first blog posts I published in 2005 was a repurposing of an op-ed article I wrote for the Courier-Journal about the failure of the Unbridled Spirit “rebranding” of Kentucky. I’ve used that story many many times since then. It’s featured prominently in Brand Zeitgeist. I use it in my marketing keynotes when I speak about branding. Because I’m from the Bluegrass State, it’s one of my favorite ways to talk about misconceptions on brand strategy.
After seven years of lackluster response to Unbridled Spirit, someone decided to do something about it. A group calling themselves Kentucky for Kentucky has taken the task of reimagining the branding of the state commonwealth.
They’ve replaced “Unbridled Spirit” with “Kentucky kicks a**” (no asterisks) complete with a YouTube video that’s gone viral and related merchandise.
Their campaign, which is only a few weeks old, has already outpaced the real campaign run by the Kentucky Department of Tourism in Facebook likes, video views, etc. It made a big jump when it picked up national exposure in the USA Today this week.
Many have faulted the state tourism department spokesman for their response, but I can see the point of the tourism bureaucrats trying to distance themselves from this homegrown branding effort because of the vulgarity of it. It plays well with certain demos, but will turn off others which is a death knell for tourism.
While I’ve gone on record against vulgarity, I do like the fact that this campaign does something right. It has emotion. It has personality. Instead of trying to cram a corporate brand message down someone’s throat, it takes the brand equity that is there and translates it into something people want to share and experience. State leaders should take a lesson of how to properly translate a brand message into something people want to share.
Another year has come and gone. As I do every year …        … I present what were the biggest hits of 2012 on the blog for you to revisit if you’re a regular or discover if you are a new reader:
For raw numbers of traffic / visitors, it seems appropriate that AAA Marketing ranked first.
Probably one of the best things I’ve ever written deals with brand leadership. Great brands are built by people.
I’ve been meaning to write a short post about this, but here’s a good a place as any… For the past seven years, I have tried to maintain a laser focus on this blog. I tried to just write about marketing topics with very little tangent material. Frankly, I’ve beat most of the traditional marketing stuff to death and the world doesn’t need more blog posts on how to do social media. In the past few months, there’s been a slight shift in the focus of this blog. That shift will continue and may grow in the future. There will still be the old media, marketing, branding, etc posts, but there will also be some other stuff too.
As always, thanks for reading this stuff, no matter what I output. I truly thank you for being a reader of the Shotgun Marketing Blog my blog. I hope to continue to provide you with useful and entertaining content in 2013. Don’t miss any of upcoming posts by either subscribing to the RSS feed (through a reader or by email) or following me on Twitter or on Facebook.