Aannnndddddd we’re back!!
Seemed like only yesterday H&M launched their ‘Coolest Monkey in the Jungle’ sweater that caused a massive meltdown and lead to the closure of quite a few stores. Now in quick succession we have Prada, Gucci and Katy Perry all accused of racism from their blackface products. Now while I have quite a few choice things to say about this, I would like to say focused on the marketing aspect and how quickly a bad decision can wreak havoc. One post on social media can quickly erupt into a storm if not handled quickly.
It seems to me that more than a Crisis Management team, some companies need a Market Research team where they can test various items before they launch. I mean, a blind man could see that these items would considered completely racist, particularly when the climate being as it is. People are highly sensitive and many with good reason and it’s crap like this that makes the bad situation worse (I guess my opinion is showing…but whatever)
Getting back to the matter at hand…….marketing, or as it would seem a lack thereof, seems to be the order of the day. You would think by now brands would get it right and, at the very least have a team of persons to dot every ‘i’ and cross every ‘t’ before putting out their advertising campaigns, but alas, there seems to be a breakdown in communication when it comes to public image.
Has the theory of connecting with the public in a positive way gone out the window?? I mean how are these brands continuously getting it wrong, only to follow up days later with an apology and the removal of the offensive product?
Where are the teams of persons dedicated to preventing these images from assaulting our eyes in the first place? Back in the day, someone would have lost their job for this because if nothing else, they would have researched, tested and proven that the item was not only fit for sale but that there was a ready and waiting market for it.
No company wants to be on the receiving end of bad publicity……it costs wayyyyy too much. It’s the loss of revenue, not to mention the money to be spent to fix the problem. I want to help you not find yourself in this situation at all. Let me share with you three ways a fiasco like this can be prevented
NUMBER 1: Know your target audience. If they higher ups at these companies had thought for one brief second, they could have seen how the images could be seen as offensive. I mean, come on…….have we all not been sensitized lately of all the things happening around us in the news and in the media? It was really in poor taste of the brands to not look deeply into the culture of the people they’re trying to reach and in the wake of all that is happening and be a bit more cautious with their choices.
Your target is a human being with feelings and emotions. Yes the sale is important, but at what expense? Know how to communicate; understand what factors that trigger them or can connect with them on a deeper level. Take the time to understand who you’re talking to AND figure out what frame of mind they may be in so you will know how to talk to them. Think of it this way: How you may talk to your best friend on their wedding day will be vastly different from how you may talk to them if, God forbid, one of their loved ones died. This is the kind of understanding you must have for your people……..yes I said ‘your people’ because they are why you do what you do.
NUMBER 2: Have a strategy in place and ‘selling out’ is not a strategy. Money is a byproduct good service.I shudder to think that there was no one to say that launching these products probably wasn’t a good idea, but, if you’re blinded by just making ‘lots of cash’ I can see how certain things can be overlooked.
Think about what is the overall goal for your business. Selling is great but what’s the deeper reason you’re even doing what you’re doing. Why do you get up in the morning and do what you do? Too often, as we go along and lose focus and before we know it we’ve lost sight of why we got into business in the first place. As a result, our marketing tactics (and our sales) suffer
So ask yourself……what’s my why?
• What’s my purpose?
• Why do I exist?
• Why do I matter in the world?
Post it up somewhere and look at it every day so you can constantly remind yourself that everything you do must connect with your why.
NUMBER 3: For the love of God; please do your research. A simple focus group to test this before it launched would have saved these companies millions dollars. What’s trending does not automatically translate to what’s trendy, so never underestimate the power of research. Simply ask persons who fall within your ideal target how they feel about your idea and if it’s worth pursuing. It can save you a lot of grief later on.
I am sure this won’t be the last time we’re hearing of stories like this. I have my own theories as to why these things keep popping up but this blog is definitely not the place for it. I would like to hear from you, your thoughts on the matter. Feel free to comment below and share with your besties in the business.
If you prefer a more private chat then by all means, book your free consultation by using this link: http://www.carlimedia.com/oldsite20/chat-with-carli
Hope to hear from you soon!