Tag Archive | hsbc

Facebook climbdown…

spy

spy

It’s embarrassing.

For a brand that empowers its users in such a way they can instantly unite against against the ‘enemy’, issue a rallying cry to the like-minded and deploy the troops with amazing speed, you’d think facebook would know a lot better than to try changing the privacy rules by the back door…

I managed a textbook case of this in 2008 (when an international bank with local aspirations their ads would have you believe), and they did what most big brands chose to do. Ignore the facebookers, they can’t damage my brand, it’ll blow over in a few days. Against all my advice, the brand dug in, only to suffer at the hands of the mobilised minority.

After it hit the BBC 6 o’clock news a day or two later, a rather hasty about turn was arranged…

So facebook. A brand that provides the very battlefield, that truly gets the potential of 2.0 (having harnessed it from day one), should have known better than to bite the hand that feeds it. That of its users.

A foolhardy situation the board should have seen coming a mile off. An alienated user base will now watch its every move, and cry foul the moment they put so much as a privacy related foot out of line.

It wasn’t a smart move, deletion of a profile in the users eyes means everything comes off. A brand that prides itself on the sense of ‘community’ it facilitates really shouldn’t have scored this type of own goal, however great the need to further monetise the site is…

The privacy battle will rage on.

But I can’t help but feel if brands use consumers personal data to bring information / content / advertising / offers to them that is of genuine interest, they won’t mind a jot…

After all, it worked for Tesco…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And would encourage brand managers to watch what happened to facebook. It’s probably happening to your brand right about NOW!

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Copywriter vs. Virgin Atlantic

Mmmmmm, slop.

Mmmmmm, slop.

So. A witty WCRS copywriter had a very bad food experience on Virgin Atlantic. Incensed, he complains. Extoling  the virtues of long copy, he writes for some 6 pages!  

What happens next? Why, the great Sir Richard Branson himself replies of course!  The way this story has rumbled on for well over a week points to two things. 

Firstly, the power of PR. This complaint has travelled the world over gathering pace (and collumn inches), as it goes.  Had Virgin Atlantic not responded and simply buried their hands in the sand, they would have done so at their own peril given the way the unhappy customers of today can broadcast their opinions far and wide at the click of a mouse…

Secondly, it shows the power of engaging with customers, especially when it centres on their negative experiences.

Brands that offer customers an outlet to complain generally favour better than those that don’t (try finding the contact us button on amazon, that’s all I’m saying).

However, those that provide a real forum, respond to the feedback and deal with it in a transparent manner; engaging in a meaninful dialogue, may well have the opportunity to stop that complaint from turning into a potential PR disaster (e.g. the ‘Stop the great HSBC graduate rip off facebook group), instead turning it into something very, very  special indeed.

Rising from the ashes, a positive brand experience; ensuring that  the once angry consumer swiftly returns to being a true brand advocate…

The cynics are claiming this is totally stage managed, and is nothing more than an attempt to generate some positive spin during Virgin Atlantic’s 25th birthday year.  Red hot indeed…

On the flip side, there are those who feel that this is simply Virgin doing what it does best; responding to an unhappy customer and moving heaven on earth to ensure they fall back in love with the brand.

Either way, it’s a bloody good story.

Spin or genuine, just read the letter and have a chuckle. And the next time someone tells you long copy doesn’t work, just have them read this…

Iain Morrison is a senior marketer in the British Tourism Industry. And will most likely believe in long copy until his dying day…

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