This may come as a surprise to you, being a reader of a social media blog. However, social media is still somewhat of a new and unchartered territory to us traditional marketers. Why are established brands so hesitant in jumping onto the social media bandwagon? Because we are scared.
Generally speaking, there is no such thing as bad publicity for small brands.
Any publicity is going to bring the awareness of an unknown brand. Even if the publicity is around a controversial subject, at least now people know that you exist. Who knows, people may even take your side.
Sometimes, such controversies can even give start to a brand. Think pop stars and rappers. Your first memory of a nowadays famous pop icon could very well be a controversial, or negative, one. Nevertheless, you Googled them and eventually got to know them, which would have been the first step toward buying from them.
Being controversial can be a great thing. Any new idea, a truly new idea, is bound to contradict the existing doctrines and create controversies.
But, what if we’re not talking about the new, small, and unknown? What if we’re talking about the established, big, and well-known? Should these established brands be scared?
I would argue no.
A brand stands above a commodity because it stands for something. A Victoria Secret bra is not your Walmart bra because it’s specifically designed and made to make you feel sexy. However, there is a downside to this. To stand for something automatically means you are not going to stand for something else. A Victoria Secret bra is not cheap. A real brand cannot be everything to everyone. This is not a new concept in marketing, but it’s not a concept that’s always practiced.
In their marketing classic Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Al Ries and Jack Trout highlighted the concept of “Cherchez le creneau”. It’s French for “Look for the hole.” Find the niche and fill that demand.
Sally Hogshead challenged us to provoke a reaction in her latest book Fascinate:
The unfortunate reality is that most marketers set out to create messages that offend the fewest people. They’re playing not to lose… If you’re not generating a negative reaction from someone, you’re probably not fascinating anyone.
Having negative comments on your Facebook wall or blog means you’re doing something right!
Your brand stands for something, and your pagans don’t like you because of it.
You’re too cheap. You’re too expensive. You’re too scientific. You’re too natural.
Yes, I am.
Take those negative comments from your pagans, and address it in a way that talks to your core believers!
Yes, I am expensive. That’s because we spend millions in research to bring you the best quality product your money can buy. We will not sacrifice quality, ever.
What can you post today on Facebook, Twitter, a blog’s comment section, etc. that will solicit a negative response from someone?
Inspire me below…