As per the basic definition, the word brand is used to signify what your company stands for and what it signifies. Brand is a series of rules, regulations and expectations as defined by the public opinion and when worked on by the right public relations company, the message can be positively reinforcing. However, what do you do when you are affected by a crisis because your PR company did not do their job right? Check out some really epic disasters which took place because the PR company did not give its brand the required attention, time and effort!
1. Automaker’s CEO goes to Washington DC on a private jet.
When you go to your lenders expecting a bailout to the tune of $ 25 billion, the least you could do is not show up in your private jet, right? In the year 2008, the CEOs of Automaker, GM and Ford thought otherwise and decided to make a very public appearance in the city in a very expensive and fancy private jet! If only the PR company had a complete understanding of the situation, a major issue would have been avoided. Now, hybrid cars are the choice of transport, not private jets. Oops!
2. Abercrombie and Fitch’s wardrobe malfunction
In April 2002, Abercrombie and Fitch decided to up their latest collection by introducing a line of T shirts with caricatures of popular Asian characters. To prevent any major backlash from people, A&F released a statement saying, “We personally thought Asians would love this T shirt.” Um, no offense, but there really is no underlying sense of humour here.
Before people could understand the full impact of shirts that boasted of direct attack against Asians, A&F went a step further and released thongs in childrens’ sizes, aimed at girls aged between 10 and 14 years. Their response? “The underwear for young girls was created with the intent to be lighthearted and cute.” A major disaster right there, A&F was hit with several negative comments on not only their packaging, but on the kind of clothes they sold to the public with no conscience.
3. Urban Outfitters creates a supremely racist version of Monopoly
Remember when Urban Outfitters started customising Monopoly and released a series of specific sets that were meant for people who lived outside the United States. While a majority of these sets were an instant hit, there was one version which majorly backfired. With lines like “Get rich by “buying stolen properties, pimpin hoes, building crack houses and getting car jacked!” and “You got yo whole neighborhood addicted to crack. Collect $50.” Score!, Urban Outfitters ended up offending an entire community by taking stereotyping to an all new level. Not cool guys, not cool!
4. When Harper Collins thought it was a good idea to publish O.J Simpsons story!
When you work in the publishing field as an editor, it is your job to filter the kind of manuscripts you publish, right? That is what Judith Regan, a publisher at Harper Collins, did not do! When Regan issued a public statement through Fox News saying she was working on a book about how O.J. Simpson killed his wife, the public went ballistic. What made news all the more scathing was the fact the manuscript was written by the man accused of the crime in itself: O.J. Simpson, giving the American public a very strong reason to hate the book. While neither Fox News nor Regan made a comment on the issue, owner Rupert Murdofch immediately issued an apology while firing Regan on the spot! Talk about lack of judgement and sensitivity!
5. A Cartoon Network publicity stunt causes major bomb scare!
In 2007, when guerrilla marketing just hit the advertising world in a big way, Cartoon Network decided to launch their new show. Titled Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Cartoon Network placed 38 lit up magnet signs across Boston, with indirect references to the show. Done right, the campaign could have done really well. Unfortunately for Cartoon Network, the good citizens of Boston flipped out and thought the city was under attack through bombs! As a result of the huge number of phone calls received by the Boston police, bomb squads were deployed and public transport was brought to a standstill.
To quieten down the situation, the head of Cartoon Network at the time stepped down as CEO and took full responsibility for approving this particular campaign. To make matters worse, the two people who were directly responsible for the campaign were arrested and faced criminal charges for the hoax!
When your public relations team does a bad thing, the entire marketing strategy goes out of whack. If you think we missed out on any marketing strategies that went really wrong, comment and let us know!
Tips On How To Market Your Small Business
Marketing is expensive and if you are a small business just entering the ring, there is no denying that basic fact. While you may have a marketing plan in place, the costs might just turn out to be too great to handle. Here are some great ways you can push yourself and still make a mark, no matter how strapped for cash you are.
At a time when people rely on what the world is saying, networking is a really good tactic you can use to build the presence of your brand. While your network may trust the person you are, they may not trust your business in the initial stages. Let them know you are open and reach out to the large circle around you. Afterall, everyone always needs someone who can get things done and instead of them going to a random person, why not let them know you are available?
2. Create a space for yourself in the industry
More often than not, people forget to realise the importance of trust. As a new company, this factor is all the more important as it will help in propelling you to the front. Find the opportunities where your business can be of use and leverage the trust people have in you to build your company’s worth. Use your content to your advantage and make the most of your network to cement your place in the industry.
3. Work with other businesses
With digitization being what it is today, most of the ideas are no longer original. To avoid being pigeonholed into a certain corner, start collaborating with other businesses working with the same idea. Put together a group of non competitive, like minded people and make the most of these relationships with redirection and cross promotions. A major advantage of collaborating with people is, it helps in increasing your network and in letting people know you are a new force in the field!
4. Let your content talk about your business
With the world moving the social way, it is important to use the right words to make the right impact. When introducing your business to the world, using social media to the most is one of the best ways to achieve success. Through the use of catchy taglines and hard hitting messages, you can say a lot about your brand. Your content can reach a large audience and when you use the right words in the right way, your brand can be easily discovered.
5. Let the presence of your business be felt
Your business can’t reach people unless you start talking. Hold events, meetings, sessions and invite potentially interested people to learn more about who you are and what you are doing. Every business needs an audience and when you start spreading the word about yours, that is when the world will get ready to sit up and listen!
Establishing your business may be a dream come true. However, marketing the business may be harder than you think. If you feel there are other ways you can market your business, comment and let us know!
How To Build Trust With Clients
For new businesses to grow and have their marks felt, the most important factor is trust. When you are working at a company, your reputation is everything and when that does not work the way you want, things can get messy. With your entire future at stake, building and establishing your trust factor is definitely the most important thing. Here’s how you can get people to not only take you seriously, but also believe in what you have to offer to the world.
1. Show your clients your human side
More often than not, one of the biggest mistakes a company makes is the way you approach your clients. Have a human touch to your messages and make sure people understand what you are saying.
2. Show your clients you trust them as well
One of the primary things to learn about trust is, it has to be earned. You need to let the other person know you trust them as well and that can only be done if you put everything about you as a company on the table. It is also important to know that your clients are not stupid. They know what they are doing and saying, so make sure you give them the benefit of doubt in these cases.
3. Stick to your commitments
The moment your clients realise you are a company which sticks to your word, trust is not far off. If you can’t keep to your commitment, then explain the situation and let your client know why something didn’t happen as planned. The more you give your client an insight into your ways of working, the more validation you get from the client. Always a good rule of thumb for building trust!
4. Display competence
When you show your clients you are in the business for the long run, one of the key ways to do that is by displaying competence. Know what you are talking about and when you don’t, understand the situation and get complete clarity on what is happening. Make sure you are completely honest about what you are saying because while people can understand lack of knowledge, a lie is harder to forgive.
5. Value feedback
While you may know what you are saying and doing as a company, it is important to understand the other person is only saying what they are because they have constructive feedback. The feedback may be obtained in the form of a quick survey or through pointers received from the client. Take what makes sense to your business and let your client know you appreciate what they have to say in a manner which does not come off as defensive.
6. Create an experience
Treat your clients in a way which lets them know they have your complete attention. Always remember the saying, “Marketers don’t make the brand, people do.” Make every interaction with your client memorable, in a manner that ensures longevity in memory!
While building your company in itself is a hard task, establishing trust is harder. If you think there other ways you can build trust between you and your clients, comment and let us know!
Technological Trends To Look Out For In 2019
The growing presence of the digital world is impacting not just our lives, but also the major trends in the world. While this past year saw an evolving of artificial intelligence and robotics, the coming year is going to see the presence of brand new trends not just on the digital front, but on the technological side of the world as well.
1. Edge Computing
What started off as cloud computing has now given way to something really exciting in the form of edge computing. Edge computing is here to help solve all the glitches that cloud computing initially had. With faster processing, edge computing can be used in time sensitive situations, with no particular necessity of being connected to a centralized connection. Furthermore, with the increase in the number of devices connected to the Internet of Things, edge computing will have a stronger presence in the world.
2. Artificial and Machine Learning
Artificial learning and machine learning, while a strong part of this year, will be quite worth the watch even in 2019. Although AI has been around since 1956, the last year saw an increase in the number of people around the world connected to devices through AI. Through the increasing usage of AI, technology and digitization evolved to give way to machine learning. Apart from reducing the amount of time spent on work, machine learning is going to be one of the most sought after jobs in 2019!
3. Digital Twins
A digital representation that replicates real life objects, processes or systems, digital twins can be linked to create twins of larger systems such as power plants, or even an entire city. While the concept of digital twins has been around for a some time now, the year 2019 is going to see a stronger, especially with the increasing usage of the Internet of Things. One of the major technological trends in the coming year, Digital twins are going to help in reducing the amount time spent on getting the work done.
A system that allows companies to simplify the process of online transactions with one another without relying on a centralized third party, blockchain is a trend that has quickly picked up in the last year and is going to be one of the forebearers of the change in technology in 2019. Drastically cutting down the amount of time and friction between transactions, the coming year is going to see blockchain being used in various fields like administration, healthcare and manufacturing.
5. Smart Spaces
Designed to give humans and technological systems the chance to interact with one another in open, connected, coordinated and intelligent ecosystems, smart spaces are going to be one of the major breakthroughs in 2019. With technology playing such a massive role in everyday life, smart spaces are going to help in reducing the amount of time which goes into getting the final deliverables out, thereby increasing the time spent on perfecting the already existing processes. With smart spaces, there will be an evolution in technology with a focus on multiple areas like healthcare and real estate!
With this year already seeing a growth of technology toward a different direction, the coming year looks quite exciting. What other trends do you think are going to be there in 2019? Comment and let us know!
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- How To Build Trust With Clients
- Technological Trends To Look Out For In 2019
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