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!
The Power Of Offers And How They Increase Sales
Every time you look at an attractive offer, doesn’t your heart race a little, your palms become just a bit clammier and your pace a little faster? There is something to be said about the way offers make you feel and the way they increase your excitement for a product you didn’t even think you wanted. Despite living in a world where there is always something cheaper to look forward to, offers are the best way to increase your sales and attract customers. If you are still not convinced, then these reasons are what you need to increase the number of people coming into your store.
1. Offers increases traffic
One of the major advantages of offers is they last only for a limited period of time. With social media being used to its complete advantage for marketing and promotions, the appeal of offers has increased a lot. An important point to note here, make sure you clearly display the offer and you have all the details mentioned while promoting your offer on all social media platforms.
2. Offers increases room for new ideas
One of the major advantages of offers is it frees up room for new ideas and products. Not only can you get rid of stuff that doesn’t give your brand that edge, offers help in giving you clarity of thought in what to do next. From looking at how customers react to what you have in store to looking at what you can do to increase traffic, offers help in making the change you need for your business!
3. Offers help build relationships
When you offer promotions with specific target customers in mind, it helps in improving relationships with your customers. To make offers more attractive, make sure you tailor them to specific groups of customers. This helps in knowing what your clients want and in understanding their perspective. Furthermore, they let people know you are interested in working with them for a long period of time and not just for when they come for one particular purchase.
4. Offers help in meeting and improving your sales target
Every business usually has weekly, monthly or quarterly targets which absolutely need to be met, no matter what. When you have offers that are attractive and enticing, they increase the chances of these sales targets being met with a stupendous success. Not only can you meet the required target, if timed right, you can ride through the lean periods without a backlash through offers.
5. Offers help save money
Finally, despite all the other advantages, one of the primary reasons why offers are so attractive is they help save money when you least expect it. When you have an inventory filled with things you do not want, offers help in getting rid of baggage which is dragging your overall profit ratio down. Not only can you save money with this, you also save money for the lean periods!
When you use social media and different marketing tools to your advantage, you increase the overall performance and also make sure you have a customer base who is more than satisfied with you as a brand! What are some of the offers that work really well? Comment and let us know!
Bill Gates: Life Lessons From The Richest Man In The World
An inventor, a creator and a magician with computers, Bill Gates is all this and more. He is not only one of the wealthiest men in the world, but also an inspiration to everyone around. From turning ideas into reality to making the most of technology, Gates has ensured he has made the most of his life. If you are stuck in a rut and feel like maybe dropping out of college was a bad idea, then these lessons from Bill Gates is probably what you need to make your life better!
1. Learn from your mistakes and failures
How many times have you heard this and how many times have you been told mistakes and failures are important because you learn from them? Next time, instead of giving yourself a hard time for failing or making mistakes, do not beat yourself up, but learn from them. Like Gates says, “It’s fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
2. Success is not the only end goal
More often than not, success distracts you from your end goal. If Bill Gates had gotten comfortable with what he had achieved in life, he would not have remained at the position of the richest man in the world for so long in life! Furthermore, Gates would not have kept Microsoft in the first position for the last 18 years, right? “If I’d had some set idea of a finish line don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?” says none other than the man behind Microsoft himself!
3. Do not use your weaknesses as excuses
Your weaknesses are not stamped on your forehead for the world to see. Your insecurities are not laid out on the table for people to pick at and eat. Your achievements make you known to the world and not the other way around. Make the world see how much you can give back and how great your ideas are. After all, people only see you from 7.00 AM to 7.00 PM and not the other way around!
4. Time is money
Bill Gates has mastered the art of making the most out of his time by following a simple rule of life: time is money and time is far more valuable than money! Time once wasted can never be bought back and when you spend it without thinking, you just cannot afford to spend time idling. “No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy time,” remember this, follow this and live right!
5. Start now, not tomorrow
Do you have a dream, a vision, a goal and/or an idea? Then start working on it now. The time for turning dreams into reality is always now, not tomorrow or day after. Why just sit on a great idea, waiting for it happen? Realise it and make sure you put in all the effort you can possibly think of into making this dream come true. Take the leap and jump for the stars NOW!
Bill Gates has taught the world a lot, with a focus on making the most of what you have. What have you learnt from the man who dared to dream? Comment and let us know!
Sheryl Sandberg Life Lessons And What To Learn From Her
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, is a woman who has constantly been working to change the way women are looked at in the corporate world and has given everyone a lot of food for thought. Sheryl, who has been an all rounder, has taught us a lot about not just leaning in, but about growing with the times as well. These lessons have made a huge impact on my life as well as on how I live every day!
1. Never let anyone else dictate who you are
As a woman working in a male dominated world, Sheryl Sandberg has taught people to never apologize for being you and to never let people assume things about you. Essentially, your strong opinion about yourself should be what people hear about you first, so there is no doubt in your character whatsoever. Taking initiative always pays off and if someone is always told what to do, it becomes harder to see them as a leader.
2. Do not undermine yourself
Time and time again, Sandberg has said people never really show off their true colours till you really know them. Many people never really recognize their full potential and feel guilty for the praise they receive. Sandberg believes doubting your abilities is a horribly negative way of living life, with no hope of a happy ending. Stop undermining yourself and the world will be your oyster!
3. Celebrate the joys in the little things
In a world where we are constantly trying to find satisfaction in things larger than life, it has become imperative for people (now, more than ever,) to celebrate the small moments in life. From birthdays to milestones, celebrate everything that brings joy to not only the people you celebrate with, but to you as well! For instance, post her husband’s death, Sandberg realised her friends stopped doing things that made them happy. However, the loss taught her the importance of celebrating every little moment, not only in her life, but in the lives of her friends and loved ones as well!
4. Live life through the Platinum Rule
People always tell you it is important to treat people the way they treat you. However, more often than not, this NEVER happens. When such is the case, Sandberg believes it’s time to follow the other rule of life, the Platinum Rule. According to the Platinum Rule, you should treat people the way they want to be treated and not the way they treat you! One of the main advantages of this is you understand people much better by doing this. Furthermore, this approach helped Sandberg become one of the most respected women not only in Facebook, but in the world!
5. It is okay to say you need help
After the sudden death of Sandberg’s husband, she realised one important thing; everybody needs help and no one can go through major events in life alone. Lean in, be okay with letting other people help you and accept that you truly cannot control the world around you. By doing so, you learn to be more empathetic and understanding of situations and people, thereby letting yourself have a chance of happiness in some form.
The world is forever changing and if you do not let go of the little things, you can never really hold on to the things that matter. “Start growing and keep learning” is a rule Sheryl Sandberg lives by and I honestly think we should all too.
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