I'm sure you've all seen this, but just in case you haven't - this is an example of bad, bad brand management. So, I thought it was a good opportunity to talk about some top tips for trusting your team online. In case you've been lazy and haven't clicked on that link, here you go...
At first I thought, oh goshhhhh, some poor person has made a terrible mistake. But then, discussing it with colleagues, we realised that actually, this sort of post would have needed to be brainstormed, designed and mocked up, then actually put online by a different person entirely. Did NO ONE in that process think, hang on, this might be a little bit offensive?! Especially because people online seem to be SO harsh these days. And what's worse, this was posted for women's day - a day that celebrates women's economic, political and social achievements?! So many questions, SO MANY QUESTIONS!
Anyway, here are a few tips for next time, BIC:
- THINK: your first question should be, who am I posting this for? Know who your target audience is, try and work out what they're thinking and doing online. Do not tell women to think like a man on women's day (or any day).
- EDUCATE: your social networks have a huge influence on your brand. You want them to be on your side. Use your brand guidelines and make sure everyone who has access to your business's social media accounts uses them and speaks up if they're concerned about something they've been given to post.
- ENGAGE: engaged employees build strong brands. A company is only as good as its people. I can't help but think that if just one person had thought about it enough at BIC, they might have said 'hold up, this isn't going to go down well...' SURELY?
- TRUST: it's hard to earn and easy to lose. The people who made this terrible mistake were obviously trusted to make decisions themselves. That's a good thing. I hope they'll be trusted again, because we're all human after all.
Anyway, BIC have since apologised (twice), so I think it's probably time to get over it now. BIC, I forgive you, but sadly, I don't think this will be forgotten any time soon - social media is a perfect platform for public shaming and people seem to revel in negativity.