What happens when you lose control of your brand on social media

social media marketing failure The Gap attempted to launch a new logo this week but after just a few days they reverted back to the old logo because of some comments via social media.  This is going to the extreme and shows what happens when you surrender your brand to the mob.

Per Marketing Vox this morning: It is one thing to turn to crowdsourcing – especially if it is a commercial offering such as Trada. But allowing the crowd make a strategic decision, especially on the fly, is unwise. Fact is, sometimes people just Tweet to Tweet – especially if there are a string of similar Tweets already out there – and then forget about it 20 second later. “How does the company know if the negative reactions are coming from loyal customers, or just folks who like opining on various topics via social media,”writes Michael Roberto, a professor of management at Bryant University writes in a blog post.

Sure social media allows marketers to listen and engage consumers like never before but consumers don’t know your strategic direction nor do they have access to your research and business plans.

Is there anyone who can honestly say that the Gap’s new logo would have made ANY difference in sales ?

I mean it’s just a logo for God’s sake.

Then there is Burger King.  They have recently started to renovate their restaurants with nice shiny graphics and new tables but they are missing the mark.  As a friend of mine recently stated “When BK intro’d the new fries, a friend said that they no longer tasted like napkins, but they tasted like McDonald’s napkins.”   Nobody is going to become a BK customer because of new tables, BK has to refocus on new products and product quality. They have to find product to excite their target audience and they have to work with franchises to substantially improve their product quality which is seriously lacking.

While the rules of engagement in traditional marketing are over marketers cannot surrender their brands to social media.  Whether you are creating a brand, building one, or running a big one, you’d better understand social media, because there is a seismic shift in how people are gaining access to information and, as a result, how they are behaving.

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