This idea came to me through studying Brand Management (g’day Nick if you’re reading), when I read an article called The Uninvited Brand. Fournier and Avery suggest in the article that marketers can these days be seen as the ‘party crashers’, and their presence on social media can be seen as intrusive, out of place, and inauthentic. I’m sure anyone with a Facebook or Twitter account would know of the plethora of brands that are jumping on the social media bandwagon, without truly considering their objectives and purpose.
I first thought of the example of my own place of employment, a home-wares retailer. Their use of Twitter is so out of touch with their target audience (rich ladies), tweeting things like “Did you get to any decluttering projects over the weekend? #NameOfCompany”, which get zero comments and retweets most times. Just opening an account and making a few mindless posts is not enough to engage the audience, let alone the target audience, who I think are more likely to be cruising down to golf in the Merc than keeping up to date with Twitter.
Not only can this online presence be unnecessary, it can create a platform for very public complaints and disputes. No matter how diligent a brand is in managing their social media comments and messages, they can still be subject to having their reputation battered. Many of you may have seen MMSS president Conor Lloyd’s calm yet disappointed rant on the Optus Facebook page, questioning the fairness of their policies. Just an innocent guy trying to travel the world, and Optus throws up these contractual road blocks. Whether the dispute is resolved or not, the company’s flaws have still been revealed to a worldwide audience.
As you can probably tell I’m running a bit low on examples of brands that I’ve noticed being guilty of party crashing, can anyone think of some? I’ll be keeping an eye out.