First things first, how easy is it to get anything trending? I’m talking social media and literally getting your target market talking about you. Easiest way is to be famous, say the most controversal things (Kanye’s Grammy stunts) , have a “descent ” number of followers or just be smart, because a smart mouth will always get you noticed by the right people. Seems to me there is that thin line between trending for the right reasons and trending for the awkwardly wrong reasons that the world will look back at and still laugh like it happened just then. Trending for those wrong reasons has seen certain reputations ruined in the blink of an eye.
Many brands put in a lot of hard work and take a long time to build, to be recognised in their respective industries. My exhibit A will have to be a man a lot of people grew up watching on tv, myself included, Bill Cosby. He starred in that famous sitcom loved by many, called The Cosby Show. You did not have to be a huge fan to understand just how much of a BIG deal his show was, I loved it. His character created the right persona to attract the right target audience thus that show probably had great ratings for NBC. Described as TV’s biggest hit in the 1980s, the show really created a huge following for Cosby. In my opinion that show created the following that he has had over the years.
2014 ended with the Bill Cosby “brand” loosing a lot of followers, this after controversal news sprung up on social media and a lot of news channels. Now we all know that once CNN runs with a story , it’s probably too late to do damage control. Needless to say I am leaving out the nitty-gritty details. For me this was a great example of just how quick a brand’s reputation can be ruined in such a short space of time compared to how long it took to build.
If Cosby was, say a mobile phone brand, the marketing team would have quickly put together another fancy model to put out on the market and with the right tweaks made, followers would probably get over the negative sentiment and give the brand another chance. But despite the hard blow, Cosby still has quite an “ok” following of over 4 million on twitter leaving one wondering just how many he lost because 4 million is still kind of a big deal.
According to Celebrity Net worth, Bill Cosby has an estimated net worth of about $400 million. He has made his fortune through numerous endorsements including Jell-O, Coca-Cola and Ford. These brands also run the risk of being negatively affected when a carrier brand suffers from a scandal.
I suppose the erudition here is that when you set out to put your brand out there, know your market and your followers, know them really really well. It is in studying and understanding them that loyalty is achieved. Brand names often have to deal with distasteful information leaking out that poses a threat to their image. It’s in knowing your following that your PR team will know what to do, the right things to say and still be able to save face. Give your clients and your audience a reason to still require your services regardless of the fact that your brands reputation is in dire straits. Your brand needs to be towered in a way that people are able to differentiate between personal and business. Aside from these, there are a multitude of other factors that, if executed correctly, can substantially increase the chances of your brand trending for the right reasons again.
Lastly here is a link to the Bill Cosby story in case you’ve been living under a rock.