Marketing is all about creativity, a bit of planning, and costumer focus to win the competition and achieve your goals. In this digital society where everything is connected, evolved quickly a big campaign can make your brand conquer the world but the day after a big blunder in any campaign, step or tweet can ruin the work of months and put your brand in the incorrect focus.
Renowned brands have also made mistakes of that magnitude but some have known how to react and turn things around or have learned from them.
When a brand takes the leap to an international market and expands its brand internationally, it is important to analyse carefully the cultural values underpinning a society… like the meaning of colours, symbols and gestures or habits or religion in those targeted countries and understand the culture of every targeted country because a wrong decision can lead into unhappy customers, a serious downtown in sales and unawareness.
- This example is still not confirmed but lives on as a marketing legend. Traveling to the past, in the early 60s Pepsi translated wrong their slogan for the West “Come alive with Pepsi” into “Pepsi brings out your ancestors from your grave!” for Asia, resulting in a great fiasco, especially when they were aiming to build up their brand.
- Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called “Cue”, whithout knowing that it was also the name of a popular porno magazine.
- Coors Brewing Company mistranslated its slogan “Turn it loose” into Spanish, resulting in the following disgraceful slogan: “Suffer from diarrhea”.
- Puffs tissues tried to introduce its product into the German market. They soon realised that “Puff” in German is a colloquial term for a brothel.
Social Media blunders
On the other hand, social media branding is also becoming essential withing the marketing strategy. Brands tried to connect with its audience and engage them with catchy real-time content. However there are very common mistakes among community managers that can be easyly avoided with a little extra attention. To mix up social media accounts (personal and business) isa particular concern.
For example, the FNAC Community Manager published by mistake a personal tweet about their opinion about how a Spanish party was performing during the Spanish elections campaign on this company Twitter account. As a result, “CM de Fnac” became trending topic and the brand was in the spotlight in the most negative way.
The lessons learned here are that: it is obligatory to read carefully what is being written as well as to use different tools, like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, and even devices to avoid this kind of blunders.
(FNAC deleted the tweet and posted two posts 12 hours later instead, apologising for the mistake and clarifying the root of the blunder)
What do we learn from all of this? Well, first, that no one is free from defects. That’s why marketers and social media managers should be accurate at work and get the habit of researching. The use of several tools such as Tweetdeck reduces the risk of mixed tweets. And if it goes wrong, marketers can only face the shitstorm however they can.
In a recent infographic by KISSmetrics we show some social marketing fails, that were well-intended during campaign planning, but badly executed: