One Bad Apple in Your Business Can Sour Your Brand in Seconds
Excuse us for taking a few minutes to shift business dealings to address an issue that is extremely personal, though within the last few years, has become a much more public affair.
As advocates for ethical media practices and representing many behavioral health businesses in their marketing efforts, we believe it would be irresponsible if we didn’t bring the following to your attention. This may not be for the faint of heart.
Perhaps you heard about the young woman in Malaysia, just 16-years old, who basically put her life’s worth out on social media.
No, this is not about her financial asets or her family’s sum total of net value. Davia Emilia deeply questioned her own value on this Earth and whether being here really mattered. Searching for an answer (though this act indicates ongoing emotional trauma, disconnect or both) Davia put the question out to her Instagram followers. Here’s what happened.
Should I stay or should I go? Should I live or should I die?
She received resounding responses and, of them, 69 percent were in favor of her own self-demise. So she did the unthinkable (to many of us) – she obliged her audience, and committed suicide.
This is devastating on so many levels. And as every business will encounter at some point or another, negative life circumstances can touch your business brand.
The following scenario is not meant to minimize the severity of Davia’s plight and unjust end, but to illustrate how anything, at any moment, can turn your business upside down.
What would you do if this young woman delivered her life or death Instagram post while wearing a polo shirt with your company’s brand name and logo on it? What if she presented her question to thousands of followers while sipping on your beverage product brand, which then got shared to millions?
How do you reverse, let alone predict, that kind of social marketing damage?
You can’t. And the negativity associated with your brand just hit the global stage.
This is the trouble with social media. You don’t have control.
While the story of this mentally distraught teenager may have little to do with marketing in the traditional sense, it does bring to the surface the issue of negativity in our social platforms.
If Fear Drives Our Messaging
Before we take for granted our content creation and brand positioning, let’s revisit how we prepare for the launch of any digital campaign.
Before You Go Live, Tread Lightly And Carry A Big Stick
Damage control is the aftermath of reputation management gone awry. For every action there is a reaction. If you choose to lead your brand marketing with negative output, be ready for the backlash.
If it’s attention you’re after, negativity can be effective but it’s not for the faint of heart and isn’t representative of the classy way to build your business. Though depending on your product, service, geo- and demographic targets, bitter, angry or depressive messaging can be effective.
How a Few Wrongs Can Make It Right
An integral part of building your brand, be it business or personal, is through a strategic development of company culture. Once established, it oozes out like oil off a pipeline rig rich with opportunity for all who touch it. Company culture is just one way that can pose negativity but provide a positive light.
Negative Spins that Turn into Marketing Benefits
- Boujee company culture
- Slapping the competition in your campaigns
- Guerilla marketing
- Social smut
While we advocate for long-term organic marketing, strategic outreach, and positivity whenever possible, there are instances where negativity used in discretion can be quite powerful.
A Final Note On This: If you know or suspect anyone who is having suicidal thoughts, please help them get help. Call 1-800-273-8255
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