Anyone who has ever worked in a shop or client-facing industry will know that the old mantra of ‘the customer is always right’ is total nonsense and what we really mean is ‘let the customer win so they won’t moan and cost us business in future’.
Anyway, thanks to one of Scotland’s best high-fashion PRs Toni Morrison (disclaimer: she was part of my team at DADA but I’ve never known anyone so well suited and talented to high-end and premium brands), I found out about Sun Love the tanning company and their beauty/fashion PR outreach, which has been quite interesting – especially as it isn’t every day a brand tells customers to fuck off and die…
Instead of me repeating what others have said, this video and this beauty blog post sum it up (though there’s plenty more across the blogosphere and YouTube if you have the time to look), but the gist is this: the company are downright rude via Twitter to people, going as far as to tell one person ‘fuck off and die’ apparently (or is that allegedly?). There’s also a look at this from a PR angle on this British beauty blog (which is also a good general post on blogger and media relations).
I don’t have anything to say either way. There’s two ways to think about it:
It’s not how I would have done it. The blogger and Twitter outreach is a great first step but they should have been ready – if not expecting – some negative reviews. It’s par for the course. No brand is 100% loved. The beauty is that in the digital arena you can engage back and say ‘sorry you never liked it’ and find out why they never liked it. It’s cheap marketing research.
If I did the PR for someone like Fakebake (no, I haven’t used it but they are in my head after meeting some of their digital PR team the other day at the social media breakfast in Glasgow) I’d be wondering if there was a way to wade into this and grab a bunch of dissatisfied bloggers and grab a bunch of brand ambassadors at the same time.
If it’s all a big PR stunt – with the company deliberately going for an anti-social media policy – then so far it’s working but they might want to start working on phase 2.
Tell you one thing: it’s this sort of stooshie that makes you sit up and look at an industry you haven’t watched before though. And if their PR team see this, I’d love to do an interview with them about it all – or they can add comments below.