Terv: Guys please pray for me. Didi is eluding me like those prisoners in the Edo state jail break
Didi: Lmaoooooo. Just like the prisoners returned after the governor threatened them, I’m back like I never left.
Terv: So I’m hearing that I should threaten you? Change of plans guys, pray for Didi
Didi: Can they send me fermented sugar instead?
Terv: You know i’ve known you 10+ years now and I’ll never get used to this bad behaviour. Anyway, what are we talking about today?
Didi: Fam. PR nightmares? We’ve had a busy week.
Terv: More like unexpected PR moments and how to turn the unexpected to your brands advantage. This week really has been something. Where do we start?
Terv: Ahhh, Risevest. Here’s my take: I understand that our generation is aggressively living our lives out loud on social media, but I’m not sure how I feel about these exit newsletters being written. Don’t get me wrong, employees are well within their rights to do this, but the internet never forgets and I think that ultimately, future employers will count this against you (even if they say they wouldn’t.)
Didi: Wasn’t sure if I’d be perceived as unempathetic, but I totally feel that letter was unnecessary. More importantly though, the company needs a crash course in crisis management.
Terv: *Cue superhero theme music*
Didi: Lesson 1: Seize your CEO’s phone. A CEO is not a private citizen and any comment from the CEO is as good as one directly from the brand. It has to be as carefully thought out as possible and in this case, it wasn’t.
Terv: Lesson 2: Embrace the unexpected. I think that when business leaders are confronted with unexpected situations, they often only see the downside and respond from a place of fear. Meanwhile, there’s a big upside to being receptive of the unexpected and being able to view it as an opportunity rather than a threat makes it easier to turn a crisis into a positive situation. Employee branding is for sure one of the more underrated elements of brand building and we must not forget how much impact the perception of employees being treated poorly can affect everything from the firms ability to attract top talent, to maintaining investor relations and managing consumer sentiments. Risevest could have seized the moment to acknowledge that they haven’t always gotten things right, say that they’re on a journey to better, reinforce that everything they do is with the goal to be better for customers, and maybe even put out an ad on the hunt for a new team member.
Didi: It’s a pity employee-branding in this “Fintech” age is a MacBook and a bean bag at the office.
Terv: And a foosball table. We 👏🏽cannot 👏🏽forget 👏🏽the👏🏽 foosball 👏🏽table!
Didi: But yes, the thing about Employee branding. So true! I’d totally love to see our version of Glassdoor.
Terv: LOL! I’ll be front and center there, writing about how one of your “Tech bros” gave me a “I’m not one of your lil friends” smack down at the start of my career, because I called him “my guy” and how an older colleague at another job didn’t speak to me for a week because I tried to call her by her first name.
Didi: How don’t I know about this? *Wow. Rolling my sleeves to fight*
Terv: You were busy collecting MacBook and sitting on a bean bag
Didi: On another note, did you see what happened today? Kai!
Terv: Kai! For those who don’t know, Kai Collective’s Fisayo Alonge (makers of the famous Gaia dress) caught a drag on Twitter yesterday for a series of tweets she made first berating a customer (who neither mentioned nor tagged her or even posted any real indirects that could have been traced to her brand) and then for going on a self-righteous tirade about how nothing compares to their level of customer service. Honestly, it was weird.
Didi: Oshey. Newscaster.
Terv: Watch out Don Lemon
Didi: But forreal, her response felt like she held a gun to the customer’s head screaming “you cannot be angry.” Now a few lessons on service recovery, shall we? Lesson 1: acknowledge your customer’s emotions. They have the right to feel bad…even when you believe you have a solution.
Terv: In summary: we’re not going to gaslight customers in 2021.
Didi: Do not my people. Take a cue from PiggyVest.
Terv: Have to give it up to PiggyVest. Multiple people in that team sabi the work
Didi: Love that they always put action first. Talk comes later. Terver please tell the people what they did. You know I’m bad at explaining.
Terv: Here’s a thread that just about sums it up, but what’s really important is that although the devil works hard, PiggyVest works harder.
Terv: Lesson 2 please
Terv: This is what i’m dealing with guys! 🤦🏽♀️ Lesson 2: The bigger your brand gets, the smaller and more relatable you want to make the brand feel. People always hold space for the little guy and Kai is now going to have the uphill battle of re-humanizing a brand that enjoyed so much goodwill especially on Twitter.
Didi: Lesson 3 is really to be solution-driven. It’s always best to put out a response after you have solved the issues at hand.
So many insights. You all might need to pay us.
Terv: Pass the offering basket, hallelujah!
Didi: Paystack.com/impolitebanter/paywith1bitcoin. Speaking of solutions, could this be why Gorilla Glue hasn’t said anything yet?
Terv: Bruhh, before we get into this, I’m going to need Gorilla Glue to hold my love life together. These Yoruba boys have finished work.
Didi: Can’t get someone out of my head and now I’m wondering if Gorilla Glue is responsible.
Terv: You know it’s going to be a forever thing!
Didi: These people need to sponsor weddings. Turn that “Yes I do” into “Yes I Glue!”
Terv: 😂 The campaign ideas are writing themselves.
Terv: Another really interesting topic is what to do when consumers misappropriate brand use, i.e. this is a product clearly labelled and marketed as a heavy duty adhesive and has now been erroneously used on hair. What are the brand’s options here? If you address it, no matter how clearly and empathetically you try, there will be people that will find you wanting or believe you’re being insensitive. If you don’t, well the same thing. So you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t.
Didi: So many examples! I used Veet to brush my teeth back in Uni. Had the same shape as my toothpaste and there was no light.
Terv: I’m not laughing guys, I promise.
Didi: I still think in these cases, brands can work with the individual to solve their problem and figure out how to build equity out of doing this.
Terv: I don’t know about this. It’s like Coke jumping in to help every kid on TikTok who thinks it’ll be funny to pop a few mentos and stuff themselves full of Coke in the hope on an eruption
Didi: Hmm… but these haven’t been fatal issues. In this lady’s case, she could legit have a scalp/brain damage. Still I agree it’s pretty dicey.
Terv: It really is. No one has bested Spar in my books in handling an unexpected moment. I still remember that press release and find myself pulling up at their stores even when I know I can get it cheaper somewhere else
Didi: Yup. Not even Corona (the beer).
Terv: Ahhh Corona, subverting expectations by doing absolutely nothing. It’s the laying low and not getting touched for me.
Didi: SPAR did a superb job. I don’t think these things are that difficult to be honest. Just put the customer first. Make them feel like they are first and they’d go “awww.” That brings us to lesson 3; Just stay quiet sometimes.
Terv: That Veet clearly did a number on you sis, because this is lesson 4
Didi: Lmaoooo. 12 years later, still hurts. So what have we learnt today Terv?
Terv: In summary, CEO, not chief blogger; self adulation at the expense of customer empathy is never a good look,;PiggyVest ≥≥≥ the rest; and most importantly, build your love life on the solid rock that is Gorilla Glue.
Didi: Say a prayer for our good sis in your spare time.
Terv: As we dey try press enter, Gorilla Glue just put out a statement.
Didi: Lmaooooo. Your pidgin isn’t working sis.
Terv: I’ll just put some Gorilla Glue on it
Didi: Just seeing that the Gorilla Glue lady hired an attorney to sue the company because the product doesn’t explicitly say “not for use on hair.” I now have a different view and I believe the company should absolutely not reward bad behaviour.
Terv: Agreed! I think going the safe route and just stating things as they are is the right approach in this case. I was going to say that hopefully she makes a full recovery and then we can talk about how they can convert sis to an ambassador, but I don’t see this happening anymore.
On a totally unrelated note, I’m adding “Cultural Commentator” to my bio, because as you can see, I’m commenting on the culture.
Didi: Fair enough Cultural Commentator! Thanks for reading people. What do we call our readers Terv?
Terv: Banterers? Bantus? Bandits? really guys, there’s no limit to where we could take this
Didi: Hmmm… Bantus really, Terv? It’s up to you all though. Vote on this or give your ideas. It’s Valentine’s week and we’ll be on the lookout for how brands show-out.
Terv: See you next week Bantus!