KFC's grilled-chicken launch was to be the biggest in the chain's history. Now it might also go down as a marketing case study in what not to do. The story starts with a marketer testing the elasticity of its brand. After all, we all know what the 'F' stands for in KFC, so suddenly insisting the consumer associate the fast feeder with grilled chicken, rather than the Colonel's fried version, was always going to be a stretch.
Does a negative post on Twitter have infectious germs powerful enough to influence the behavior of tweeters? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.
One of the most common fears I focus on defeating among executives and brand managers is that in new media brands lose control by publishing content and engaging in social networks. The general sentiment is that by sharing information and creating presences within public communities that they, by the nature of democratized participation, invite negative responses in addition to potentially positive and neutral interaction. By not fully embracing the social Web, many believe that they retain a semblance of control. The idea is that if brands abstain from providing a forum for hosting potentially disparaging commentary, it will prevent it from earning an audience – in this case, an audience that can impact the business and the reputation of the brand.
Nielsen executive, book author and Ad Age columnist Pete Blackshaw is astounded by the number of brand managers who still have no coherent strategy for dealing with negative blog posts. The customer service guru was keynote speaker at the Children's Advertising Review Unit Conference. But during the Q&A, audience members seemed more interested in tips about how to deal with negative blog posts -- than children's advertising issues.