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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Would You Sue A Loyal Customer?
We continue to see examples of corporations fighting the social media driven tide of change.  We witness lawsuits filed against Yelp in an effort to remove a bad review.  We hear about company reps inserting themselves in blog discussions only to end up in wars of words that they can’t possibly win.  And now another brand, this time it’s Nutella (part of Ferrero SpA), taking legal action to silence a loyal customer.

Yes, lawyers for Ferreo have requested a cease and desist action against one Sara Rosso who is so fond of their product that she not only blogs about it, but has actually had the nerve to establish an annual celebration which she calls World Nutella Day.  She created the event in 2007 and has celebrated it each year on February 5th with some 40,000 Facebook fans and 7,000 Twitter followers.

When will brand management catch on?  When will they realize that a communications revolution has taken place and that customers now own the brand images?  Anyone with a cell phone can shoot a video, anyone can write a blog or post a review, and anyone can write (or not write) about a brand however they please on Facebook or Twitter.  Communication channels are open to the masses and it no longer takes an advertising agency or a production company to shoot a commercial or produce a print ad.  Rather than fighting the inevitable it’s time for marketers to accept and embrace this change. It’s time to: 1) build strategies that help assure that customers have a positive experience, 2) strengthen relationships with their brands, and 3) help the customers to be more knowledgeable about the brands and to have more quality content to share, online and offline, with their friends, neighbors, and co-workers.
11:30 am edt          Comments

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