Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg
In the context of athletics, everyone has heard the old adage: “the best defense is a good offense”. But there's also truth in this in terms of marketing communications. While there will always be times when a defense needs to be mounted and the brand needs to be protected, if you constantly find yourself in a reactionary situation, you never have the opportunity to set the direction of your brand.
Earlier this year, Domino's Pizza found themselves in a reactionary position when two employees video taped themselves doing some absolutely disgusting things to food that was about to go out on delivery (if you haven't seen the video, you should probably just take my word for it – it's pretty gross). The video got posted to YouTube and from there it soon became national and even international news as the video went viral.
In response, Domino's President, Patrick Doyle recorded and posted this video to YouTube.
What a great example of how to deal with a problem like this. Not only did they do the smart thing by responding on the same medium that the original video appeared, I love the way he ended the script: “...as we work to regain your trust”.
That video, and the final statement in particular, tell me that Domino's is dealing with the situation and moving on to repair and even improve their brand impression.
But the best part of it all is the subtle fact that Domino's was already on YouTube long before this video surfaced. In a proactive move, Domino's created an online account with YouTube and began publishing videos to their YouTube channel back in November of 2007. This is the kind of proactive move that allowed them to respond quickly and effectively to what was undoubtedly a major brand hit for them.
In other words, the proactive and forward-thinking move to create a presence and build relational equity on the web led to a situation where Domino's could leverage that equity to give a positive context to a really negative situation in the same medium that the brand hit came from.
So the question I'd pose to you today is, what will you do when your brand is challenged online or on some other medium? To just sit back and wait until you HAVE TO respond is defensive-mindedness at it's best.
Get on the offensive and invest in the future of your brand. You're defense will thank you for it.