21 Apr Pepsi Survives: But At What Cost?
Everyone is pretty familiar with the Pepsi incident by now. If you drink sodas, or have been even slightly familiar with the name ‘Kardashian’, then you probably know what we are referring to. So much backlash came from the Pepsi commercial of three weeks ago, that they ended up pulling the ad completely. That’s a big financial loss. And, if you’re a business-minded individual, you’re probably thinking ‘What’s going to happen to their sales?’ You’d be right to be worried. If history in advertising has shown us anything, it’s that there can be a great deal of boycotting backlash when a product or company showcases itself in a negative light. You’d be right to be worried, but, you’d also be kind of wrong.
A recent article published in The Wall Street Journal is throwing some readers for a loop. In the article, Tatyana Shumsky notes that “…Incidents often grab consumer attention, but such controversies rarely translate into a material impact on sales or earnings in the absence of serious product issues.” Why is that? Well, for one, Pepsi is a household name—it’s a company backed by years of nostalgia and tradition (not as big as Coca Cola, sure). Had a smaller brand done this same thing, they may have seen a greater financial impact, seeing as how they didn’t have a great deal of history and reputation to fall back on.
So what can this teach small business owners? Well, you may be thinking ‘Great, I can say what I want if people want my product.’ But, you shouldn’t be thinking that. Here’s the deal, convenience is often taken over quality for a consumer. But in the limelight, consumers want to be seen as wanting quality. There’s a demand of transparency in branding these days, and it’s not going to go away. In a world of social media, memes and on-line forums just waiting to take your small or large brand down, it’s important to keep your image and reputation in mind as much as possible. Just because you have a worthwhile product, doesn’t mean your brand has staying power. You may make investors happy, but if consumers don’t feel great about buying your product then you’ll leave a bad taste in their mouth. It may take a long time, but no matter how mighty the brand is, they can always be toppled by the mores of the masses. Keep that in mind.
If you’re wondering how to advance your brand and keep your reputational monitoring at his highest, contact us at Visual Caffeine. We have a unique approach, it’s called honesty and transparency. We all make mistakes—how we address them is what’s truly seen.