Trump, Brexit – are brands missing a trick or is the risk just too great?

Sitting in my 10am lecture this morning, learning about social media marketing, blogs and more gave me a sudden awakening, i’ve been neglecting my own blog! Aside from this epiphany, the content of the lecture about digital identity and brands allowing consumers do the marketing got me thinking. Why aren’t brands capitalising on recent events?

So incase you didn’t know, Donald Trump is president of free world and the UK is just over a month from officially leaving the European Union. I’m sure you’ve all heard and i’m sure you’ve seen the social media uproar in opposition,this means brands have seen the same, but why haven’t they responded?

Why aren’t brands reacting to recent events?

Now we all know (you’d be naive not to) that publicly supporting a controversial figure or event is something brands probably shouldn’t do, thats if they want to keep their business anyway. But with Donald Trump sparking unbelievable amounts of controversy and Brexit lingering over our heads, why don’t brands do the opposite?

Thats right, go out and publicly show your Dislike for Mr Trump or even be brave and support/disagreement to the Brexit decision. Brands are scared, fact. The idea of shutting off even a percentage of your consumers is daunting, I understand that, but what if? What if a brand, or a multitude of them did start publicly expressing their distaste for Trump and even making a joke out of it. Now unless you’ve been living under a social media-less rock, you’ll know that a joke about trump is a friend to the internet, controversy will almost always spark brand engagement (even if it’s not always positive) So why won’t brands do it?

trump

They’re on the fence, and afraid to be political which makes sense in some respects, but we’re in changing times, and maybe the industry could do with a risk taker. After all, aren’t the best marketers risk takers? People who dare to do something a little edgy. We’re taught as marketers to respond in real time, I bet if I tweeted a lot of brands with a concern they’d respond to me within the hour, maybe even in minutes. So why aren’t brands responding in real time to the real world issues and what’s going on around them and what’s happening to their consumers. Despite corporations constant scrutiny on ROI and marketing, what if a brand was bold enough to just say f**k the data lets do it. We’re now in a time of opinion, everyones got one no matter how much they try to hide it, so why not capitalise on opinion an dare to be a brand with a voice. A brand that isn’t like the others. Too risky eh?

Is the risk just too high?

For most brands, yes. Of course shutting out business is a bad move, but what if your (target) consumer agrees? (No i’m not insane), seriously, without name dropping, let’s take an example of a brand.

So this hypothetical brand is a brand who targets left-wing environmental activists because their product is a friend of the earth, how many of their consumers do you think support Donald trump? Or Brexit? My guess would be not many. So if said company exists (which it does), WHY AREN’T YOU CAPITALISING! It’s okay to be scared to take risks, but to miss opportunities, well thats just outright stupid. If you, as a brand REALLY do segment well, and REALLY know your consumer, you’ll know that you’re targeting a group of individuals, probably likely to have the same attitudes towards certain things, like maybe politics, or money, or lifestyle and thus you should be able to recognise weather your consumers would laugh at your witty anti-trump Social media content or your post about how we’re all doomed after Brexit.

Thinking different is something I pride myself on, so Brands, it’s just a suggestion, you can say the risks are too high all you like, and for most, they probably are but you can’t tell me you haven’t laughed at an anti-trump meme, can you?

But hay, what do I know?

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