Social media is a brilliant tool that allows brands to connect and build relationships. The cost to enter and participate in the social media space is minimal and generally speaking can make the world more transparent. Nowadays the playing field on which brands and consumers face off has never been more level. Where previously brands controlled the means of broadcast (through PR, advertising and news coverage), consumers now have a megaphone of their own in the form of social media.

At some point it is inevitable that a brand will be confronted with customer service issues or complaints. Knowing when and how to respond to these conversations can be the difference between brand advocacy or a PR disaster. Increasingly impatient customers and fans are rushing to the Facebook Wall to spout specific questions or complaints about product and service issues, with the expectation of receiving a rapid-fire satisfactory response and the threat of making a big stink across their social networks if they don’t.

Whilst most brands are reactive to negative press or comments, the manner in which the comments are addressed is important. Bodyform recently won the internet award for the response of the year on facebook. When a man named Richie Neill took to the facebook page of Bodyform to complain about misleading advertising, he earned some chuckles. Bodyform responded spectacularly with a brilliant spoof apologising for their years of deception (see below the original post which received over 8,000 likes) and Bodyform’s superb video response, simply genius!


Link to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpy75q2DDow

One situation that was not handled so astutely was when a disgruntled Meteor customer posted on their Meteor Ireland page the following message;

Regrettably Meteors response was delayed. Within hours the page post had received over 40,000 ‘Likes’ and a further 2,923 comments with users similarly berating the telecoms for poor customer service. Understandably it won’t always be possible to respond to customers instantaneously but timelines should be an important part of any social media strategy. Leaving posts or comments unattended could be a brand disaster with the nature of the visibility that facebook pertains too.

If there is one thing to take away from this blog, don’t believe everything you read literally. Learn to read between the lines.

– Jen

Brad is the Pitts

October 16, 2012

When Chanel released a teaser picture of Brad Pitt appearing in their new Chanel No.5 campaign females worldwide swooned, however following the release of the full ad yesterday no doubt many have been left unsatisfied. Pitt is the first male in the fragrance’s 93 year history to feature in an advertising campaign and has reportedly been paid $7 million for his efforts. According to the man himself;

“What’s important to remember about Chanel N°5 is how revolutionary this fragrance is; when it was introduced, it broke all the rules,” Brad said. “N°5 has always been the most iconic women’s fragrance. That’s what I see being the appeal of this campaign; it goes beyond the abstract of emotion or beauty to evoke what is timeless: a woman’s spirit.”

Sorry what?

Following some truely iconic ads for the fragrance over the last few years, including those featuring actors Nicole Kidman and Keira Knightley,I really think this is a step in the wrong direction. As always we’ll let you make up your own mind.




One key trend to come out of troubled recessionary times are that consumers welcome good customer service. It is the simple things that have started to impress us, a smile, acknowledging our presence, a friendly face and a thank you for your custom. It is key that consumers have developed a growing appreciation for good customer service and this is set to be a key differentiator between providers in the future.

With the proliferation of shopping happening online nowadays, it does beg the question, how do online retailers get personal with their consumer, how do they build a relationship and add a personal touch?

I did a quick whizz around the office to see how some of my colleagues had fared in the world of online and if they had ready access to human help or was it a case of the “computer said no”.

Alan Daly, a part time wine enthusiast amongst many other talents told me about his very positive experience with www.winesdirect.ie. As he is no expert and is still learning the complex world of grapes, he thought it was a great touch that when they sent his order out they included information- about the wine, the regions they were from and some complimentary /recipes. To top it all off they then phoned him up and asked him was he happy with the service and was everything delivered in a timely manner. Points out of 10 for a personal service 7/10.

Leigh Cunningham, part time contact lense wearer, also spoke positively about his regular online experience with www.daysoftcontactlenses.com. Their approach has been so personal and approachable that he has continued to use them for the past 2yrs. They send him a email to ensure his order is correct, they follow up a email to make sure you are happy with the overall service, not to mention a further email to ensure Leigh is aware when his prescription is running out. Whilst there is no direct human contact, Leigh does get a photo of the customer care manager on duty at the time with each email. Points out of 10 for a personal service 7/10.

Jennifer O’Mahony, part time Brown Thomas Shopper (although i’m sure she would love this to be full time). Jen spoke briefly about how impressed she was with the BT birthday perks.  Last year, the day before her birthday they called her up and invited her instore for a free makeover. In the week leading up to her birthday this year, Brown Thomas tripled her points as a way of rewarding a loyal customer. Points out of 10 for a personal service 8/10.




404 – Page Not Found

October 2, 2012

This week, we’re bringing you a witty and clever video courtesy of TED.

Renny Gleeson talks about when consumers fall through the cracks on websites and how this can damage their brand experience. With examples from sites that got it wrong and others who managed to use these pages wisely. All the time reminding advertisers that for consumers “a simple mistake can tell me what you aren’t. Or remind me why I love you”.



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