What happened recently has rocked the world of marketing in many ways. Cristiano Ronaldo’s removal of two Coca-Cola bottles at a Euro 2020 news conference coincided with a $4 billion drop in the market value of the American drink giant.
During a press conference at the Euros, Ronaldo was seen shifting two Coke bottles and grabbing a bottle of water while saying ‘Agua,’ which means water in Spanish. Almost immediately after his gesture, Coca-Cola’s share price dipped by 1.6%, with its market value going from $242 billion to $238 billion. (Source: ESPN)
Coca-Cola spends about $4 billion on marketing annually. The superstar’s gesture cost the company the equivalent of its marketing budget for the whole year.
The very next day, Paul Pogba was seen removing a bottle of Heineken kept in front of him as well.
Cristiano Ronaldo and his team Portugal are out of the UEFA Euro 2020 soccer championship. Still, the debate continues whether (or not) the football icon was solely responsible for The Coca Cola Company losing four billion dollars in market cap on the New York stock exchange (NYSE).
In 2016, the Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year was “post-truth.” Post-truth is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief” (Source: Forbes)
It is a fact that there is a torrent of opinion and feedback made by prominent people, and this impacts public preferences and decision-making to a large extent. This affects both individuals as well as businesses. This incident has only highlighted the importance of what is being said and done about you as a brand, product, or service in the real world and online.
Having said that, what is the damage control that brands have to do to ensure that such repercussions do not happen? Accepted that Ronaldo is a heavy-weight figure and anything he does is likely to have colossal consequences, and this kind of damage is not likely to happen in the near future, if at all. But it is most definitely a wake-up call for brands to keep an eye on the reactions it brings out in people and the impact of that reaction on the rest of the world.
To put it in simple terms, Online Reputation Management blends traditional & digital marketing with public relations. It involves understanding the search engine results and how it can get impacted by your brand’s online presence and reputation when negative exposure takes place. Damage control is the critical essence of online reputation management.
Let’s demonstrate the above exercise with how Coca-Cola handled the situation.
Coca-Cola’s market value plummeted by £2.8 billion after Ronaldo’s antics, but the company has since released a statement insisting that “everyone is entitled to their drink preferences.” A wise and mature reaction, so to speak.
Whether you like it or not, it will happen at some point, and there is nothing you can do about it proactively. A hiccup in service. Badly packaged food. Rude delivery person. Product not working. Murphy’s Law has a place everywhere, and while you do your best to make sure that nothing can go wrong, you must be prepared with a plan B. What you should do when things do go wrong. Because, if it can, it will. What next?
Please find below a couple of real-life examples of how brands have put it together to bring damage control in the form of a timely Online Management Strategy.
Sometimes, humor plays a critical role in online reputation management. Pay attention to the content one. You are in no way underestimating the issue, but you are handling it in a different out-of-the-box manner. This could be risky, and you need to handle it carefully to make sure that the situation is not blown out of proportion.
Situation: One bad Yelp Review
Their handling the situation:
Sometimes, it takes more than a sorry to handle an angry customer. Then it becomes more about soothing them by solving the problem with care and sensitivity. It also highlights the competency and attention you bring to the situation and not pooh-pooh it.
How they handled it
Negative reviews are part and parcel of a brand’s life. Responding calmly instead of reacting strongly is critical. The transparency played in the brand’s reply to the situation will stay in the customers’ minds for a long time.
The bigger the brand, the harder the fall. Bringing articulate content marketing, social media management, and ORM into the picture is not an easy task. Online reputation management is a niche field of internet marketing that is increasingly critical with the majority of your current and prospective customers online.
As your online management team, we bring you a comprehensive safeguard mechanism to your brand’s reputation on the internet by keeping an eye on the information related not just to your brand but to your industry as well. By building consistent branding on all your social media platforms along with traditional public relations strategies, we ensure reputation monitoring from the point of view of employees, customers, stakeholders, and audiences.
Connect with us to explore Online Reputation Management strategies for your brand.