Brand in Digital Meltdown

I love ice cream. Stike that. I love great ice cream.

Some would say I am an ice cream snob. It’s 100% true. I’m a sucker for premium brands. The packaging. The taste. The whole experience. But here is what happened to me when I returned and tried Homer Hudson ice cream in 16 years.

My wife SMS’d me to buy some ice cream while I was out buying some Panadol for my sick child. We call that a wife ‘medical emergency’ if ever there was one. ūüėČ On my return home I crashed in front of the TV and opened up the Homer Hudson Chocolate Chunk ice cream.

It was A. Mazing. I mean mouth watering.

The chocolate was so rich and the chocolate chunks crackled and crunched in my mouth. Chunk. Hunk. Delicious. It was truly a great experience. The brand had me back. They really fulfilled their brand promise.

BINGO! Homer Hudson, you had me at first bite.

The sales guys would have been doing high fives if they were in the room. It was a home(r) run experience.

I was so impressed, I immediately jumped online and searched out their Facebook page to check out what other flavours they had ready to go wild and make repeat purchases.

As I said I was a raving fan, until I found this.

Then there was this.

Then this.

And this.

Or this?

To top it all off with a cherry on top there is this.

If the good folks at the top of Homer Hudson should ever read this, you have a great product as far as I’m concerned. But your brand is let down, no, your brand is in meltdown online. Your marketing team (if they even exist) should go into a marketing self-help program. Brands have a hard enough time competing for attention on the shelf but you are doing a really good job at destroying your brand’s reputation all by yourself.

But all is not lost, you can stop a digital brand meltdown if:

#1 You hire a social media community manager

Your social media presence is an online engagement with your customers and potential customers. It needs updating on a daily basis. As anyone can see from the screen shots above¬†social media allows people to voice their appreciation and¬†complaints¬†in the same space. You have to respond. It is not good enough to stay silent. Social media is all about engagement. If you don’t want to engage, take your page down.

#2 You hire a great web strategist and designer

Your website sucks. It shouldn’t suck. You have a good great product. You have lovely packaging. All your customers should be able to see it. Enjoy it, and be inspired to come back for more. Hire a web/brand marketing strategist (yes I’m available – will work for ice cream :-)) and stop your brand from melting down online.

#3 You fix your product

I didn’t try the product that the people are complaining about above but you still have a chance to win back these customers if you can offer a product that they say you are going to offer. The people want cookie dough. Give it to them! And give them a slab – for free. Turn these madvocates back into advocates! Bad news about brands travels too fast. You’ll be surprised how quickly you can turn people’s opinions around with a bit of free goodwill. You could even come up with an innovative marketing campaign to help people rediscover your great product.

I don’t know where your company is at. Frankly,¬†consumers don’t care¬†about what is going on internally. They want a great experience online just like they had offline. They want their questions answered online. They want the cookie dough what they think they are paying for. They want the chance to see more of what you have to offer, not a website that is a log-in page.

Why is that so hard?

For the rest of us: There is a¬†salutary¬†lesson here. Any organisation can all suffer the same digital meltdown fate if they don’t cultivate their online presence to match their offline presence.

What brands have you seen that suck online and are great offline?