Rewind 10 years, if we had wanted to complain to a company for bad service or for disagreeing with something they sold we wrote a letter, email or marched down there for some good old fashioned faced to face interaction.
Back then, companies held the power, they could do pretty much whatever they wanted and the only way we could tell people about it was face to face, on the phone etc. This is when people would hold a protest outside of a store for not putting enough bacon on their bacon batch, only to be marched away by police…
Fast forward to 2014 and we, as consumers have the power. Annoyed your bacon batch hasn’t got enough bacon on? Why bother with the awkward face to face complaint in store, snap a photo, find them on Twitter and compose an angry 140 rant with said photo attached. Result? They reply, hugely apologetic and you might get a £10 voucher out of it – result.
Why is this the case? You decide you aren’t happy, you compose your angry tweet, your followers see it and will probably think twice about that brand. Anyone who searches that brand may be exposed to it, they’ll probably think twice too. If all of these people retweet or favourite it, it can spiral to millions of people seeing your negative message about a brand. Thats a lot of people who may remember the message when considering purchasing from them. No wonder they publicly make an apology and compensate them for the ‘inconvenience.’
This is all light hearted, I just want a freebie for being fobbed off with more batch than bacon but this platform is hugely useful when things get serious.
Last night, Katie of Scarphelia shared a photo of what we (and the majority of people on my timeline) thought was hugely offensive. ASOS decided to stock a cushion which was taking the piss out of anxiety sufferers. I don’t suffer with anxiety myself, but I don’t think that matters, it’s something that thousands of people live with daily, and it can be incredibility difficult. Of course, ASOS saw the ‘drama’ created on Twitter and have since removed it from sale.
There, the power of social media. Although I’m happy this has been removed I ask WHY has one of the UK’s largest online retailers decided to stock this in the first place? People are finally starting to open up about anxiety, where it used to be sort of a taboo subject, and ASOS are playing on that?
I’d love to know who said ‘yes’ to this being stocked, then as it passed through each department to ensure this was in stock and on site NOBODY QUESTIONED IT. Frankly, I’m sick of brands having offensive products on site, removing them only when a fuss is kicked up on Twitter and then it all going back to normal. Urban Outfitters have done it multiple times and I refuse to shop there. This shouldn’t go away just because they’ve removed it from sale.
Why is this OK? I’m sick of brands getting it wrote, you only have to read this post to see that it isn’t just in products they stock, brands aren’t thinking about their image on social media either.
I’d love your opinions on this, apologies for getting a little ranty 😉