Brand Destruction is Only a Hack or Missed Opportunity Away

Most folks involved in the retail goods and services segment understand that social media has become an absolute MUST and not something to be ignored. Like it or not, understand it or not, get it or not, social media is a reality which companies simply must address. But claiming a social media presence no longer means simply throwing up a Facebook page or creating a Twitter account. Instead, we now live in a content-rich community and real-time environment which requires constant attention to creating new content and (often more importantly) monitoring content generated by others.

By now most of us have heard of how Poland Spring missed its “Oreo Moment” following Senator Marco Rubio’s legendary “Watergate” sip during the Republican response to this year’s State of the Union speech. The term #watergate was trending on Twitter and Senator Rubio himself had tweeted a photo of the bottle Less than an hour later, yet it took Poland Spring more than 14 hours to post anything in the social media world. According to at least one content marketing manager, Poland Spring’s delay not only cost it a significant opportunity for high-quality publicity during a widely-viewed television event, but could end up causing an estimated $3 million in lost sales.

Of greater concern, however, is the need to remain diligent in monitoring brand usage across all social media outlets. The hack of Burger King’s Twitter accountearlier this week to report a bogus merger with McDonald’s highlights just how fast things can go wrong and just how important it is to monitor monitor monitor. Likewise, Burger King’s quick reaction and communication illustrates how a rapid response can help avoid bigger problems and even generate some “cheap” publicity.

From a legal perspective, these recent social media snafus remind us once again of the critical importance of managing your brand and protecting your marks. Creating and developing a strong brand now, more than ever, means that companies must remain vigilant to protect the legal rights they have worked so hard and spent so much to obtain.

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