6. SO SHOULD BRANDS 7. HOW CAN UNITED AIRLINES WIN BACK CUSTOMER TRUST AFTER ITS RECENT PR PROBLEMS?
WEIGH IN ON SOCIAL
8. WHAT ARE THE MAJOR CHALLENGES FOR MARKETERS RIGHT NOW?
THE REASON TO
TAKE A STAND IN
CAN BE AS MUCH
LOOKING AT YOU
“WHAT DO WE
I BELIEVE IT’S
EES, YOUR SUP;
AS MUCH AS
FROM A BRAND
POINT OF VIEW.
BUT IF YOU DO
TAKE A STAND,
NEED TO BE
STAND BY IT.
It’s an interesting question. You need to do something immediately. You can’t let it linger. You do need
to apologize. I don’t know how they can still go with “Fly the Friendly Skies” in their marketing. It’s still
there! I think they need to be very transparent in what they’re doing now, and then just start making
extreme gestures to people, to make them feel that you’re empathetic and actually care. Also, given
this news cycle, give it a month or two, and people forget. People will still buy that cheap plane ticket.
They just went way too long without admitting
it was wrong and that they were sorry. I think
people are pretty good about offering up
forgiveness if you just admit you’re wrong, but
a lot of times companies have a hard time
There are so many new
platforms and different
consumer behaviors, all
of it changing so quickly.
Just keeping up with who
your consumer is and
where they are in social
is a challenge. You have
to spend a lot of time on
that. You can’t just make
a TV ad and post it on
Facebook, then another
version on Twitter,
another on Instagram,
and, and, and . . . . It
doesn’t work that way.
You need to know who
you’re talking to, where
they are, and tailor your
advertising to that.
Their response showed a lack of empathy. It was
corporate. It wasn’t human. But my suspicion is,
after a year, many people won’t remember if it was
United or Delta or American. There are brands
that never recover, but I don’t think United will be
one of them. If they start to delight customers
unexpectedly, to treat things with extra levels of
humanity, they can recover well. If I were there,
I’d focus on the culture, and empowering my
front-line employees to go the extra 10 miles. I
wouldn’t be worried about ads or marketing. I’d
triple down on superb customer service.
AND POLITICAL ISSUES?
People are starting to talk a
lot more about challenges
around voice. What will
brands look like in a more
voice-oriented world? In a
world of Alexa and Google
Home and chatbots, what’s
the role of brand? That’s a
really, really interesting
question, and a challenge
for us all. Is there a post-logo world there? It’s just so
interesting to think that the
visual world may become
less important, and what
that means. I think things
are going to become more
auditory. What does an
auditory cue sound like
for a brand?
Being relevant. [Laughs] There’s nothing
better than word of mouth and organic
marketing. You’re not needed that much,
dude! I think marketers should be
nervous. There are so many agencies
that should just . . . die. All these useless
barnacles that have been living on the ass
of major brands should just be lanced.
Marketing’s biggest challenge now is to
understand that we shouldn’t be going at
people with what we sell, we should be
telling them what we believe in. Get them
to buy into your brand by understanding
what it stands for. Some brands are good
at it; most aren’t. There’s an industry
built around helping people avoid ads.
That should tell you something.