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The Wrong Way to Market Your Brand

The Grand River in Southern Ontario has broken it banks.


Generally this happens every spring during the “thaw.” The “thaw” came a bit early this year.

An abnormally large amount of snow, followed by several unseasonably warm days, in addition to excessive amounts of rain has caused chaos in neighbouring communities to where I live today.

Two areas have declared States of Emergency. Thousands of people are under mandatory evacuations. Schools and business are shuttered. Homes are being damaged. Emergency services are working over time to protect lives and property. And it’s not over yet.

One particular company – who I refuse to name because they don’t deserve the recognition – decided to take advantage of this natural disaster.

In a series of images, this company took aerial drone shots of the damage being done in their community, and then plastered them all over social media… complete with their giant logo on every single image.

In other words… they branded a natural disaster; and just seeing their logo all over the images upset my stomach.

Marketing Fail

You know the saying there’s no such thing as bad publicity? Well, that was BEFORE social media.

These days, trust me, there’s such a thing as bad publicity.

You don’t want to be the company going viral for all the wrong reasons. The company getting shamed for branding a natural disaster and using it in marketing materials.

Never take advantage of a disaster to market your brand.
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The Right Way to Market

At the same time this was happening, another business (in the same industry) took to social media to share flood updates, public service announcements and information that was of great value to their audience.

They didn’t brand it. They didn’t try and sell anything.

They just served their audience in a genuine way.

Which company, do you suppose, is going to be remembered?

When Disaster Strikes

Disasters happen a lot these days. From floods, to school shootings, to chaos in political systems and governments.

During those times, we all have opinions.

We also all have platforms.

How you choose to use them matters.

Let me leave you with two thoughts…

Are you contributing to productive dialogue, or adding to the noise?

Are you serving yourself, or serving your audience?

You can guess which of these is the right way to engage in the topic and which of these will leave you trying to resolve a disaster of your own creation!