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How consumers shape brand conversations

By Margaret Mwantok
10 March 2020   |   2:22 am
All companies are competing to make the consumers buy their goods or service, aiming to increase their sales and make high profits. Besides the quality and the value each brand provides to customers...

All companies are competing to make the consumers buy their goods or service, aiming to increase their sales and make high profits. Besides the quality and the value each brand provides to customers, producers found that customers nowadays are buying brands instead of products.

The 2020 Valentine’s Day celebration otherwise known as lovers’ day saw a lot of banters among the millennial, as some brands with this class of audience as target, seized the opportunity to enter into online real-time conversation with its audience.

Lacesera, a carbonated soft drink, a pioneer in the apple drink genre, compelled a voluntary conversation with its target market and did so beautifully with creative storytelling.

Through its creative agency, X3M Ideas, the brand unleashed a number of activities and corresponding materials to engage its consumers. One of such was its Valentine digital creative piece titled ‘Dear G babe’, a replica of ‘Be my Val’ invite, which outlines why a relationship between a certain ‘G’ brand, a supposed complimentary brand, is desirable.

Just as suggested in introduction to economics, complimentary goods could thrive better on partnerships and possibly co-branding.In this case, the message composed by gala in an apple shape reads, “You are such a snack I’ve heard the whispers that we look good together. The perfect match that goes hand in hand. I must confess, I bubble on the inside whenever I see you, which is everytime, considering we are always together, come rain, come shine. We would be the cutest couple ever and be on everyone’s lips. So…here is me shooting my shot. Fancy being a couple.”   

This is the proposal, and it got leading sausage brand, UAC’s Gala into trouble with consumers. The creative mainly deployed on social media, twitter, especially has since become a nightmare docking the heels of handlers of gala image.

While Lacasera’s reference to ‘G’ may insinuate gala, the mode of usage allows for some form of defence. However, gala brand handlers, in an unsolicited response at its handle @galasausage, replying to @Lacasera_NG, announced, “Gala sausage roll dissociates itself from this communication.”

After the above response, all hell was let loose on the brand and its handlers no thanks to the hasty and uncivil response, which most consumers found ‘uncouth’ and bungling a huge opportunity for the brand to find its way to the heart of the consumers.

Some of the responses copied from twitter handles include, @Rolland E’s comments: “You should have done better by saying “we accept your proposal, so far you don’t get jealous when flirting with other combo drinks… Making you win on both sides.”

@Mandomly writes, “When did gala become G-babe? You couldn’t update your page since last year but you could respond to a tweet that don’t even mention your handle? Disassociating yourself when people already disassociated themselves from you” and @Nifemi alluding to Lacasera’s comments said, “this is not a smart response. Your public relations team has a lot to learn.”

Another handler, @Michael Ekenobi, sounding sarcastic, wrote, “I hereby dissociate myself from anything called gala… Oh wait, this sounds familiar, I’ve done that already… Five years ago. RIP gala.”

While @TomiNigeria pointed out “Lacasera handed you a primed canvas to paint on but you formed a hard girl despite your open secret relationship. O ga lara e o Miss Gala.”

@Zingy B.A noted: “The Gala handler is just a thrash. If this is hate. Gala should be buried. Apology is expected from Gala team. It’s a friendly approach from Lacasera” just as @Frank Okaibe advised that “whoever is in charge of this @galasausage handle needs to take a professional course in public relations. Such a douche and absolute kill joy. Who still eats Gala anyways? With the lean stew wrapped with loaf of bread they package for consumers”.

These and more comments depict a shifting of power to consumers. Its online real-time clout makes it potent and effects could be debilitating. Knee-jerk and unplanned responses on social media could lead to more damaging revelations about a brand. A brand on social media should have a strategy in place.

Imagine @Gala Sausage Roll has called @Lacasera_NG or its agency for a possible synergy arising from this valentine campaign, the result would have the most successful and exemplary campaign that could set an industry standard. Collaboration is the way forward! 

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