Apology

In this modern world, brand should be performed as a human. Brand which stand like an announcer, not listening to the audience nor pay attention to them will be left. 

That’s the marketing theory I’ve learned in school and it’s true. They should put themself equal with the crowd. They must present in between people, not in high above the cloud.

Today I learn how important brand to saying something, especially when people complaining about the brand. Saying means making apology if necessary. 

I will use an example how a famous sportswear brand organized their second running event called #BajakJKT, a running event for public, expecting to have more than fifteen thousand participants (in real counting, there were around eight thousand participants that succeed running into finish line), to make a signature marathon run that will be remembered as an awesome event.

It turns as bad perceive when people remembering #BajakJKT. 

Short story, #BajakJKT that held in the Saturday afternoon turns into a chaos run which runner troubled with so many walking participants, taking selfie or wefie photos while the road getting dreadlock since the run route closed for crossing. Before all runner arrived in finish line, the running route has been rushed by vehicles impatiently because they suffer traffic jam much worse than any days.

Cars shouting, motorcyclist swearing, and also the participants feel wronged with the event.

After all bad impression about #BajakJKT (Twitter timeline filled with so many complaints), there’s no clarification, final statement, or even apology. Until this time, people are waiting The brand saying something about bad impact of #BajakJKT. Then people rethink about the brand. About the brand’s jargon. About “#BajakJKT”.

I think all that people asking is an apology. For making a dreadlock traffic. For chaos that happened during the event, despite most of participants looks happy to be part of it. For ignoring people’s complaints.

I have quite similar story but turns to be a good ending.

Everyone knows Harley-Davidson. Most people notice its bikes by thundering sound everytime a Harley passing by. And traffic jam when a group of Harley rider across the street.

One day a Harley community held an anniversary event in Bogor city. Most of Jakartan (and Bogorian as well) know that in the normal weekend, Bogor is an hell of traffic. Almost every street packed with vehicles, those who want enjoy weekend in Bogor. The event committee know this too. As a preventive act, they put a big billboard in the center of the city, that saying apology will making Bogor quite more jammed because of the event.

Of course it doesn’t end at saying apology. Police and Transportation Dept. Officers working harder, not only supporting the event but also manage the main road that most Harley rider will be passing through.

End of story, people are still complaining, amplified with online media coverage, but less than the anticipated. People still able to enjoy Bogor. From this point, communicate to the people and taking apology is a good step. To become human and put aside arrogance.

I’m not defending that Harley community because I’m working in Harley dealer, but putting concern not only to those who love the brand but also people in general is good. Win their heart and in return people will win the brand.

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