Olympic Gymnastics and Branding – Deductions Keep You From the Gold
Olympic Gymnastics and Branding – Deductions Keep You From Gold
My family loves watching Olympic gymnastics. The creativity, artistry, power and athletic excellence are awe-inspiring. The “human interest” stories that air between events give us glimpses into the hard work these young athletes endure to get their shot at gold medals on the world’s biggest stage every four years. We revel in their victories, and we get a little misty-eyed during their defeats.
And the differences between gold – and not even making it to the all-around competition – are measured in hundredths of a point!
In the London Olympics 2012, Jordyn Wieber missed the chance to compete for all-around gold by 0.233 points. If you watch this video of Viktoria Komova’s beam routine, you will see how a couple small balance checks – in an otherwise beautiful and challenging routine – were most likely the difference between gold and silver in the all-around competition. American Gabby Douglas won the all-around because she was nearly flawless in all of the events.
Companies can also spend a “lifetime” carefully crafting and maintaining a trusted brand – only to lose consumer trust with a bobble in product quality or customer service.
I witnessed a great example of this scenario this last week. Jessica Northey is a highly engaging, supportive online personality with a healthy dose of good humor. She is the founder of Country Music Chat (#CMChat) that goes live every Monday night at 9pm EST. She is also a social-media savvy consumer who sought to engage one of the brands she uses with a customer service issue. Here was their response that quickly spread through the social graph.
That tweet definitely does not reflect T-Mobile’s attention to detail when it comes to branding and customer service. However, that one tweet was retweeted repeatedly by Jessica’s following. It also showed up in my Facebook and Google+ feeds, and I bet it shows up as a case-study in several blog posts like this one.
Convergys Corp. survey results in November 2009 showed that One Bad Twitter ‘Tweet’ Can Cost 30 Customers. That ratio is probably much larger almost three years later, especially when it originates from an influencer like Jessica Northey, and that does not spell good news for T-Mobile. I wrote about this same topic in a post called Social Media and the NFL – Good Numbers + Bad Decisions = Loss. The same rules outlined in that post still apply in order to “stop the bleeding” and restore trust in the brand:
- Own it quickly!
- Do not get defensive!
- Do not look to place blame!
- Do not try to sweep it under the rug or make light of the situation or consumer sentiment!
Jordyn Wieber rebounded from her personal disappointment to absolutely shine during the team competition. She had a clutch performance that contributed to the US Women’s Gymnastics team capturing gold at these Olympics. She still has a great shot at winning an individual gold medal for the floor exercise, too.
I expect T-Mobile to rebound from this faux pas, but it will start by owning the miscues and then seeking resolution that satisfies the consumer while an online world watches…
Are you captivated by the London Olympics like the Vickery household? What is your favorite event? What is your favorite example of a brand making a major gaffe…or a brand providing outstanding quality or service?