Today I’m writing as I ponder something.
Let me ask you…What’s the difference between an implosion and an explosion?
Let me take a stab at coming up within creative definitions and see if I’m thinking what you’re thinking…
An explosion occurs when you mix reactive chemical substances to blow something up and send energy and physical objects outwards. This is usually a purposeful act in our current day and age.
On the other hand, an implosion occurs when you build a structure on a faulty foundation and it caves in violently, collapsing on itself.
In the past two days I’ve witnessed a Brand Implosion of epic-freaking-proportion! I’m watching a brand that previously held a lot of weight, recognition, and influence cave in amongst their fan-base. (A particularly underrepresented/misrepresented subset of the population, black women).
I haven’t seen what the financial damage is, but with the way consumers have been mobilizing using social media lately, (ahem United Airways and their crappy handling of Dr. Dao) this could cost millions.
United lost nearly a billion dollars from it’s valuation immediately after the incident with Dr. Dao. (Dang, son. That’s a lot of money!)
Ok, so Shea Moisture didn’t drag a passenger off a plane and allegedly cause physical harm they way United did. But they seem to have done something even more dangerous to their bottom line. They have caused EMOTIONAL DAMAGE with their insensitivity. I’m curious how Shea Moisture will fare. Will they recover?
Shea what? Shea who?
Oh, now, are you wondering what this company is? Their biggest core values seem to be about fair trade, community, and sustainability. This brand started as a hair care line for kinky, curly, and coily hair. (Black hair).
Since launching they have gone on to create an entire cosmetic line from make-up to baby bath products and more.
With their latest ad campaign, they have totally alienated their base customers with a culturally tone-deaf and insensitive video portraying a new ideal customer (white women with no kinks or coils) while effectively ignoring the people that made them what they are today.
Hair is deep, hair is psychological. Studies show a bad hair day can stop us from speaking up in a meeting or feeling confident enough to approach someone. #YesItsThatDeep
Now, what’s the point of this email? Well, I’ve learned a lot by watching this debacle unfold. As a black woman, I feel some kinda way, and I can’t quite describe it.
So I did what I do best. I looked for the opportunity in all of this! Here are 4 lessons I’ve learned from this situation… I hope that both you and I can absorb this and learn from the situation. Let’s do better and be different.
1. Know your fan base. These are your ideal Clients/Customers. People who will go hard for you and your brand. Treat them like gold and include them as stakeholders. Fans of Shea Moisture are finding out now that Shea Moisture is diluted with people who don’t look like them. This is important to this fan-base. They are complaining that::
✔️the head of marketing doesn’t even have kinky hair.
✔️The company that made this ad is owned by Gary Vee and they probably didn’t include any stakeholders of color (black women) in the process when they let this commercial fly!
2. Getting Clients = A Long Process. Keeping Clients = EASY. It’s more expensive/energy intensive to acquire customers than it is to retain customers. In the aftermath of the controversy, Shea Moisture issued a half-a$$ed statement without apologizing. This has resulted in losing even more loyalty from customers. The issued statement upset their customers even more than their original action. The thread on Facebook is littered with insults toward Shea Moisture, links to other brands, and accusations of insensitivity. (OUCH)
3. Touch their HEARTS with each action you take. Make sure that you go beyond the visual elements of your branding. Emotions trump visuals – every.single.time! Yes, visuals can elicit a physical/emotional/psychological response. But visuals combined with storytelling that shows your clients/customers how they matter to you and what they mean to you in your business journey is extremely powerful. This creates a response in the brain that touches our hearts and wallets because stories have been proven to motivate voluntary cooperation. (Paul J. Zak – Harvard Business Review) In our case, that cooperation comes in the form of building influence, a loyal fan base, and money – cha-Ching, baby.
4. Diversify your brand, YES. But don’t do that at the expense of your best customers. And you know, sometimes you should stick to what has always worked for you, instead of creating new products and trying to manufacture a new client/customer base.
Most of this goes without saying because I’m probably preaching to the choir.
I know the type of people I attract to my own brand. You’re soulful, spiritual, loving, insightful, sensitive, and smart. You have a great capacity for love and an ability to touch people in unique ways.
Best of all, you are continually working to improve yourself through deepening your relationship with God, attending bible studies, and seeking out various religious/spiritual practices and experiences. (I LOVE that I have people of all faiths in my community).
But us spiritual people may be the ones who need to witness the process others go through and learn from them the most. Because most of our blunders are well-intentioned and without malice.
I don’t want to see you on the other side of a situation that you’re troubleshooting because you didn’t quite know how to express your divine gifts powerfully or articulately.
Let’s all learn from Shea Moisture and start to use our gifts of Divine Self Expression with ease! That’s why I’m inviting you to join me for a discovery session where we’ll get to the heart of what’s working and what’s not working in your messaging, marketing, and promotion.
If you’re attracted to my brand it’s most likely because this is where you struggle. My brand new client who joined my Online Business School today told me how copywriting, marketing and messaging make her feel.
“When it comes to coaching I’m the best at what I do. But when it comes to marketing and messaging, I’m brain-dead. That’s why I need you, Tepsii!” Ilona B., Health Coach.
Are you also ready to get clarity and grow your business? I’m hosting calls so that we can talk about your biggest struggles and create a soulful game plan to resolve them! I want to help you bridge the emotional and knowledge gap for you in this particular area.
I’ve got a few spots left on my calendar to chat with you if you’re ready.
Your time is now… Because who wants to waste 6 months or a year as they wing it while expending energy growing a business the hard way?https://calendly.com/tepsii/discovery