Archive for the ‘Brand Loyalty’ Category

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar has caused a reputation crisis for FIFA

December 8, 2022

“It’s the most controversial World Cup in recent history and a ball hasn’t even been kicked. Ever since FIFA chose Qatar back in 2010, the smallest nation to host football’s greatest competition has faced some big questions. 

From accusations of corruption in the bidding process to the treatment of migrant workers who’ve built the stadiums where many lost their lives. Homosexuality is illegal here and women’s rights are also in the spotlight. Also the decision to switch the tournament from summer to winter. 

Against that backdrop, there is a tournament to be played here that will be watched and enjoyed around the world. Stick to football, say FIFA, well we will – for a couple of minutes at least.” 

Those were the words of former England footballer turned BBC presenter Gary Lineker as he opened coverage of the world’s most illustrious football tournament. He made it clear to viewers that the World Cup being hosted in Qatar is surrounded by scandal and it is not just Qatar that should be under the spotlight but world football’s governing body FIFA. 

This is not just the view of Gary Lineker but many people in both the football world and outside of that. Roy Keane speaking live from Qatar told ITV viewers that, “It’s been mentioned about the corruption with FIFA, the way they treat migrant workers, gay people…it’s great that it’s been brought up. They shouldn’t have the World Cup here; you can’t treat people like that.” It is such comments from high-profile footballing names like Lineker and Keane that has helped to drive increased media spotlight on Qatar and FIFA. 

You might be asking now, ‘How the hell were they ever even selected to host the tournament?’. The US Department of Justice reportedly claims that bribes were taken by high-ranking officials during the selection of Russia and Qatar as the tournament hosts for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. These are accusations that are denied by both Russian and Qatari officials. Of course, the words of these regimes have proven so honourable in the past!

FIFA’s reputation amongst football fans has always been one of caution in recent years. In 2015, FIFA headquarters were raided by the FBI and Swiss authorities in connection with an investigation into corruption by officials within the organisation and other associates connected. This investigation led to the removal of Sepp Blatter as FIFA President and investigations into the bidding process for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, as mentioned above. 

When former UEFA official, Gianni Infantino, was elected President of FIFA in February 2016. He was elected to bring in a new dawn of respected and responsible governance to world football. However, his reign as president has failed to do just that. Infantino has instead overseen an organisation that has been dogmented by its past, failing to usher in that new dawn in which all football fans across the world hoped for.

Infantino remained silent when people criticised the holding of the 2018 World Cup in Russia despite Putin’s annexation of Crimea at the time and his regime’s anti-LGBTQ stance. Criticism of the bidding process into the 2018 World Cup and Russia’s holding of the tournament has become increasingly controversial post the event. Most partly due to the rise of what we now know as ‘sportswashing’ and Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine earlier this year.

In fact, these two issues have also contributed to the increased media scrutiny on current World Cup host Qatar this time round. A nation in which Amnesty International says, “Despite government reforms, migrant workers continued to face labour abuses and struggled to change jobs freely. Curtailment of freedom of expression increased in the run-up to FIFA World Cup 2022. Women and LGBTI people continued to face discrimination in law and practice.”

For Infantino, this is not Russia 2018 and he can no longer ignore the questions being asked by fans, players, football associations, and governments across the world. His and FIFA’s response to those questions centred around the issues described by Amnesty International, above, have left him and the organisation facing even further scrutiny and reputational damage.

On the eve of the tournament kicking off, Infantino held a press conference where hit out at the critics of FIFA, Qatar, and the decision to hold the World Cup there. He remarked, “What we Europeans have been doing for the last 3,000 years, we should be apologising for the next 3,000 years before starting to give moral lessons.” This comment was followed up with a series of personal confessions by Infantino in which he strangely said, “Today I feel Qatari. Today I feel Arab. Today I feel African. Today I feel gay. Today I feel disabled. Today I feel a migrant worker.” That was after Infantino told a packed press conference that he knew how it felt to be discriminated against because as a child he was teased for having red hair and freckles. 

This press conference by the FIFA President was met with much backlash, as many felt that he belittled the groups affected by the discriminations of the Qatari regime, especially members of the LBGTQ community and migrant workers. FIFA’s reputation took another hit only days later when it decided that it would book players who dared to wear the ‘OneLove’ armband onto the field of play during the course of the tournament. This came as many European nations had decided that the team captain would do this to show solidarity with the LGBTQ community in Qatar and across the world. 

On the back of this penalty, those countries who proposed to wear the armband decided not to do so. Subsequently, FIFA has remained relatively quiet on this decision but only to reinforce their ruling when asked to comment. It seems the approach of FIFA to negative publicity and public outcry over the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is to remain silent on the issues and when they do speak to defend their actions. Even if they are deemed to be extremely unpopular ones, especially in the West.

FIFA’s shaky reputation has taken a hammering in the last few weeks over the World Cup being held in Qatar. And it is clear that Gianni Infantino has not ushered in a new regime that many football fans would have hoped for when he became FIFA President in 2016. His actions of late are proven evidence of this.

Recently, the much disgraced former FIFA President, Sepp Blatter, admitted that it was a mistake to award Qatar the World Cup. If FIFA wants to start to repair its reputation, then its current president could follow Blatter’s lead by doing the same.

Despite all of this, the football continues and while money and corruption brought (or bought!) the tournament to this inappropriate location there has been some refreshing “purity” to the actual matches, The best players from a country play the best players from another country, and unlike club football where the teams such as Manchester City and PSG can buy success we are refreshingly seeing the opposite, with many surprises and shock exits.

So while football is actually winning, it is a real pity that the teams and the players did not come together, wear their armbands or even refuse to play at all. They are the attraction, the ones who have built the fantastic reputation of the World Cup and despite the best efforts of FIFA it still continues to be the most fantastic, celebration festival of football in the world..

Dylan

Dylan Morley is an Account Executive at Fuzion Communications, full service marketing and PR agency, with offices in Cork and Dublin.

The Love Island Effect – Fast Fame & Fast Fashion

September 22, 2022

It’s been one month since we last ran to the couch at 9pm to hear, for the last time this summer, “Previously… on Love Island”. 

For eight weeks of summer, Love Island almost has a chokehold over the nation. Those out for a Sunday drink calling it a night at 8.30pm, those holidaying abroad praying that their wifi is strong enough for Virgin Media player.

An average of 204,000 viewers tuned in across Ireland each night to see how the contestants were getting on, and who they were getting with. For those eight weeks, the reality TV show basically took over our social lives and had us hooked to our screens.

Each season, while romances, friendships and tensions build inside the villa, we watch the contestants’ social media followings build on the outside, particularly on Instagram. The rise to fame is fast, as fast fashion brands scramble to secure their newest brand ambassadors, fighting for the ‘best’ with their top competitors. 

Take Molly-Mae Hague – the most successful contestant ever on the show. Molly-Mae was slowly breaking her way into the world of influencer marketing before ever appearing on or being associated with Love Island, regularly posting on Instagram and sharing to her YouTube channel. She entered the Spanish villa with approximately 170,000 followers. Coming not in first, but in second place on series 5 of the show, there were countless fast fashion brands lining up left, right and centre to sign her up.

She was the first UK influencer that Starbucks had ever paid to post content for them. She exited the villa, to sign a deal with fast-fashion retailer, PrettyLittleThing (PLT), as a brand ambassador. Fast forward three years, she is now their Creative Director – she now has a whopping 6.4 Million Instagram followers, making her the most successful Love Island contestant to date. 

Fast forward to this year. Gemma Owen, daughter of famous English football player, Michael Owen – remember that goal in the 1998 World Cup? Well, Gemma has now almost surpassed her fathers fame, at least with this generation. Gemma entered the villa with 79.5k followers and has now hit the 2 Million mark. Following in the footsteps of Molly-Mae, she has just last week signed an ambassador deal with PrettyLittleThing. 

Ekin-Su, the queen of this summer’s Love Island who did a 180 on the show and won the nations hearts, has quickly jumped to a whopping 3 Million followers, proving she is most deserving of that title. She has signed (supposedly) the biggest deal in Love Island history, with fast-fashion brand, Oh Polly, worth £1 Million. 

It has to be questioned whether Love Island has become the gate-way to fashion deals, as opposed to a path to ‘finding love’? 

Molly-Mae has previously admitted on her YouTube channel that she went on Love Island as a career move and did not think she’d find love, only to meet Tommy (queue the “awwww”). But was this a one-off?

Can Ekin-Su and Gemma maintain their Love Island romances? Deep down, do they really care once they have their brand deals? It is early days for them but time will tell – if love fails, they have fame and fast-fashion…

And as for brands, they all love a good influencer!

Mary

Mary O’Mahony is an Account Manager with Fuzion Communications, a full service PR, Marketing and Graphic Design agency operating from offices in Dublin and Cork.

Football & Brand Loyalty

August 29, 2022

The recent return of the Premier League for its now 31st season has begun to intensify rivalry and debate with the offices of Fuzion Communications.

As a Manchester United fan, I have been on the receiving end of most of the mockery that has taken place. However, it has not stopped me defending my club like I am a player or member of the coaching staff. In turn, this led me to think about why we show such loyalty to our football clubs compared to other brands, businesses, and organisations.

The process of being a fan of a football club is clear. You start to like football, you watch a couple of matches, you select the club you want to follow, and you support that club for the rest of your life. Seems easy and hassle free doesn’t it!

In reality, it is often not so easy and not so hassle free.

I first started to watch football in the 2007/08 season. At this time, Manchester United were the current English champions and my dad, a Leeds United fan, told me they were the biggest and best club in England, if not the world. Me being me, only the biggest and best would do and so I became a Man Utd supporter. Over the next six seasons, I would see Man Utd win four Premier Leagues, a Champions League, two League Cups, and a Club World Cup. Then Sir Alex Ferguson decided to retire as manager in 2013 and our reign of success came to an end.

Fast forward nine years, and I have not seen Man Utd win another Premier League title. This would have been unimaginable to think the day I started supporting the club and not just to me or Man Utd fans but to every other football supporter across the globe. So, after nearly a decade of no league titles and relatively little success, why do I or even should I continue to support the club?

Over the last few years,  I have been a generally unhappy and dissatisfied Man Utd supporter. If I was unhappy with any other brand, business, and organisation, then I would simply switch to a competitor, if available. There are plenty of football clubs that I could support instead. I am sure being a Manchester City or Liverpool FC supporter over the last few years would have made my life much easier (although United supporters do hold the bragging rights over Liverpool fans at the moment!).

The key reason why football fans do not decide to ditch their team for another comes down to brand identity. In any business or organisation, brand identity should be considered the essence of the brand. A strategic goal of any brand strategy is to develop a pathway for the ‘returning customer’. Creating a distinct and attractive brand identity allows you to further brand loyalty and retain it over the long-term.

To identify successfully with any customer or fan, your brand needs to include features that appeal to and satisfy their needs. Your brand identity should have characteristics, traits, and values that match your customer or fan-base, while also having a clear distinction from competitors. This allows you to build a high level of prestige for your brand and enables fans or customers to perceive their favourite team/brand as attractive and share a common identity with other fans. You will see greater brand loyalty translate because of this strategic approach.

The benefit of greater brand loyalty is important to the long-term sustainable future of any business or organisation. For those who partake in brand loyalty, whether consciously or not, they do so without cost being a significant factor, as they perceive a higher quality and better service than other brands.

Brand loyalty can only be considered as reached when customers repeatedly purchase a particular brand. For example, a regular cup of coffee at Starbucks can cost about 2-3 times as much as at a filling station or supermarket and you are not guaranteed the same product or service at different locations around the world. However, people will still queue in Starbucks stores, even if they are running late, for their coffee fix.

When you achieve brand loyalty then there are two reasons that a fan or customer will stay loyal: hope and expectation. Your brand’s loyal customer base will be hoping and expecting for a certain standard of product or service.

It is important to remember that achieving brand loyalty does not mean that you have that customer for life. That is where football clubs and more traditional business-orientated brands differ. It is much easier to ditch your regular brand of washing powder than your football club. You must keep your customers with a level of hope and expectation to retain brand loyalty.

But as is often said in sport and life, ‘it is the hope that kills you’!

Dylan

Dylan Morley is a PR account executive with Fuzion Communications, a full service Marketing, PR and Graphic Design agency who operate from offices in Dublin and Cork

Stout talk and “target audiences”

November 14, 2021

I do love my pint of stout and as someone who has worked for Guinness and for a subsidiary of Heineken, who produce both Murphy’s and Beamish in Cork I think I am in a position to chat about it!

During lockdown I think enjoying a creamy point of stout in a pub with friends was quite possibly the thing that I missed most of all and was most grateful when we were able to return to our favourite local.

Where I live in Ballincollig in Cork I am blessed to have the White Horse Bar, Restaurant and Music Venue just down the road from me and a little further away, and on a tricky narrow road we have a wonderful “old man” pub called the Inniscarra Bar.

To stay Covid extra safe Kay, the very lovely proprietor of the Inniscarra Bar tried her very best to keep serving outdoors as long as possible complete with a little canopy and an outside fire, and even outdoors the regulars quickly had their regular seats, just as they would have had inside.

On one particular Thursday night I slipped down there with my fantastic neighbour, Brian for a couple of pints and we sat on a bench outside,

I asked for my pint of choice ‘Murphys’ to be advised against it by Kay who warned that it wasn’t pouring too well and I would be better off with either a Guinness or a Beamish. Two of the regulars overheard our conversation and remarked that the demise of Murphy’s was a sad state of affairs as it was always known as a “Murphy’s House”.

For me, it’s crazy that this could happen in any pub in Cork, but I wasn’t surprised as I hadn’t noticed any activity around this brand in quite a while.

A few days later while doing my grocery shopping in Dunnes Stores I noticed Murphy’s Stout cans on the shelf with new horrible (at least to me) purple and pink branding.

What in the name of god are they doing with that fantastic brand” I thought to myself and I wondered what the logic was behind this garish change.

That weekend I was chatting with my soon to be son in law, Mark and the conversation turned towards the new Murphy’s can. It turns out it wasn’t just me felt this way and this young man also hated the new branding – the beauty of the old brand is that it carried weight and some class and was confident, self assured and rooted in tradition, but this?!

Our first world problems!

A few days later while in town getting my hair chopped I happened to bump into an old buddy of mine who works for Heineken in Cork. I hadn’t seen him for an age so we had a great chat and before he left I had the opportunity of asking him what the hell was going on with Murphy’s!

I told him about the Inniscarra Bar experience and gave him my feedback about the new branding on the cans and after a while he turned around to me and said..

Ah….you are not our target audience!

That put me right in my place and we finished up our conversation and on my way home I reflected on what he had said to me and the sad fact that I was now 56 and thought yes, I was probably no longer the target audience, possibly no one’s target audience!

I thought some more and it started to bother me.

While you might make changes to your brand to appeal to a “new” audience, maybe you should first consider the fools who actually do ask for it and figure out what they like about it, as there might just be some valuable nuggets worth holding onto and the build from these.

Target audience my arse…!

Greg

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Wine, emails and kind gestures

October 27, 2021

When the government pulled the plug on our supermarkets in the middle of Covid (if things weren’t miserable enough) from “multi-buy” offers on alcohol and including them in their “loyalty points” or “€10 off 50” deals, it was time to change my drinking habits!

The change of habit wasn’t drinking any less but it was a change as to where I was now going to purchase my wine!!

So instead of typically buying my six bottles as I was doing with my grocery shopping, I had now moved to purchasing a case of 12 from one of the online suppliers!!

The little piece of magic in this whole e-commerce transaction was a timely email (they send them approximately once per fortnight) from the wine supplier with the latest “20% off Italian wine” or “New wines from Portugal” teaser message, which would prompt me to click, click, click, start browsing and then selecting, then to checkout, credit card details please, confirm transaction and presto!

As we have all been working from home getting a case of wine dropped to the front door isn’t an issue as there is always someone here to take it in. Add to that the convenience and the joy of opening a case and seeing what you did actually order.

From the wine suppliers point of view their simple email was a powerful piece of marketing / promotion – their email hits my inbox in the middle of my busy days and it nudges me gently to consider stocking up and despite being really really busy I invariably get diverted for 5 minutes to quickly place the order (in truth it isprobably quicker than browsing the aisles in the wine section of the supermarket and there is extra information about each wine available to me).

Nudge, buy, nudge buy, nudge buy…

This company were emailing me for years BUT it was only when the supermarket scenario changed that they became relevant to me.

The whole process was very effective and efficient and on some days the mixed cases of wine would actually be delivered on the day I placed the order.

I was happily doing this for months and when the 5km restriction lifted I was looking forward to placing an order for some extra special wine as we were about to take a week’s break at beautiful Sheep’s Head in West Cork.

Just to be sure I rang the company the morning before we were due to head off to ask if the delivery would be with us before 2pm the following day – I wanted to be sure we had wine on time and also to be sure it wasn’t sitting outside the front door for a week!

I’m sorry but we can’t guarantee delivery before 48 hours” I was told by the voice that answered..

That’s ok, but I know your deliveries are really prompt. I order from you the whole time, can you at least check with someone?”

Em, no there is nothing I can do, that is our policy” (that response always sets me off…)

Can you please check at least?” …. “No, sorry, that is our policy“.

I was really disappointed and made a mental note to try to find an alternative supplier when we came back from our week’s holiday.

Despite this decision of mine the compelling, well timed emails kept coming every two weeks and I kept ordering until one day when I was making a brief visit to the office I popped into my favourite wine store in town and was delighted to chat to the friendly staff there and asked them to make a special recommendation for a meal that night.

As they were wrapping my purchases I apologised to them for not being in there for a while and explained that I had been working from home during lockdown and resorted to online ordering.

They politely informed me that they did online deliveries, something I never realised but I was surprised as I was sure that I was on some database of theirs.

I told them about the “trick” about the fortnightly e-newsletter that their competitor was employing to great effect and their response to me blew me away..

We don’t like to sell or force ourselves on anyone

Ah come on guys, are you for real? Have you any idea what you are missing out on. Of course it’s selling, but it is also informing and prompting and all part of their service

Eventually they considered what I was saying and said they would mention it to the franchise owner.

Because I really like them (and they do have great wines!) the next time I needed a wine top-up I looked for their website and ordered my case from them and not the other crew.

The order was delivered swiftly and the next time I ordered I was pleasantly surprised to see an extra bottle that I hadn’t ordered come with the delivery as a gift with a special note of thanks from the owner for giving them the business.

To wrap up my “wine story” I have continued to order wine from my favourite wine store, they still don’t send out e-newsletters with offers, news or suggestions which I would really appreciate but I am really happy to give them the business because they are nice and they do appreciate the business.

The biggest irony of all is that when the e-newsletter comes in from their competitor I use their well timed email as a prompt to order from them!

As for the competitor, their regular customer has disappeared and they will never know why unless they spot this change of trend and ask the question…

Mrs “sorry there is nothing I can do” sent me and my business on my way.

The e-commerce lessons we learn from this story:

  • Get online
  • Make sure your customers know about the service
  • Get an e-mail database going and use it tactically and frequently
  • Make it easy for people to sign up
  • Be efficient at processing orders
  • Look at patterns of ordering and try to figure out why when it changes
  • Build a relationship with the customer just like you do in person
  • and remember….there is always something you can do!!

Who is for red?

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion Communications who offer Marketing, PR, Graphic Design Podcast Production and Digital Marketing services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Brand reputation and consumer’s expectations.

October 11, 2021

It is quite clear that the pandemic hit industries and brands in diverse ways. Many organizations saw their budgets being cut down to half or nothing, conferences saw a move to digital stages and social justice movements such as BLM were in the spotlight more than ever before. This pivotal moment in history had led to a shift in the way brands interact with consumers.

A new study from FleishmanHillard examines the gap between consumers’ expectations and brands’ actions: 64% of consumers believe that a company is more authentic when they communicate about their behavior and their impact on society and the environment, instead of the benefits they offer to their customers.

The study also shows how 47% of consumer perceptions about a brand are driven by customer benefits, while 53% of consumers’ perceptions are shaped by social outcomes such as better environmental practices within the organization or the way a company cares about its employees, and management behaviors like acting ethically and responsibly.

An example of a troubled relationship between brands and consumers is the case of Wetherspoons, the company that owns pubs and hotels across the UK and Ireland. In this case, the Government ordered the closure of pubs in March 2020, and owner Tim Martin refused to pay employees until the Government reimbursed the company for the losses. Furthermore, he encouraged employees to find employment elsewhere, such as in Tesco supermarkets. This is a clear example of how a company is showing in their communications their lack of care towards the impact they have on employees, and on society.

On the other hand, a brand that keeps demonstrating how to marry consumer expectations with the brand’s activities is Nike. Days after the release of the horrific footage of George Floyd’s death in May 2020, the company launched an ad with a variation of their famous tagline. It went from “Just Do It” to “For Once, Don’t Do It.” This simple change in their communications delivered a positive sentiment across their customers regardless of income, age, and ethnicity.

These two examples represent the two sides of how companies can impact society.

Brands are now expected to be proactive to be part of the solution, not only part of the conversation – Issues such as racial inequality or climate justice will need to be at the forefront of any company’s communications strategy.

According to IBM’s research, 71% of consumers will consider transparency one of the most important brand attributes.

Knowing this what are you doing in your business to communicate better?

Patricia

Patricia Perera is a Communications intern with Fuzion Communications 

E-Newsletter : Don’t leave your brand behind

June 17, 2021

I received an email newsletter from a really fantastic brand this week that featured special offers, new products, deal bundles and suggestions for Father’s Day gifts.

Visually it was executed well as I have come to expect from the brand, with superb photography that showcased the quality product range perfectly, clearly placing it the very “premium” category, which it most certainly is in.

However, there was one huge, but very simple thing missing from the e-newsletter.

They left a big part of their brand behind, and in the “click of an email campaign” they managed to relegate who they were to a lower league and they became another commodity retailer.

Even though they have my name there was no personalised “Hi Greg” and there was no attempt anywhere to start the communication with a friendly on brand message, nor any attempt to briefly update me on the recent exciting developments (things relevant to the reader) in their business.

The view might be that people have no time for any of that when they are online and it should be “BOOM” lets get straight down to business, but the crazy thing is that this company is the total opposite of this – they pride themselves on customer service and the relationship with their customers, and in person there is no one better but for some reason on this occasion they left so much of what makes them special outside the door!

The big lesson in this ….don’t leave who you are outside the door just because it is an online e-commerce transaction.

Greg

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion Communications, a full service PR and Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork

Resilience in the face of adversity

April 7, 2020

Push Up Challenge, Mercy Hospital Foundation

Undoubtedly, the last few weeks have been the strangest I have ever experienced and it almost feels like a blur thinking back to when it all started.

Little did I know when I first heard about Coronavirus how the situation would escalate so quickly into a global pandemic.

It has been tough to watch so I can’t imagine how it must feel for the many businesses that have had to close their doors. It’s a stressful time in general for people, especially those with the additional worry of their business. Almost overnight, their sales have reduced significantly or for many, they have had to shut up shop completely, not knowing when they will reopen.

It’s very tough for charities as well, with many needing more funds now than they ever did to cope with the pandemic, yet their fundraising events and bucket collections which they rely so heavily on, can’t go ahead at the moment.

Amongst this adversity, a light has been shone on the positivity and strength from the people and businesses of Ireland which must be commended.

Whether it has been from looking out for neighbours, friends and colleagues to supporting charity initiatives and local businesses, there is so much good will.

Businesses that have had to close their doors are still willing to donate goods and services to those who need them most, especially for charity and to support our frontline workers.

There are so many great charity initiatives taking place right now that were established by individuals who just want to help. An example is The Push-Up Challenge, created by Emmy Coffey Nguyen to raise vital funds for the Mercy University Hospital and Mater Foundation during this difficult time.

As we wade through this difficult period, it’s important we keep positive, supporting one another as we get closer each day to better times.

Click here for a link to the ‘Push Up Challenge’

Saidhbh Sweeney - Fuzion CommunicationsSaidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion Communications: PR, Marketing, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing from offices in Dublin and Cork Design

What is the cost of being “influenced”?

July 30, 2019

influencers in PR- Fuzion Communications

I unlocked my phone, and my finger (without thinking) automatically clicked onto the Instagram app.

The first thing I saw was a stunningly beautiful girl in a bikini with an amazing figure, on a picturesque beach in some dreamy location, holding a bottle of sunscreen.

How random? Well actually, it’s not. The brand of sunscreen that this beautiful influencer is holding, paid her (quite a lot of money) to post a picture of herself with their product.

We like to think that we are clever and that we don’t buy into what these influencers are selling, but we do.

We love to follow them and we do seem to value their opinion. We know that these people are paid to promote products but once they say that they “love” them, we try to resist their “influence”, but more often than not, we will purchase the latest product off the back of our favourite influencer’s recommendation.

It is a guilty pleasure of mine that I love to follow some fabulous, Irish influencers.

However, when I scroll through their Instagram feed for some outfit inspiration for an upcoming event, I can’t help but notice the #AD #SP #AF at the end of a large number of their posts.

Okay, yes, they are acknowledging that their post is an AD or Sponsored but not everybody is aware of what these hashtags mean.

The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland (ASAI) have enforced rules, which influencers MUST comply with when posting content which has been paid for by another brand/ company.

For a long time, influencers have been getting away with posting content and hiding the fact that they have been paid for it. With the rise of online influencing, the ASAI has been keeping a much closer eye on these posts and making sure that the “paid for” content is clearly marked and not misleading to the influencer’s followers.

It is quite clear that ITV’s, Love Island has been the most watched and talked about TV show of 2019, with over 3.4 million viewers per night, and the show takes over Twitter’s Trending and Moments sections every night.

Many of the contestants social media following has jumped from just a couple of hundreds or thousands to nearly hitting the million mark in just under eight weeks. So it is without a doubt that the Love Island contestants are set for “influencer-dom” and are guaranteed multiple sponsorship deals the moment they get out of the villa.

The ASA in the UK has partnered up with ITV to supply the contestants with a workshop and a “social media advertising” survival kit for when they leave the villa. This is to ensure that the contestants comply with all of the advertising rules and clearly mark that their posts are sponsored or an Ad.

It is quite difficult now to work with influencers and negotiate their job without having to go through their agents.

Many people wonder if it is worth paying Instagram/ Social Media Influencers such large amounts of money for one static post on their feed and three frames on their story (30 seconds)?

However, in my opinion, yes it is worth it (product dependant obviously) as long as this person is genuine about the product they are endorsing and is not there ‘just’ for the money.

Influencer’s are still able to “influence” their followers to purchase the product that they are paid to promote even with or without the #AD at the end of the post!

Abigail Shaw - Fuzion CommunicationsAbigail 

Abigail Shaw is a PR Executive with Fuzion Communications, a Marketing, PR, Graphic Design and Digital Marketing agency with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

 

Show your brands personality just like ASOS did!

May 13, 2019

Recently, online shopping giant ASOS received a lot of applause for backing one of their customers who had been disrespected online by a stranger.

The lady, who was wearing a dress from ASOS, was told by the male who she was messaging that the dress was awful and that she should shop somewhere decent!!

He then told her to grow up before politely signing off, “Thanks. Hope this helps.

 

Girl in ASOS dress on Twitter

 

Following this unpleasant remark, she decided to upload the conversation along with the picture of her wearing the so called “awful dress” to Twitter.

The Tweet, which has racked up over 100k likes and 9k RT’s, caught the attention of ASOS who decided to do something really great.

ASOS uploaded the photo of the lady wearing their dress to their website and in my opinion, she showcased the dress even better.

ASOS received a great deal of applause for uploading the photo to their website, showing their support for a more than likely loyal customer, who I can only imagine got a great boost from seeing her image featured on their website.

 

 

ASOS featuring customer pic

The situation, which was turned from a negative into a positive by ASOS, is a great example of a brand showcasing their personality and engaging with its customers.

In doing this, ASOS demonstrated their loyalty for their customers, while showing a caring but also fun side to the brand. With online trolling at an all-time high, along with the pressures of looking perfect on social media, ASOS really did a great job with this personal touch.

For all businesses, it’s good to show the personality behind your brand. Whether it’s supporting your customers like ASOS did, or showing the team behind the brand online, you increase trust with your customers leading to much better engagement.

Well done ASOS!

Saidhbh

Saidhbh Sweeney is a PR Account Manager with Fuzion Communications: PR, Marketing and Graphic Design, with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland


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