I read it everywhere nowadays that Startups are courageous, they are spirited, gutsy, and they have it in them to explore new dimensions, etc., etc.
Well, where did the courage go for Snapdeal, when they were questioned about Aamir Khan’s recent statement?
If you dare to explore new dimensions, and you are brave, then you should also have the courage to take a principled stance in standing by someone whom you have chosen as an ambassador of goodwill for your brand.
When you embark on the search for a Brand Ambassador, you identify the values that you associate with or would like to associate with your brand. And then find someone who reflects those values.
And if you have found someone and you believe in him/ her, then stand by them through thick or thin, as long as they are exhibiting those values.
Why let the courage fail in crucial times like this?
Professional or Personal – you have to stand by your partner. And not jump ship at the first sign of sinking.
People will admire you, not for your courage, but for your principles, your steadfastness, your ethics and your integrity. You will not need to advertise or send newsletters for these values. Your behavior will suffice.
After all this blows over, Aamir Khan will be back - to being a heartthrob, to make movies that sell a million tickets globally.
But one thing will rankle and stick out like a sour thumb. That Snapdeal distanced itself and did not dare to stand by its ambassador. This is called Brand Harakiri.
How could they have handled it better?
A carefully worded statement which stresses upon the need for forbearance and wisdom. Another line about not taking words out of context, and about patience. About the need for clear communication and about understanding the passionate nature of Indian voices.
Much was said about their own belief and vision which is good, but not coupled with ‘distancing’ oneself from someone who reflected those beliefs and vision until a day back!
Be Wise. Be Balanced. Be Fair. And your brand will never go wrong.
Read more posts from Anju at http://indiamarketspeak.blogspot.in/ She is the Founder CEO of a Gurgaon-based niche brand consultancy firm www.alchemycc.com