Today, moms share almost everything with their friends. Just like great gossip, the good, bad and ugly, can quickly become a hot topic among friends. And now, thanks to Facebook and digital technology, it can spread quicker than ever! All too often, brands and how they represent themselves can become the topic of conversation. As brands interact with mom, they must remember that she talks with her friends – other moms – about every nuance, episode and event that happens throughout her day. When she’s especially mad, you can be sure she will advocate for her position, passionately sharing her experience with her friends, and on social networks for the world to see. My colleague and fellow EMA Partner Steve Bell pointed out that CNN uncovered a story about Rainy Days Caffe in Lake Stevens, Washington. The restaurant owner put her brand at risk when she asked two moms and their children to leave – after one of the children threw a screaming fit. The moms did leave – and left a toddler-type mess as well. The owner, then took a photo of the mess, posted it on Facebook and sent out a thank you to moms with well-behaved kids…And that’s when the real “mess” began. Within moments, one of the moms who were asked to leave shared the post. Dozens of angry moms came to her defense, chastising the restaurant owner and creating havoc for the café’s brand. While many other moms sided with the restaurant owner, supporting her for taking a stance, it’s not exactly the type of buzz that you want for your business.
So regardless of whether you’re backing the moms or the Caffé owner on this issue, there is simply no denying the power of social media to draw controversy around your brand. In this case, the restaurant owner ultimately offered an apology, made a charitable contribution, and invited the moms back in – albeit without their kids.