4 Steps to Be Ready When “Chewbacca Mom” Boosts Your Brand

Maybe you’ve seen the video Candace Payne posted quite spontaneously on Facebook that resulted in 153MM views and a big boost for Kohl’s.  You can’t plan for stuff like this…but you can be ready.

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Kohl’s didn’t plan that video. This is not a case of a strategic influencer campaign or a big push for user-generated concept.  Like many a crisis that galvanizes marketing into action at a moment’s notice, this video simply appeared one day and drove Kohl’s into trending territory on social media and in the press.

While the video wasn’t planned, the response by Kohl’s was.  Kohl’s re-posted Payne’s video on their social channels and created new posts around Payne’s video. Kohl’s developed a response (gifting Payne with a stash of Star Wars merchandise) and recorded a response video, posting it on their own Facebook page and getting video traction of their own.

If this sounds somewhat familiar, it’s similar to the steps taken when a crisis develops at a company or organization. A warehouse set on fire by a cartel; a tiger attack, a revolution, a recall – all crisis I’ve been involved with in my career, require pulling out the “Crisis Management Plan” and crafting a response. So do positive developments…with the opposite objective. Crisis plans aim to reduce the sensational nature of the crisis.  When a consumer video goes viral, when a celebrity is spotted in a brand, when a positive tweet gains traction, the goal is the exact opposite.

While the objectives may be different, putting a plan in place in advance avoids the frantic fire drills that occur in either situation. Call it a “Good Fortune Management Plan” and include these steps.

  1. Designate team members to be involved. This will most certainly include someone from the P.R. team, a social media manager, someone from the brand team and agency. It may also include legal, customer service and like in a crisis plan, other members who could potentially be involved.
  2. Create a checklist of steps – this might include some of the same steps taken during a crisis – identify the problem, plan a response, etc. Some may be new, for instance, how to increase exposure instead of minimize.
  3. Set a Timeline – In a “Good Fortune” incident, unlike in a crisis, the media and public is ready to move on long before you are, so knowing in advance how long you have to launch your response before the news cycle moves on is critical.
  4. Develop a list of possible scenarios and detail the response – celebrity spotted with product, Facebook video goes viral, Instagram hashtag trending. Do you give away product in every situation? Is a video response always required? When and how much should your social media accounts be involved? Should you issue a press release? Who will handle calls from the press and what information will they provide?

If you’re ready to go when good fortune comes your way, you’re more likely to be able to take advantage of it!

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FOLLOW HER  ON TWITTER @maryanneconlin

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