Who defines your brand?

You might think that you have complete control over how your company is perceived in the media, but a PR misstep can quickly secure your position as the laughingstock of the Interwebs if not handled adeptly. Nothing goes viral – and stays viral — more quickly than a company crashing and burning right in front of our digital lives. And the thing about the Internet is…. It’s always there. If your company is off the rails of damage control, learn from the mistakes of the recent slew of brand meltdowns dominating the social newsfeeds.

Iconic apparel brand Abercrombie and Fitch has long been the punching bag for their promotion of sexual influence on young shoppers with their beefcake photos adorning their statement retail bags and ridiculously skinny model-sized employees.

abercrombie and fitch facebook page

However lately Abercrombie and Fitch’s CEO Mike Jeffries boasted about their clearly defined target market: thin and beautiful people with washboard stomachs. You know, the “cool, good-looking, popular kids.” In fact, if you’ve ever made it into their perfumed and woofer-bumping party of a store, you’ll find A+F apparel sizes not accommodating to anyone over the size of a number two pencil. Which I suppose is completely Jeffries prerogative; he has created a fairly successful club of young fashionistas who are a shoe-in for homecoming court. But that’s not to say everyone likes it. To be so embracing about their brazen exclusivity certainly rubs the masses of calorie burdened the wrong way. Not to mention parents. And anyone who with an evolved opinion of beauty. Or has a moral conscious. (more…)