Last week I was running a two day social media and PR workshop. After one of the sessions someone said “so, is it like creating brand ambassadors?” A simple and logical question, but I gave a very poor answer – I said “it is a bit like that, but not the way we have been accustomed to doing it, in that it is not about creating a fixed group of people who will become advocates for your brand.” This rather poor answer has bugged me but I have realised now that a much better answer would have been “its not about creating brand ambassadors within your consumers or customers, it is much more about creating consumer or customer ambassadors within your business.”
Last month a piece of bacon gave me the answer to a question that has been plaguing me. The bacon in question sat atop a potato salad served up on a Eurostar train from London to Brussels and the question was “how can a mass consumer brand use social media to generate engagement”.
First the bacon. The issue was, it was poorly cooked. Call me a food snob, but I believe that if you are to serve cold bacon, especially with cold potatoes, the bacon has to be well cooked, so the fat on it is rendered, crisp and tasty. In fact, I don’t believe this is a matter of opinion, I suspect there is not a single chef of any repute who would disagree with me on this point. Which is why I was disappointed to find that Eurostar, in its Business Premier class, was serving poorly cooked bacon. This wasn’t a culinary disaster, but it was an indicator of poor performance. It was something that, if I were CEO of Eurostar, I would want to pick up and address.
So – I took a picture of said bacon and put it in a tweet to @Eurostar. Here it is. I didn’t receive a reply. This caused me to think about my relationship with the brand Eurostar – my ‘engagement’ with Eurostar to use a term that the social media revolution has now made a permanent fixture in the lexicon of marketing-speak. Continue reading