How to Protect a Brand from Social Media Flare-ups

When it comes to the food niche, brand preference is weakening.

“One of the big issues facing brands today is finding advertising context that will affirm their credibility in the eyes of the consumer instead of damaging it, whilst also ensuring brand safety,” writes Ulbe Jelluma in Print Power. “This is particularly imperative for food brands in light of the recent scandals and negative publicity related to the sector.”

We’ve all seen how a disgruntled employee can derail the best-laid social media strategy – Unicorn Frappuccino, anyone?

So where can brands turn to rebuild trust and brand affinity? Two European surveys have some sweet answers.

“Print magazines may be the only channel for reinstating brand trust, according to the Food Brand Trust research by Ipsos in France,” Jelluma continues.

That survey found that print magazines provide a 7% increase in trust and brand preference when used as part of a multimedia campaign.  It’s a phenomenon similar to the trust bump of print magazines across sectors that U.S. research reports.

Source: Magazine Networks’ “The Multiplier Effect” Study, 2017.

Two other points to consider:

  • A German study found that, when presented with conflicting information from different sources, the majority of people will people what they read in print more than what they read on social media.
  • While trust in major institutions is eroding, the EBU-Trust in Media 2017 report notes that trust in the written press increased by 12% in the past four years throughout Europe.

Source: EBU- Trust in Media 2017

(Here in the U.S., while the current climate of media aspersion might take a while to die down, it’s clear that the “fake news” pandemic here is a boon to many print brands.)

And print is not just helpful in times of trouble.

“The power of print is undeniable,” said Andrea Marsden of DJ Murphy in an interview with Licensing Biz.  When a brand is ‘hot’, then the fans want to interact with everything to do with that brand.”

Their company has been tapped by the makers of Shopkins, the latest collectibles fad, to launch a print magazine inspired by the adorable little toys. Marsden explains that these kinds of magazine let customers engage on a whole new level with the brand, deepening brand affinity.

There’s something really powerful about a stand-alone print ad or piece of content that can’t be altered by the consuming public. Like this beauty from Starbucks – no unicorns, no ranting baristas, just a compelling design that sure does make me want to redeem a little something from my gift card.

Print – trust it.