What if they hadn’t apologized?
Recently, DiGiorno, the easy-bake kings of pizza made a bit of a faux pas online. It was an irresponsible mistake. The person in charge of their social media account slacked on some due diligence and tweeted out a hashtag that was being used to raise awareness for domestic violence.
But it’s the company’s reaction to the mistake that made us all smh. They didn’t make things better, in fact we’re pretty sure they made things worse. As soon as they realized what the hashtag was being used for, they didn’t just send out an apology tweet, because that’d be normal. They began systematically apologizing to their followers.
Take a look.
Everyone makes mistakes, but in addition to DiGiorno’s indiscretion, they further distracted from the issue at hand with a gesture of pseudo empathy. It just wasn’t authentic.
No doubt they thought they were being empathetic with their apologies, but basically what they did was hand out sympathy cards. Real empathy is aimed at driving action and creating conversations that are rooted in listening.
Here’s the thing.
They have a platform and they have a voice. They could have turned their mistake into an opportunity for good by drawing attention to the real issue at hand. They could have used that mistake and buzz to raise further awareness. They could have leveraged an apology for social responsibility.
They could have done something really great, but they didn’t.
One study referenced in “The Effects of Social Media on Emotions, Brand Relationship Quality, and Word of Mouth” has some interesting stats.
Roughly 2000 consumers were interviewed in the BrandHouse Emotion 100 Report and asked to measure the top brands on emotional principles such as contentment, belonging, compassion, pride, enjoyment and desire.
“The results revealed that very few brands have succeeded in building a strong emotional attachment with customers. Interestingly, when respondents were asked how important they felt each emotional principle was, contentment, belonging and compassion took the top three spots.”
DiGiorno, you could have furthered a movement, you could have built stronger brand attachments, you could have been more human but no.