It was a witty tweet from the eyewear brand’s community manager street vendor in Mexico. The message read: “Mexicans, put on these glasses so your swollen eyes won’t be noticed when the wall is built tomorrow”, in reference to the US elections and Donald Trump’s threat to build a wall separating Mexico and the two countries.
Perhaps the message would not have been shared from there if it hadn’t sparked outrage from the F1 driver Sergio Perez, Hawkers brand image. “What a bad time. Today I am ending my relationship with HawkersMX. I will never allow anyone to make fun of my country,” was the pilot’s angry reply. The action was supported by the baseball club The Red Devils, who also announced the termination of the contractual relationship with Hawkers in another tweet: “#Pasión por México, is above all that your products are no longer available in our shop with immediate effect.”
“You always have to avoid comments that can hurt someone’s sensibility, even if it’s in a joking tone,” he says AlexanderFerrariCountry Manager of Verified reviews. Likewise Leticia Rivera, a communications consultant, understands that “it’s sometimes unwittingly common for community managers to exaggerate in the comments in order to grab a brand’s attention. It’s a risk.” But is it possible to go back after making the mistake? Both experts see it as complicated but point out some suggestions to minimize the damage. They are the following
“People are usually very grateful that you recognize a mistake and apologize for it,” says Leticia Rivera.
The Mexican community manager’s justification for his unfortunate comment is no longer available on @HawkersMX’s profile, but he cited Mexican humor and his country of birth. “We deleted the offending tweets so as not to offend anyone,” the account said. In its place is the image of David Morenoone of the founders of Hawkers, who in a rueful tone and under a tweet entitled “Maximum shit” expresses his “most sincere apologies to all the people who may have been offended by the message we posted on our Hawkers profile have Mexico”. He also expresses his “tremendous respect and immense affection for the Mexican people”. He also uses the speech to level an allegation against “every expression of hatred and racism and every kind of discrimination”.
The aforementioned message from David Moreno is captured on video where he appears alone. He says he made the decision himself, at the risk of being scolded by the brand’s press officer. “As much as I’m there to collect accolades and accolades, I also feel that I need to be at this moment,” he says. In this way, he takes personal responsibility for a mistake by enabling his own profile on Twitter and making sure that interested parties can write correctly where the “b” or “z” goes.
This attitude is right, according to Alejandro Ferrari, because to let time pass and trust that everything will be forgotten or to behave as if they don’t care would further damage the image of the brand. “The worst thing would be if they said, well, since we made a mistake in Mexico, we left that market and tried another. That would damage their global image.”
Formulate compensatory measures
The next step to the ‘mea culpa’ would be to look for a formula that would help regain sympathy and return message of customers with the brand. “Apologizing is not enough to ingratiate yourself with customers. It would be advisable that they take certain actions such as launching a limited line of eyewear in Mexico, sponsoring an event or some other solution of the kind that really shows the customers in Mexico what the brand is sorry happened and ready is to pay for it”.
what they have already lost
Whether or not Hawkers’ strategists succeed in restoring the brand image in Mexico, what doesn’t help is the brand’s distancing from an ambassador as relevant as Sergio Pérez in Mexico, where many people watch Formula 1. It’s important to remember that Hawkers has since Since its inception, it has been a brand closely linked to the world of motorsport and sport in general, with personalities such as Jorge Lorenzo, who for a time owned 50% of the company,” recalls Ferrari.