Businesses live in constant fear of bad reviews from irate customers. No matter how great your product or service is; there is just no pleasing some people. Bad publicity is inevitable, but in the right circumstances, it can be just as beneficial as great publicity.
Nike recently released their latest LeBron X+ basketball shoes, during this time a report released by the Wall Street Journal claimed that the price of these shoes would be a ridiculous $315 per pair. This created a media frenzy that spread through the internet like wildfire. As you can imagine, plenty of basketball enthusiasts and centres of influence took to Facebook and Twitter to broadcast their outrage to all their friends.
This is a textbook media disaster right?
Nike calmly released a statement after this rumour had done a round or two on the net reporting that the WSJ reported price was off by as much as $135. The viral reach of the latest Nike offering would match even the biggest advertising campaign, all achieved on a $0 budget.
If Nike was behind the ‘inaccurate leak’ then they are doing the smart thing and keeping quiet about it, neither confirming or denying the price point for what, undoubtedly, will be a very profitable product after all is said and done.
What can you learn from this?
A lot of the time in small businesses, bad publicity can, and is, bad publicity, but given the right circumstances (or very quick thinking) bad publicity can be used (or even released for the sneaky companies) to broaden your reach and gain awareness from potential customers who would otherwise never come to know you.
A risky strategy? Certainly, but having a tool in your toolbox that you don’t use is always better than having a job to do without the right equipment.
Have you managed to turn bad press into profit? Let us know below!