Here’s something to make any brand manager go cold and clammy.
Yesterday a particularly robotic calculation by Google’s algorithm put a crudely satirical version of Greggs’ logo as the main image on the results page for people Googling the company.
Instead of the official “always fresh, always tasty”, viewers saw a fake badge with the strapline: “Providing sh*t to scum for over 70 years.” Not nice.
But the really scary bit, as reported by City AM, was that Greggs’ share price dipped.
In that moment people weren’t just laughing at the expense of the company's reputation. It actually lost money. Whether that was directly related to the Google incident we may never know, but the correlation is eye-catching.
Greggs’ reaction on Twitter has been applauded across the PR industry. It rejected hiding behind a corporate mask and instead responded smartly in a very human, and humorous, way.
The vandalised logo conjured up images of cheap, greasy pastry, high salt levels, fat, and everything else that Greggs doesn’t want us thinking about.
The social media reaction from @GreggstheBakers, however, almost instantly defused the situation by giving the brand a voice authentically reacting to an unfortunate – and uncontrollable – situation.
It meant we could sympathise with them as we would anyone having a tough day; the insinuation of the vandalised logo was swiftly washed away.
Here are some of the best bits:
@bilal_afc_87 *cries into keyboard* we're working on getting it fixed :-(