Myntra, the popular e-commerce site for fashion, was a subject of controversy in the last week, when a Mumbai based activist lodged a complaint to the cyber police for having an allegedly ‘derogatory’ and ‘indecent’ logo. Myntra decided to forgo its distinctive and memorable logo, one that the company had been using for the last five years.
Myntra’s marketing team was quick to respond with a revamped version of the logo which put people in a humorous frenzy. There are a lot of things to be learnt from this, starting right from dealing with the attack to acknowledging the mistake and ensuring you take the correct step forward to not receive further backlash.
What was the controversy
In summary, Ekta Naaz, the founder-director of Avesta Foundation in Mumbai had submitted a written complaint to the Mumbai cyber police department in December of last year, asking the logo be changed or face legal action. Myntra officials were asked to meet the cyber police in January. “We found the logo offensive in nature and company officials have assured us they will change it, but it will take a month to execute it across all platforms”, said DCP Rashmi Karandikar of the cyber department.
Myntra was harassed on social media sites for having a logo which was allegedly ‘insulting’ and ‘offensive’ to women. But Myntra was successful at not only dodging the attack but turning it into a memorable and hilarious marketing opportunity. People were quick to send messages of support and solidarity to Myntra for resolving something that wouldn’t even be considered an issue in the first place. Here’s a look at the new logo :
The Myntra controversy is a great example of how to deal with an attack on your brand and maybe even turn it into an advantage. Let us, therefore, take a few notes and try applying them if your brand falls under such a spotlight.
De-escalate the attack to make sure it doesn’t blow up.
If someone is attacking your brand, escalating the situation or using your influence to bully or silence them is the worst way to deal with it. Make sure that you have understood the issue at play and remind them that you’re doing everything in your power to correct it. Acting naively or blaming others is bound to look unprofessional, so avoid that.
The Myntra officials did exactly this with the police. They understood the issue and were quick to assure that the company would be taking steps to resolve the problem as early as possible.
There’s nothing to be gained by escalation, you might have a PR nightmare waiting for you if your brand decides to do anything that makes you look like you are abusing your power instead of dealing with the issue.
Work with your PR team to issue a statement/apology.
Even if you are not in the wrong, a statement from your brand acknowledging the issue is a sure way of making your customers feel heard. If the issue is too grave, a well-worded apology can put you in a redemptive light.
Ensure your statement/apology is properly recognising the at issue at hand while also reinforcing the positive atmosphere surrounding your brand. It must be succinct and genuine. Highlight your strengths to win back loyalty and affiliation that you may have lost due to the attack.
Myntra released a statement ensuring the cyber police and the customers that their new logo would appear on their websites right away and that their shipping packages would have the new logo as soon as the old inventory ran out.
Work on a solution that will make the most people happy.
Now, this is the hard part, the solution that you need to come up with shouldn’t just right the wrongs, but also focus on the arc of learning from your mistake. You need something that will reposition your brand image so that you’re not as vulnerable to future attacks.
However, don’t mistake this for just satisfying the lowest common denominator, the solution should also make people look at you in a different light. For instance, in Myntra’s case, the solution instilled the notion of levity on their side, and rightfully so, since the complaint they had received would sound absurd to most people.
Remember to not take the attack personally and work with your team on executing on the right strategy. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to avoid getting attacked in the first place, but have a plan ready if anything of this nature happens in the future.