Consumer Rules 2.0: Avoiding the #BrandFAIL (Infographic)

February 17, 2015

We all cringe, yet we cannot look away, when a brand crashes and burns on social media. We shake our heads and think, “How did they not see that coming?” The sad reality is that it does keep coming — a hijacked hashtag here, a Facebook war there, and general internet mockery or outrage everywhere. Brand fails on the internet have become a spectator sport (click to tweet). Sadly, as soon as one brand learns a hard lesson, another will be right behind it, failing in the exact same way.

Why does this happen? We think it’s because brands focus on specific moments rather than the underlying human truths behind them. Social media is nothing more than human interaction, amplified. People have been wired the same since the dawn of time. Consumers have cared about the same things since the invention of commerce. The only thing that’s changed is our ability to engage with one another on a public stage. When a single consumer can call out a brand and it has the potential to spread to millions in just a few minutes, it’s time for brands to rethink how they interact with the public.

We have examined dozens of high profile social media brand failures and extracted the most salient rules that once could be broken with little repercussion, but now can literally take your brand down in a hail of retweets.

Consumer rules 2.0



Jim Lin is an SVP, Digital Strategist at Ketchum, San Francisco, and the blogger behind the popular Busy Dad Blog ( Honored by as 2011’s funniest dad blog, his blog documents the lighthearted, humorous side of his adventures as a father of two. He is also active in conference circles, having served as a speaker/panelist at BlogHer, BlogWorld, Blissdom, Dad 2.0, Bulldog Reporter and Type-A Parent. His position at Ketchum represents the first time he’s broken his “separation of blog and state” rule, integrating his personal passion for blogging into his professional life. This basically means he no longer has to scramble to minimize his Twitter window whenever someone walks into his office.

Gur Tsabar, EVP, Social Issues and Digital Strategy

Named a top 25 communications innovator in North America. Strategic counselor, problem solver and fixer of reputations for some of the world’s largest and most innovative Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations and governmental institutions. Senior political and policy advisor at New York City Hall. A 15+ year veteran social/digital storyteller. Growing expertise in matters of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I). Passionate husband, father and social justice advocate.