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



As SVP for Social Issues, Digital Strategy and Innovations at Ketchum, GUR TSABAR is the guy clients call when they simply need a new way forward; when their words and actions continue to fall on the seemingly deaf ears of an increasingly vocal public. In his various roles, Gur has been guiding the world’s largest and most innovative Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, non-profit organizations and governmental institutions on how best to navigate the highly charged social issues environments that are endemic to their brands. Gur also co-founded Room Eight, one of New York’s oldest and most influential community political blogs; and co-authored Friending Your Emotions, an illustrated children’s book for early readers.

JIM LIN is a VP, 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.