This week’s logo hack on Greggs once more highlights the power of social media in handling communication crises. And for once shows a brand getting it right. Greggs – the beloved purveyor of the ultimate hangover food, sausage rolls and steak bakes – was the victim of Google’s arbitrary algorithms on Tuesday.
Normally when searching for a company or brand, Google compiles a brief biography of stats that appears on the right hand side of your screen. This includes information such as head office location, number of employees, CEO name and of course a logo. It uses clever automated instructions to do this. No humans are involved. On Tuesday, those who googled Greggs were greeted by the strapline “Greggs – Providing sh*t to scum for over 70 years’. Obviously this isn’t the official logo but Google’s algorithms are unable to work that out.
As soon as Twitter caught on to Greggs logo rebrand it started to spread like wildfire (or virally as we like to say in the business) with users urging each other to google Greggs. Yet rather than hiding behind an ‘official’ response, Greggs’ social media team taught the rest of the communications world a lesson in how to handle a crisis – they were human. What followed was an afternoon of banter between Greggs and twitter, with GoogleUK even joining in at one point.
Greggs Twitter feed featured a tray full of tempting doughnuts and read: Hey @GoogleUK, fix it and they’re yours!!! #FixGreggs.
Google responded saying that if Greggs threw in a sausage roll as well, then they’d fix it double quick. Greggs shot back with a picture of a tray full of sausage rolls cleverly arranged to spell out Google.
We recently discussed the problems associated with handling a crisis publicly over twitter here in a blog. In this instance the outcome was very different, with Twitter providing a platform to snowball criticisms of the customer service fail. So what’s different? Perhaps it was Greggs’ social media teams ability to tap into British humour or pehaps it was because Greggs itself wasn’t actually at fault. Either way we just hope that whoever was handling the twitter feed that day got a pay rise or at least a cheese and onion pasty.
By Claire Lamb