The social backlash post and later apology that went viral from Nutritionist Lola Berry was tagged throughout my social media pages and like many, my first response was WTF!
This blog being a space where we focus on the CULTURAL NARRATIVE of the feminine rebellion not the demise of the individual, I questioned the intention to potentially risk your own brand for the purpose of publicity? Shock value? or like many in the industry was it just ignorance?
In this instance where a 4 week weightloss program was tragically named 4 week “Stop being a fat bitch” being another perfect example that provokes us as the audience to question the same way we did Lorna Jane/ Woolworths/Michelle Bridges/ Protein World ect. We wonder about the methodology of the marketing team and creators behind what has clearly been a thought out, costly development process for a product. Are they oblivious to the fact in western society we have entered a state of empowered rebellion that is being predominantly being lead by women, in this case, her target market. Where educated, free thinkers (not to be mistaken as witch-hunters or lynchers) who are connected through social mediums are empowered to share their views and question “industry leaders” who can inadvertently decide on the fate of your brand …… quickly. It’s not pleasant to watch, but it IS a reality. And it going to be a defining one for some years to come.
Manufacturers, creators, publishers and producers CANNOT afford to write off social backlash and protest with the naive label of “haters”. Social media has given us the GIFT of direct access to our most valued asset; YOU. Then a campaign like this Lola Berry’s ‘Stop being a fat bitch’ goes SO SIDE WAYS to the point the author is compelled to make a public apology on all social platforms within 4hrs – it would be a greater detriment to any producer or marketing team to disregard intelligent feedback into the “haters gonna hate” or worse “your all being too sensitive/lighten up” box.
Like anything you bring to my attention as #rebelology I study the responses (in the marketing world this has replaced the costly traditional research medium of a forum for demographic intel which is now offered for FREE). In this case I was elated to find they were not degrading or trolling replies to her post. They were in fact empowered, intelligent, open hearted and in some cases VERY raw responses to the programs choice of neurolinguistics. Some positive support for her name choice yes however if a professional earns ANY money from the wellness, lifestyle, fitness and beauty industry especially with this level of influence (income I can’t comment) it has now become a duty of social responsibility to at least be AWARE this rebellion is taking place. Otherwise drop the title “leading” from your profile. Leading does not equate to facebook likes or IG followers. Take note for 1. for the welfare of your brand/reputation 2. Respect to your audience some of who have followed and funded you religiously for years 3. Respect for the industry you have leveraged your success from to pay attention to its trends.
*For a bit of behind the scenes insights: It took me 3 YEARS to run the title ‘Your Body Your Rules” through my tribe to ensure it fit the message – my content – the recipient mind set – social psychology to finally build the marketing campaign. We trialed 6 different names throughout those 3 years indirectly out of respect for the opinions of those in the network.
“But hang on, you cant be at the whim of everyone’s opinion trying to please them all”
THERE is the greatest misconception (and tap out) of all. When you are positioning yourself as a professional – EARNING MONEY – INFLUENCE – STATUS – OPPORTUNITIES – EXPANSION from an industry amidst a tide change then you pay attention! Not to just your brand message but to the cultural status of the demographic you are here to help.
*FREE ADVICE: never assume your demographic is dis-empowered and down trodden to the point you will slip through the cracks and dodge the self educated – free thinking anarchists who are changing the game for future generations. They are on a mission and they will question – provoke – share – respond and send a tsunami through what seems to have been once peaceful, fruitful lands. That is their job. Don’t be ignorant to disregard them as “haters” nor assume “any publicity is good publicity” in this playing field anymore.
Feel free to add your empowered voice to the conversation @rebelology by clicking the quote link below.