Snapchat cross-fire: Three brand experts explain how Snapdeal should handle this PR crisis
Snapdeal is in news again. And just like the last time, for no fault of its own.
Last week, a disgruntled employee of Snapchat -- a social media company based in the US -- alleged that the CEO of the company termed India as a "poor" country. Netizens in India were incensed at the comments and is lasting for more than a video or a picture lasts of the platform.
However, already beleaguered e-commerce company Snapdeal is once again at the receiving end. A case of mistaken identity, people in India are downgrading and uninstalling mobile app of Snapdeal instead of Snapchat.
Many users uninstalled Snapchat and gave it bad ratings on the App Store as ratings immediately dropped to single star from a five star rating.
However, with the similarity in the name of social media firm with the Indian e-commerce firm many users mistook it as Snapdeal and uninstalled its app.
Meanwhile, Snapdeal co-founder and CEO Kunal Bahl tweeted, “People asking us to make a statement that Snapdeal is not Snapchat was possibly the last thing I thought I would ever need to do.”
There is lot of difference between snapdeal and snapchat.....
wake up guys pic.twitter.com/yOzIlzVyOZ
— ashok randy (@itsashrandy) April 16, 2017
— Reddit India (@redditindia) April 16, 2017
Source: Google Play Store
In 2015, Snapdeal was severely criticised and given "bad" ratings and uninstalls over comments made by its then brand ambassador Aamir Khan.
An official at Snapdeal who wished not to be quoted said that the company has made it clear on App Store and Play Store to concerned people that they are not Snapchat and they were not the one's who made the comment.
Here's what brand experts feel Snapdeal should do.
Ram Gudipati, Founder & CEO of Brand Harvest Consultancy said that Snapdeal need to spend adequate amount on their PR to clear the air on the confusion regarding their identity against those of others.
“Confusion regarding a brands identity can do two things, it can benefit if another brand is successful, or on the flipside it can also pay the price for another brand's mistake,” he said.
“While people are happy of the success of a brand, but there are people who are also happy when a brand falls. Many e-commerce brands have risen due to hikes in their valuations, unlike other brands which have taken years to grow. So, many people even wait for an opportunity when they make a mistake,” he said.
Sridhar Ramanujam, Founder & CEO of Integrated Brand-Comm too said all that Snapdeal can do is clarify regarding the confusion.
“People don't understand something and jump to conclusions. People in India today have become thin skinned, have no sense of humour and have become more critical of brands," he said.
Many of these people are not even customers of the brand but internet users who are hijacking brands. A reason why brands have to be extra sensitive today,” said Ramanujam.
Paresh Choudhry, CEO of Madison PR said that typically organisations in India have a fear of the media and in responding to them.
“The minute your brand is faced with an issue, you must acknowledge the issue and say that you will take immediate action. A brand needs to reach out to the customer and the stakeholders and say that this is an issue and that they are rectifying it by putting a system into place. Post this the brand has to monitor the system to see that such a thing does not happen again,” he said.