Tuesday, September 22, 2009

telecommuncations, ill-communications

Dear Virgin broadband, you unhelpful, incompetent, uncaring outsourcing pricks,

I hope this email finds you well.

It was never a question of which broadband I would choose becasue I just love what Virgin stands for. I mean you're such a fun loving brand. It's really brands like yours that just make me want hug the stranger next to me. You love life and you really do live it to the fullest! And thanks for your letter after I signed up, it was so genuine.

Unfortunately due to an experience of late and to my great surprise my views have been somewhat tainted. It is so fucking unfortunate. I will now have to put aside these feelings of admiration and gratefulness (for just being you!) to tell you that whilst your boss is off buying tropical islands and formula 1 race teams, wearing wedding gowns and jumping out of aeroplanes he has unfortunately overlooked the importance of service.

Sir Rich, I am glad you are able to afford all these things and live such an amazingly adventurous lifestyle but perhaps you want to look at cutting out these business expenses rather than fucking outsource your customer service to "Cherry" in Banglafuckingdesh. She can't pronounce my surname and has never heard of the suburb I live in. Most importantly Sir Rich, whilst Cherry is such a pretty name, she, like the Virgin brand itself, gives off a great perception of approachability and serviceability, however she can't solve my fucking problem. Ya dig?

Rich, maybe it's time to save some money and sell Virgin Galactic (hundreds of millions of dollars to send businessmen into space?), purchase a call centre in a place called Australia (It's on earth) and get someone to call me on my phone to get my internet sorted. It's not a huge problem and I'm sure that if you really were using my recorded phone calls (any one of the 4 I have made in the last month) for "quality and training purposes" rather than legal reasons, you may actually be able to solve this little situation we have.

Rich, perhaps it's a good idea to take a leaf out of the books of Optus and Telstra in this country who have realised the importance of social media in speaking to their customers. Both have people sifting through Twitter on a HOURLY basis (not to mention blogs, Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, Wikipedia and the like) and addressing any customer queries and complaints. Unfortunately creating a Facebook page in 2007 and then not even acknowledging the scores and scores of complaints on your wall since does nothing for your customer service and even less for your brand.

Thank you for not even reading this.

Yours sincerly

David Krupp

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hats off to Ed Hardy!

Ed Hardy has caught my eye lately due their very effective branding strategy of bad boy / bad girl celebrity outfitting.

The clothing brand, designed by legendary designer Christian Audigier who has bought the rights to the work of iconic tatoosit Don Ed Hardy has been splashing itself all over our TV screens and print media, literally on the backs of some of the most famous celebrity rebels Austalia as to offer.

I first noticed this strategy whilst watching Sam Newman wearing their t-shirts during the Street Talk segment on "The Footy Show" in Melbourne. Newman is one of Melbourne's favourite bad boys and his own brand fits the Ed Hardy brand to a tee (excuse the pun?)with his long list of public misdemeanours. I again noticed the very unsubtle Ed Hardy t-shirt on Australian Idol last night, worn by Suzi Quatro,America's bad girl of rock of the 70s and 80s.

After some further digging I have found many more examples of the great bad boy / bad girl celebrity branding of Ed Hardy with Madonna, Brittney, David Beckham, Lenny Kravitz and Paris Hilton all donning the conspicuous t-shirts.

This is a great example of the power of celebrities as opinion leaders. Their mass media exposure provides brands like Ed Hardy with significant and swift penetration into the marketplace.