Bud Light’s mistake in sending a commemorative can to Dylan Mulvaney, a decision that sparked a massive boycott and serious sales downturn for the brand, might end up being one of the biggest marketing mistakes in American history. In fact, alongside “New Coke,” it could go down as a story of exactly what not to do when trying to build a brand’s profile.
In fact, Viral Nation marketing strategist Emma Ferrara told Fox News Digital, “In my career, and from what I’ve seen, this has by far been one of the most polarizing instances within the social media space.”
Continuing she then said, “When you’re looking to connect with a new community, which I think is incredibly important, I think there is a right and wrong way to approach that. And it starts with understanding who your core audience is. It starts with also understanding who is your brand and what are your values and what’s your purpose.”
What went so wrong? Why did the Dylan Mulvaney partnership turn into an absolute disaster? Because brands need to know their audiences ad Bud Light obviously either didn’t, or just didn’t care about the views of those who generally buy and drink it. As Ferrara put it, “Brands need to be aware that the transgender community is not a monolith, and individuals within that community have, you know, many different experiences and perspectives and identities. That means brands need to conduct thorough research and gain a deep understanding of the nuances within that community. And as well, I think there should have been some steps to really understand their current community and how they feel around that topic.”
Ferarra criticized the statement made by AB InBev’s CEO about the Dyland Mulvaney situation, saying, “I really am of the belief that there is no such thing as a small post, or one post, or diminishing the meaning behind that. I do believe that there was an effort to connect with the community and one that, I think, just came about in the wrong way because it was inauthentic, and it wasn’t credible.”
She then added, “When we think about the social space and when we think about partnerships and when we think about diverse groups and creators, including those from the transgender community, I think it’s really important for brands to take a step back to ensure that they’re relevant, they’re authentic and they’re credible in regard to the brand’s need to really develop a thoughtful and nuanced strategy around this. I think it’s important that you have the right experts to help you navigate and understand what is the best way to meaningfully connect, and is it even the right community to connect to?”
But Bud Light didn’t do any of that ahead of time. Instead, it infuriated its customers with a marketing decision that was a bridge too far, and lost a huge amount of business by doing so.
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