We often advise clients about how their brand position needs to be congruent with their business and consistently applied throughout all aspects of their company. Brands should be lived by the organisation they represent and not simply used as a wrapper to promote a product or service. An illustration of a brand failing to live up to its promise and the financial fall out that resulted is currently being played out across social media.
The dance music world is filled with passionate fans who form very close emotional connections with the DJs and producers of their favourite tracks and genres of music. Many producers release tracks under different pseudonyms, especially when the genre of the new track doesn’t fit in with the style they’re commonly associated with. So, there’s a recognition from DJs that brands have very specific followers and great power. Also, we should note that house music, in particular, would not be the force it is today if it hadn’t taken root and flourished in the gay scene.
With that in mind, the impact of some very ill advised social media posts by a high profile DJ should not come as a surprise. Lithuanian DJ, Marius Adomaitis has released material under the name Mario Basanov and, most successfully, Ten Walls. His track Walking with Elephants was a huge smash in clubs and charts globally in 2014.
On the Ten Walls Facebook page he posted, in Lithuanian, two extremely ignorant homophobic rants, which I don’t need to repeat here. You can read more over at Mixmag. The posts were quickly pulled and he issued an ‘apology’ but not before they had been screen captured and shared around the world. Within 48 hours of the rants appearing, he has been dropped by festivals, such as Creamfields and Pitch. His booking agencies in Europe and North America had taken him off their rosters and there has been a massive backlash across social media by fans and other big name DJs.
His reputation is broken, perhaps irreparably, and he’s suffered immediate financial damage with the loss of earnings from the gigs he was due to play.
What can we learn? Well, ensure that your business is your brand and your brand is your business. They are inextricably linked. That there is congruence between them and, whatever position you adopt, it needs to be honestly held or it won’t be held for long. Ensure that every communication you have fits with your brand message. If you’re in a larger organisation, recognise that you need a social media policy that is rigorously enforced. Finally, that your employees and any third parties you contract with, who may become the face or your business as far as your customers are concerned, also understand and share your brand’s values.
The broken vinyl pic used to illustrate this article was obtained here: Twitter