I love food. I’m a hopeless glutton foodie – I’ll save up to eat at very poncy restaurants just so I can have my tastebuds tickled with divine ephemera (the ponciness may have rubbed off). I tend to fall in love with specific places and go back time and again. One of my all-time favourites is Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire; I was once in reception checking out after a sublime day and night for a birthday when my wife got into conversation with chef patron Raymond Blanc and we ended up staying for a second night’s feasting.
I also love brands. I’m a brand marketer at heart, and for seventeen years I’ve expressed that through digital. I quite naturally follow Le Manoir on Twitter. In my daily twitterfeed Le Manoir constitutes a very minor part – my feed is full of marketing and digital industry stuff that’s important to me. But every time I see Le Manoir’s logo on a passing tweet it subliminally reminds me that I’m hungry and might well like to pop over to Oxfordshire soon.
Today they changed their avatar. It’s suddenly absolutely tiny. I dropped them a tweet to say I couldn’t read it any more. I got the short and I have to say teensy bit snotty riposte that it “conforms to the brand’s guidelines, sorry to disappoint you”. Well, it may well conform to your brand guidelines, but the point is it doesn’t work. You’ve removed one of the main reasons for maintaining a corporate Twitter feed: free advertising to people who are predisposed to you. If you take away your brand awareness, then what, may I ask, are you doing it for? If it ain’t advertising – as you so adroitly point out, you’ve done it because it conforms to brand guidelines – then it’s corporate waste.
Much as I love the food, advertised for free by Messrs. Michelin and by those foodies and gourmands (myself included) who rave about it (though Le Manoir is probably 50% about the stunning location and gardens and 50% about the grub), your approach to actively generating brand exposure could do with a little more care. The excuse that I may not be able to read it but it doesn’t matter because it fits the brand guidelines is naïve and silly. Get an extension to your guidelines so you can carry on doing marketing properly – or break the rules a bit. Live a little. But make yourselves invisible and your presence on Twitter will slowly and inexcusably fade from memory.