Skip to main content

Talia Jane Just Set Yelp On Fire


I don't know this young lady from Adam or Jane. 
I don't know a thing about Yelp's corporate culture.
But as an outsider looking in, I can tell you the brand of this company just went southward today - significantly. As an employee got fired after writing a negative review of her salary.
It's a bit hard to understand. It looks like a temper tantrum. Not a reasoned response to one employees' perhaps impulsive move.
Think about it. The entire mission of Yelp is to promote customer reviews. More broadly, to encourage the customer to "talk back" to the merchant who sells them goods and services.
Here is an employee doing just that - she is reviewing the values of her company. Maybe in a cheeky way, but nevertheless in line with all the things that Yelp! has taught her.
Now, they've canned her.
And as we all know, in any traffic accident both parties look bad. 
But in a corporate traffic accident, the rich CEO always looks worse than the employee.
It's always easy to stand outside a situation and point fingers. We're not there; we don't know if she was trouble from Day One.
All other things being equal, though, if I were in charge of that company I would have talked to this young lady in person. And I would have put that discussion on Periscope.
If she turned out to be halfway intelligent and an otherwise good employee, I would have turned her into a manager, a director, Ombudsperson of Employee Complaints or maybe Boss of Dealing With Angry  Customers.
The fatal mistake that Yelp made with her was to move too abruptly and fail to consider the brand.
Where they are going to take a brand hit for this, she will only go upward.
____
Copyright 2015 by Dannielle Blumenthal, Ph.D. Dr. Blumenthal is founder and president of the consultancy BrandSuccess and co-founder of the brand thought leadership portal All Things Brand. The opinions expressed are her own and not those of any government agency or entity or the federal government as a whole. You can contact Dr. Blumenthal on LinkedIn or here. Image source: Screenshot of Yelp logo.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between brand equity and brand parity?

Brand equity is a financial calculation. It is the difference between a commodity product or service and a branded one. For example if you sell a plain orange for $.50 but a Sunkist orange for $.75 and the Sunkist orange has brand equity you can calculate it at $.25 per orange.

Brand parity exists when two different brands have a relatively equal value. The reason we call it "parity" is that the basis of their value may be different. For example, one brand may be seen as higher in quality, while the other is perceived as fashionable.

________________
All opinions my own. Originally posted to Quora. Public domain photo by hbieser via Pixabay.

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …