You Spoke, I Listened

I posted a logo contest on Facebook this past Friday for Lady Soleil. Almost half of the feedback was negative.

In total, 80 plus comments were delivered, some friends just giving love, many friends criticizing the logos. Here are the critiques:

  • Lady Soleil is a bad name
  • Sun logos are obvious and cheesy
  • The combinations make you look like a) a feminine hygeine company, b) a Myrtle beach (or some other beach) type of company c) a tanning salon
  • It isn’t clear what you do

At first I defended the name, as the company is named after my daughter, and it has been for the past two years. Plus the initial comments seemed like graphic designers fighting the religious war against crowdsourcing (which in turn made me regret posting the contest in the first place).

This is not to get into the whole crowdsourcing creative services debate, which is significant in its own right. As a writer who competes in a market where my creativity is often demanded for free (like blogs, white papers, etc.), I certainly empathize with my creative brethren, but have surrendered to market realities.

Yet as the comments continued, I realized the comments had more substance. Those who commented were sincere in trying to prevent me from making a possible mistake. The feedback was valuable and useful.

I should be grateful that enough people cared about my business to voice their opinion in the first place. Because so many did, I listened.

As a result, I am considering several paths.

It’s too costly to change the company name. Instead, I am having a conversation with my lawyer this week about the possibility of picking up a trade name for Lady Soleil, Inc. This is legally known as “doing business as” (DBA), and would represent a trademark. A lot depends on cost and complexity in the commonwealth of Virginia, but it is a possible route to explore. And I do have an awesome name up my sleeve.

In addition, I am still working on a possible Lady Soleil logo (see above), albeit one without the sun. It also includes a small tag that describes what I offer (marketing services).

Regardless, the feedback clearly made an impact and was useful.

Thank you.

Haters Hate and I Choose to Listen

Hater's Locker Room
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Haters gonna hate.

It’s what top bloggers and community managers say when they interpret criticism to be nasty and inappropriate.

In the case of trolls that deliver aggressive comments that border on threats or worse, you have to agree with them. This post is about the haters, the ones that deliver criticism in harsh ways that irks the recipient, but doesn’t necessarily equate to trolldom.

Brands and bloggers alike need to listen to harsh critics. Sometimes these people are right in spite of their methods.

Continue reading “Haters Hate and I Choose to Listen”

When Hate Turns to Apathy

The only thing worse than haters is silence.

In the attention economy, losing wholesale support from vocal minorities as a result of shunning them — even publicly mocking them — is a worst case scenario. Isn’t that what companies and bloggers are asking for when they coldly dismiss disagreeing voices wholesale as haters?

Certainly, to some extent, the “Haters Going to Hate” concept is true. Some people will never agree. In fact, if everyone agrees with you, you’re not talking to enough people. Everyone with some level of online success has kvetches and trolls.

Yet, simply dismissing whole vocal minorities as haters seems like a dangerous proposition for a brand. Lack of responsiveness, and worse uncaring public refusals risks turning upset customers and advocates into the apathetic and the disenfranchised. All because the heat of criticism was too strong to bear. How much churn can a brand sustain?

This is particularly ironic for the social media expert who preaches listening. What’s good for the goose is not good for the gander. Ah, the hypocrisy.

Perhaps in the end, it is better to acknowledge the differing voice, and respect the right to a minority opinion. Let someone else have the last word, and listen. Maybe, just maybe, they possess an element of truth.

And when we fail (and we all do), go back and own it. Sometimes the apology is well received. It is always a good personal reminder to keep our sides of the street clean in business, and in conversations.

Otherwise, enjoy the silence.