Social CRM (Customer relationship management) has produced mixed results for retail giant Arcadia after angry consumer complaints against its Topman brand were made public by its social CRM systems.
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After dozens of customers posted angry responses on its web site in response to an obnoxious new t-shirt range the company was forced to clear its shelves.
One garment appeared to glamourise domestic violence by celebrating excuses such as 'You provoked me'.
Another caused offence on a different level with the slogan 'Nice New Girlfriend: What Breed Is She?'.
The feedback from shoppers informed Topman executives that these deliberately un-PC marketing messages might backfire.
Presumably, the thought never occurred to them until then. Blimey, the things CRM can teach you!
'Apparently Topman think domestic violence makes a hilarious T-shirt slogan,' said one poster on the website.
Another told Topman 'you should be ashamed of yourselves.' Er, hello? Shame?.
Sensitive Arcadia marketing executives seem to have held a swift meeting and decided that the market isn't ready for celebrations of violence. So in one respect, social CRM is doing a brilliant job, by giving 'customer-centric' and 'people-focused' executives some valuable feedback.
On the other hand, social CRM puts these sentiments on public display, and naturally the Daily Mail has also brought the story to a much wider audience.
The word is spreading on Topman and Topshop. The idea that they are ghastly and tasteless is (as they say in marketing terms) 'gaining traction'.