Yesterday a friend of mine who works as a consultant at a very big firm, sent me an interesting segment published that day on the Morning Brew newsletter, and asked what I think about this from a branding point of view.
Here is a screenshot of the item hr sent:
I must say I had a wow moment at the end of it. It's a very interesting and important piece because so much of what we do today is on social media.
Regardless if what Wendy's did with this specific tweet is good or bad, the fact they use real people and are personal on social media is not only good, it's very good. That is the way to do it. Don't use bots and automated replies.
Have a human answer.
Wendy's is a brand with differentiation, they are not like any other burger joint - they have a square burger for god's sake! I'm glad they push the envelope. They should. The brand's personality is raw/real/unapologetic/sarcastic/different, and they manifest it on their menu and marketing activities, just look at how they bash the competition on TV ads and on social media. From the amazing idea of their mixtape to the super bowl ad you can watch below:
I don't think being offensive to the competition is like being offensive to your followers, and there are lines one shouldn't cross (I don't think Wendy's crossed it with this tweet).
If I was Wendy's, I'd like to know and understand the impact of tweets like this. First things I'd do is check how many followers if any unfollowed in the 24 hours of the tweet and how many started following, I'd look at the comment and engagement with this specific tweet, and I'd ask Wendy's community - followers on all social media, what they think about this "incident", turn this into a discussion and hear from the source. If you look at the numbers, Wendy's has 2.8M followers on Twitter, McDonald's 3.5M and Burger King only 1.66M. This shows Wendy's doing something right on Twitter because McDonald's with its higher brand equity (one of the biggest brands in the world) has only Million followers more. I actually like this sassy personality of Wendy's and the brand's differentiation, I think they need to make some moves so it'll be holistic all through the brand because it is not.