Quick Read: Don't Be Like H&M

Rihanna has nothing to do with this article, but her face represents the confusion of everyone with common sense.


The Devil is in the details...

The recent H&M faux pas makes me think that the real devil is not knowing.

I don’t have time to go into the details of what went wrong with H&M

Social media did a great job of showing that.

There’s many opinions on the situation

But the fact is,

They presented themselves in a way that offended part of their customer base.

This is a mistake many brands make

But are not always called out on.

The issue is in the LACK of understanding  the customer.

The best way to understand is to communicate with them.

Yes. I am suggesting companies actually communicate with their customers. (Wow)

Not by going out and taking surveys,

But by listening (which is the most important part of communication).

What I’m not suggesting is that you become big brother and spy on customers,

I’m suggesting the use of available tools and resources ( plenty technologies exist)

To listen to feedback, reviews, concerns, conversation and content.

Observe the customer

And understand them.

To do so you first have to


It’s not enough to just know who buys your items…

Or even what they buy ( what the return matters too)

You have to go further.

Define better archetypes

Understand the culture ( digital culture as well) of the groups who buy your products.

Frequent immersion into these culture is the best thing you can do.

It keeps you in-touch with reality

And can save you from making brand damaging mistakes.

However you choose to immerse your decision makers is up to you.

But do not neglect the need to define your customers, constantly.

Ignorantia juris non excusa Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for “breaking the law”

More in depth analysis can help brand not only create better products, but better campaigns. Fit is a small part of knowing your customer.

Being customer literate means understanding the needs, sensitivities, wants and culture of the very people you seek to serve. Yes serve. Not sell. But serve. Brands should be serving the customer more and less selling the customer to foster  better relationships.