Lacoste Relationship Management

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Relationship Management

In the previous section we tracked the way Lacoste is trying to engage with its present and potential future customers by means of social media. We noticed that, even though Lacoste is currently making use of the main social media platforms, such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter, Flickr and YouTube, the actual approach the firm has been utilizing so far is mainly top-down. Videos, posts and pictures are published abundantly but what is really missing is the interaction between Lacoste and its customers. What if customers could publish pictures on Lacoste´s Flickr to promote social dialogue? Whatever is the reason for this lack of interaction (the firm tends not to reply to customers comments and questions and when it does the time of response is considerable), Lacoste is loosing the opportunity to reinforce its bond with the relevant stakeholders gravitating around the brand. Even though Lacoste's way has proven to be solid so far, the lack of engagement with the stakeholders may turn out to be detrimental in case of an image crisis and can end up in a severe reputation damage for the firm. The way Lacoste is managing the relationship with the public in the social media is thus unsatisfying and cannot be limited to ex ante publishing of contents and ex post monitoring of the values associated to the brand by the users. Lacoste is required to participate actively in the co-creation of such values if the goal is to avoid major reputation crisis, for the strongest the bond created between the firm and the community of stakeholders (the reputation) the less damaging the image crisis will reveal. Creating a good reputation is a precious intangible asset because trust, loyalty and stakeholders' commitment created through time by the firm will act as a defensive shield against possible threats deriving by sudden changes in the brand image. The effects of cognitive associations to the brand (image), arisen as the result of a path-breaking event...
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