O2 wins through the fail

Double high-fives for O2 this week who managed to turn a major network outage into an opportunity to build some love on Twitter. In our recent white paper on how to “win through the fails” we identified two key elements for a company in crisis to bear in mind – response time and staying on-brand.

As we wrote in our paper, “In the face of high velocity content, a brand needs to jump in and cede control before it’s “gone””.O2 were a model of quick wittedness – updating, replying and positioning themselves (as opposed to the baying masses) as the authority on the outage.

Most interesting, however, was how the O2 brand weathered the storm. As we said, “A blanket approach to communication shows no real understanding of who you’re talking to and why”. O2 knew they were talking to thousands of angry customers and they were going to have to go in fighting. Suddenly we saw the O2 tone of voice – usually calm, friendly and pretty safe – ramp into fifth gear, becoming charmingly acerbic and hilarious. It’s been said that when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro and, in the face of abuse and threats of violence, O2 found a way to stay true to their core values, maintaining and possibly growing loyalty in the process.

With their customers now safely back on the grid, O2 are no doubt enjoying all the positive press their approach to the outage has created. Only one question remains, will they go back to their plain Jane ways? Or will they build on the opportunity to push the boundaries of their brand just that little bit further? If you’re up against Orange, and life gives you lemons…