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How to Fail Your Brand Launch

How to Fail Your Brand Launch


Spectacular PR failures make great social media fodder, and can also serve as a case study for understanding what not to do when launching or promoting a brand.

In this article on the Farmore Marketing blog, I explore the recent downfall of the much-touted “Yelp for People” app, Peeple, and what it has to teach us about managing brand reputation.

Farmore Marketing Article

Through the lens of Peeple founder, Julia Cordray’s breathtaking online melt-down, it explores common mistakes in:

  • Due diligence
  • Product design
  • Responding to criticism
  • Handling mistakes
  • Providing transparency

And provides guidelines and examples for handling brand launch challenges with grace.

Check it out, send Farmore Marketing some love for hosting, and let us know what you think in the comments!


Fen Druadìn Head (formerly Heather Head) is an author, as well as the founder of Scopcity. When she is not writing, running the business, or chasing down bad guys on Twitter, she enjoys hiking, snuggling with her husband and three boys, and avoiding the kitchen.

Barry Wilson on October 18, 2015 AT 03 am

While it hasn’t been written about. I think real people would find it interesting to know how this debacle has affected Julia Cordray’s business Career Fox. Does it still get business? Are previous customers going somewhere else? You write: The brand is in shambles, her personal reputation is a disaster, and it’s unlikely any serious venture capitalist will touch her with a 10-foot pole for a long time to come.
If venture capitalists wouldn’t touch her. Will companies do business with her up and running entity Career Fox?

Thank you

    Heather on October 18, 2015 AT 07 am

    Hi Barry,

    What an interesting question! I wonder the same. To be honest, I’m certain I would not have done business with Career Fox even before the Peeple fiasco. Her videos and blogs on the site demonstrate cheerfulness, for sure, but they’re also condescending and borderline delusional. In one blog, she actually says that the the future will bring “environmentally friendly cars,” “thanks to me.” She’s proud of (over and over) touting the immense impact she has on people’s lives by recruiting them (over 2080 hours of their year!).

    In a blindingly ironic twist (unintentional irony seems to be the order of the day with Cordray), her “news” section is topped by a Feb 2015 article titled, “Building Brand Awareness: Advice from Successful Entrepreneurs,” in which she offers advice from herself, then links to an ISSUU article quoting advice from (drum roll, please)… herself.

    You can’t make this stuff up:

    Will companies do business with her? Probably a few will. She does a good job of erasing her tracks and presenting herself in a positive light so that if you don’t dig very deeply and haven’t been following trending topics, you might manage to not know what a disaster she is.

    Are previous companies going somewhere else? Well, I sure as heck would be, but one cannot account for the tastes of others. Cordray herself has demonstrated an extraordinary capability for misrepresenting the truth, so if they are leaving in droves, you could blow me over with a feather if we ever hear it from her.

Three Ways Thanksgiving Can be Great for Your Brand - AG Integrated Marketing Strategists on November 4, 2015 AT 11 am

[…] When you use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to clients, prospects, users, followers, partners, and employees, you leverage this basic social truth to build stronger relationships, and increase loyalty to your brand. […]

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