How to turn hate mail into great mail

John Moore of Brand Autopsy posted a great article by Rick Nobles called Congratulations – Someone Hates Your Brand!

A few excerpts:

“Having someone hate you lets you know you’re doing a good job of branding.”

“When you put a stake in the ground and say ‘this is who I am,’ you are also saying ‘this is who I’m not.’ Identity is all about creating parameters, drawing lines among the wealth of possible attributes out there, shaping what your brand values and what it doesn’t. So when you get a hostile member of society that takes time out of his busy day to let you know about it, be glad—you’re conveying a definite sense of brand self.”

“Here’s the deal: If your brand is clearly defined enough to have the power to attract enemies, it also has the power to attract raving fans. And the raving fans of your brand are the ones who return again and again. They’re the ones who will tell their friends about you. They’re the ones who will wear your logo. They’re the ones that almost enjoy the annoyance of your brand-haters and will keep coming back for more.”

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The reason this article caught my attention is because I’ve received a lot of hate mail in the past six years. For those of you who remember the old days of The Guestbook, you’ve probably shared a good laugh with me while reading some of those letters.

But I guess I never understood why someone would send hate mail to a guy wearing a nametag to make the world friendlier. Doesn’t seem logical. But then again, to some people, wearing a nametag 24-7 doesn’t seem logical either! Interestingly enough, the word hate mail IS in the dictionary. It means “correspondence that expresses the sender’s animosity, disapproval, or prejudice, often in offensive language.” Here’s some of my favorite hate mail letters from over the years:

“I don’t get it. So you wear a nametag for attention? You must be an only child. Props for making money off something so dumb.”

“Pathetic. That is the only word I can think of to describe you and your idea.”

“You are nuttier than a bag of trail mix!”

Oh well. Guess you can’t make everybody happy. Still, I think Peter Montoya said it best in The Brand Called You: “If everybody likes your brand, you’re doing something wrong.”

Which reminds me, I’ve always wanted to write an article called “How to Turn Hate Mail into Great Mail.” I’d love to hear your stories, ideas and lessons learned to be used in an upcoming column.


How do you turn hate mail into great mail?

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Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag


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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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