In conversation this week, the following topic arose: companies boosting their bad side in their online marketing. This begs the question: When is it good to be bad? Avoiding the philosophical undertones, we’ll take this as today’s question for our Colorado internet marketing team.

We’ve all seen the big names in selling sin: ‘What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas’, or Ashley Madison’s, “Life is short. Have an affair.”…but smaller, less obvious brands are getting in on the act as well. Have a look at the ad we spotted recently for goose liver pate with the tagline, “Fresh | Natural | Sinful”.

sinful pate adSo when is a brand ‘wrong’ enough to lean on its bad side for branding and marketing? Here are a few points to consider before working your sins into your internet marketing campaigns:

Customer Recognition

First, you absolutely need to be certain your messaging will resonate with your users. You can rebrand from ‘good’ to ‘bad’ in a New York minute, but trying to reverse that perception if you change your mind will be difficult.

Look at the Company You’ll Keep

Depending on how you create your internet marketing campaigns, you may find yourself in some unexpected company. Inadvertently looking or sounding like the heavyweights of the ‘so bad we’re good’ crowd may put you in the same league as: tobacco, alcohol, gambling, pornography and firearms. That may be part of your approach, but it’s important to decide ahead of time how sinful you want to be.

Test and Evaluate

Like all internet marketing efforts, you’ll want to set metrics, gather clean data and make sure your campaigns are effective. Since you’re taking a risk with your strategy, run it past a test audience or your most loyal followers before committing. It’s easier to roll back a test campaign than fight a PR battle later on. When you’ve found marketing language you’re ready to test, roll it out and set benchmarks for evaluation.

As with every re-branding or big marketing shift, we suggest advertisers do their homework first. If you want input from our Colorado internet marketing team about your marketing, branding or plan to change your strategy, get in touch…we’d be happy to help.