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Microsoft’s ‘Bae Intern’ Fiasco And Our Learnings From It.

Microsoft is an amazing corporation that teaches and inspires entrepreneurs all over the world. Sometimes, we also learn from the mistakes it makes. This week for example, Microsoft had a major faux pas with its ‘Bae Intern’ email. For the uninitiated, basically Microsoft (or specifically someone called Kim from the company) decided to get super creative in trying to hire interns. Their approach? Use the language of the young to make them think you’re cool. Thus words like ‘bae intern’! Of course the said email ended up being the source of many laughs on the internet. You can read a full account of it here, including the original email.

But like all things in life, we learn from this little incident too. Here are some basic tips for avoiding such mistakes, and also for dealing with the aftermath if you do make such a faux pas:

  • Don’t Get Caught Up. While it’s great that you would want to be able to connect and communicate with all age groups, don’t lose your core focus. If you’re a startup, you’re already cool – don’t try and up that for a market that you perhaps don’t quite understand.
  • Trials and Testing. If you are trying out a swanky new strategy – make sure you have run some dry runs before taking it live. A new marketing campaign is a good example.
  • Apologize. There is nothing wrong in it. You tried something new, it backfired. Accept defeat gracefully and apologize if needed. A well timed apology can score you major points. A good example for this is the Flipkart Mega Sale glitch back in late 2014. Remember when they had a massive sale but random glitches made the whole sale experience more trouble than worth? Flipkart made the best of a bad situation and sent out apology letters to all its affected customers.
  • Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously. Seriously, blunders happen. Learn to have a little fun at your own expense. There are very few situations that don’t warrant a chuckle or two, no matter how much you think you’ve goofed up. A good example here is the twitter conversation between Zomato and Amazon India. Amazon decided to be cheeky and target Zomato on one of their campaigns. Zomato responded with a cheekier answer that got everybody applauding and talking about how Zomato trolled Amazon. What did Amazon do? They graciously accepted and even complimented Zomato on their answer!
  • Dust Off and Get Up. Always. Take the best of any situations and use it to your advantage. Unless it involves a major natural calamity, like Lenskart thought they could get away with. After the nepal earthquake, Lenskart for some reason thought that they could use the situation to their advantage and sent out a very insensitive SMS campaign. Needless to say they got trolled and although they did apologize, I’m guessing their social brand will take a little while to get back in the positive.

Do you have any such funny stories that you think we’d like? Comment here and if they tickle our funny bone, we might just do a write up on it.

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