Saturday, April 1, 2023

Don't Fool Your Customers TOO Much on April Fools' Day

Sure, everyone likes a good joke, but if you're a brand and want to build brand loyalty that leads to repeat business, don't make your customers feel like fools especially on April Fools' Day.

Remember back in 2010 when Google played a trick on its users? When people visited the Google homepage to conduct a search, they did not see the familiar Google logo and search box. Instead, Google was replaced with the word Topeka. So instead of saying "Google it" when wanting to find an answer that day, users were forced to say "Topeka it."

Here's a reminder in case you forgot the reason why this happened...the Kansas capital city unofficially changed its name to Google as part of an effort to convince the search engine giant to select it as a test site for its planned super-fast, fiber-optic network.

In 2019, automaker BMW announced "Lunar Paint," a car paint that could charge electric vehicles by moonlight. According to the company, "Lunar Paint uses revolutionary photovoltaic technology to passively recharge your battery in the hours of darkness." The brand later thanked its fans with this message: "We hope you enjoyed this year's April Fools' Day. Whilst Lunar Paint may not be of this world yet, BMW does have an innovative range of existing technologies for you to discover - including solar and digital."

And then, in 2021, global jewelry company Tiffany & Company changed its iconic blue color to yellow. The company announced the change on Instagram with a new hashtag #TiffanyYellow, but many followers were quick to point out a key detail: the announcement was made on April First, April Fools' Day.

Also in 2021, automaker Volkswagen announced that it had a new name for its American division: Voltswagen of America with the goal to raise awareness about the company's all-electric SUV model. However, it turned out that the announcement was part of an elaborate April Fools' Day joke. And even the Wall Street Journal reported the prank.

So how will your brand celebrate April Fools' Day? And will you create a clever joke or prank, or will you celebrate the day without tricking your customers and fans?

Image Credits: Google, Tiffany & Co., and BMW.

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