Who TF is Robinhood? And what’s he doing at GameStop? LOL. If you saw that tweet you probably LOL, too. But contrary to popular belief, Robinhood is not Batman’s son but instead an app used by retail investors. And they or he or whatever pronouns you’d like to give the Robinhood app aren’t doing sh!t at GameStop any longer. And people are pissed…
More on that later as I’ve got to explain this first. This is the Black Collar Club. And in it I’ll address relevant marketing, advertising, social and cultural “news” in a condensed format sourced from hours of early morning time spent scouring the internet in hopes of finding out what’s REALLY going on in our industry.
That’s right, Black Collar Club, Robinhood yesterday “announced it is ‘restricting transactions for certain securities to position closing only, including $AMC and $GME.’” (Adweek) Basically saying, people can’t buy more GameStop. And because of it, people are pissed.
— Robinhood (@RobinhoodApp) January 28, 2021
(Before we get any further with this I’d like to mention I don’t have the credentials to speak to the financial side of this situation. Merely the side of it to do with marketing. So, I’m going to, as one of my favorite spots of all time says, stay in my lane, bro.)
Right. People are pissed. And, according to Austin Braun of Adweek, “Regardless of what factors impacted this decision, one thing is clear: This hasty decision will follow the Robinhood brand forever.” (Adweek)
I think I just got chills. I also think that the “factors [that] impacted this decision” should DEFINITELY not be passed by without regard… (Adweek) But that’s neither here nor there as far as us marketers are concerned.
Anyways, people are pissed. And “in addition to the negative brand sentiment, the outrage as a result of this decision is no longer confined to those interested or watching the market, but now front and center everywhere as millions come out of the woodwork to point out how hypocritical and contradictory this decision was in a free market.” (Adweek)
More chills. Millions bashing one brand!?! The horror… However, Robinhood wasn’t alone in its restrictions. Certainly the millions outraged will bash the other apps equally, right?
Yuck. No. WRONG. You can’t point one finger at two things…
So why’s Robinhood to bear the brunt of outrage? Because their marketing sucks. Wait, my mistake. Their marketing, in this particular instance, sucked.
Look at how “Investment social platform Public announced a similar decision but approached it with much more transparency and in a way its users could understand.” (Adweek)
Our clearing firm, Apex Holdings, has decided to halt the buying of $KOSS, $GME, and $AMC. We are in close contact with the firm and will make sure to keep our members informed as soon as we get updates. — Public.com (@public) January 28, 2021
Ultimately, the actions taken are the same. But the tale they’re telling is different. Robinhood made a statement without any explanation. Public placed blame on their clearing firm and said to stay tuned.
Public said it better and avoided the wrath of the internet because of it.
“That’s why it’s mission critical for everyone in an organization—from the bottom and all the way to the top—to understand the importance of saying it the right way.” (Adweek)
Mission critical, love it. Sounds like something you could buy at GameStop or see at an AMC…