August 22, 2014

Don’t get us wrong. A lot of us love Sonos’s products (they make speakers and other devices that stream music from various online services).  But this week, the company committed a classic messaging mistake.


On Monday, the company send a vaguely worded email about one of its products:



Two days later, Sonos sent along a tail-between-its-legs update.



The lesson: intent doesn’t guarantee interpretation.  In fact, this is something we at m+p are constantly telling our clients.  Anything you say that CAN be interpreted negatively WILL be interpreted negatively. Sonos thought they were providing helpful information, and ended up creating confusion and disappointment that a popular product might be going away. 


Every message you send to an audience matters.  As Sonos found out, even a simple message can create a major headache—or worse—if it’s vague or unclear.   Companies and brands can’t assume that customers will understand what they mean anymore.  Every communication must be carefully calibrated to make sure that the message actually gets across.  Otherwise, expect to be sending out a lot more corrections, clarifications, and mea culpas.

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