I appreciate the grace, consistency, and successes on the grandest of stages that mark Roger Federer’s career. However, this blog post looks at 3 Brand Monitoring Lessons from Roger Federer’s US Open Loss.

1. Monitor and address your errors

You see – Roger Federer went home early! He did not monitor and address his errors, as they continued to pile up, and he lost to Tommy Robredo. He had more winners and a higher percentage of service points won. So how did he lose? He hit twice as many errors as Robredo!

Brand Monitoring Lesson: The outcome on a tennis court is rarely determined by the number of winners that players hit. Instead, it is usually determined by the number of errors that players commit. I think this same phenomenon is actually magnified in a social media age. If brands hit winners we accept it as “well, that’s their job as a consumer brand…they are supposed to provide the consumers with winning products and solutions”. But if brands commit errors with product failures or poor customer service, social sharing and commentary can destroy brands’ reputations. Brands need to monitor for these errors, from the consumers’ perspective, and address them quickly. Let them pile-up unaddressed, and brands can give their retrospective from the losers’ podium!

2. Do not overlook your opponents

Roger Federer had a 10-0 career record against Tommy Robredo. Whatever Tommy could do, Roger could do better. Was he overlooking his overmatched opponent while looking forward to a potentially classic re-match with Rafael Nadal?

Brand Monitoring Lesson: Do not overlook any opponents. In addition to monitoring mentions of your own brand, and tracking the consumer sentiment towards your biggest competitors, keep track of mentions for keywords in your industry. You do not want to have all of your attention on your #1 competitor…only to get blind-sided by an upstart challenger in your industry.

3. Do not “tweak” in the middle of a season

Federer has played his entire tennis career with the same tennis racquet. Yet he changed racquets in the middle of the hard court season with only one grand slam left in the calendar year (the US Open). He had mixed results with the racquet change, prompting him to go back to his original racquet right before the US Open, and his confidence and timing suffered.

Brand Monitoring Lesson: Agile companies know how to adapt to changing conditions. However, they rarely change their core brand message on a whim or due to panic. Sudden, wholesale changes confuse consumers – and confused consumers do not buy your products and services! Use brand monitoring and engagement to listen to consumers and perhaps even crowdsource ideas. Keep consumers “in the loop”, so they are contributing and amplifying a consistent brand message versus getting confused from a suddenly changed message.

Did you know that consumers are celebrating your winners, and lamenting your errors, right now? And in a social age, they are sharing their thoughts with all of their friends on social platforms, review sites, and blogs. Let Mantis Pulse Analytics help find those conversations, so YOUR brand can emerge a champion! Meanwhile, I hope Roger Federer comes back strong for the Australian Open in 2014!

Photo Credit: Roger Federer by mirsasha, on Flickr