reading time: 1 minute If you’ve been living under a rock – or at least managed to stay off of social media for the past few days – you may have missed the entire #TheDress phenomenon. It all started with a Tumblr post, which was picked up by BuzzFeed, which then went massively viral. The dress clearly appears white and gold to some people, and others (who are clearly insane) see it as black and blue. (And you can probably tell which camp I’m in). Big brands from Duracell to Krispy Kreme to Charmin chimed in on the debate (which is actually the result of the way our eyes process color). But there were a lot of misses – and here’s why. If you’re going to jump on a viral trend, make sure you have something interesting to say or add to the conversation. And it has to relate to your brand. Lego did this well by giving audiences both versions of the dress in one picture. PartyCity cleverly tied the controversy into their brand. KitKat created a branded image that expressed what a lot of people were thinking (we need a break from the dress!) But other brands missed the mark and left us wondering why they even bothered jumping in on the hashtag. Here are three takeaways for your brand: 1. Don’t jump on the bandwagon just to be part of the crowd – have something to say. 2. Tie the viral phenomenon back to your brand. If you can’t you should probably skip the trend. 3. Use visual content – especially on Twitter – to stand out. Okay, you know I have to ask – what color do you see?