Company perception can make or break a brand. We take a look at some of brand biggest disasters to have taken place over the last 10 years In July, protestors gathered in their masses to attack British burger chain Byron following an immigration sting that saw at least 25 migrant workers deported.
This means that establishing — and maintaining — a reputation for transparency, social responsibility and integrity is becoming more important than ever, and with it the need course clear, no-nonsense communication with consumers.
But sometimes things go wrong, whether intentional or not. From questionable crisis management to customers in dismay, here are some of the biggest brand catastrophes to have occurred over the past decade. BP Oil giant BP had spent years trying to establish itself as an environmentally responsible brand. It worked: brand awareness leapt from just four percent in to 67 percent inaccording to a survey conducted by BP at the time.
The course, which continued for 87 days and saw more than three million barrels of crude oil released into the ocean, according to a US federal judge, has since become infamous as one of the biggest environmental disasters in American history. Owning up to the disaster went some way towards easing the pain, with BP witnessing a significant improvement in its reputation between andaccording to Harris Oil.
Communication and a commitment to sustainability have played their part in reputation recovery, but in a case like this they can only go so course. Public perception of the brand was dealt an immediate blow. A quarter of those surveyed considered brand scandal as bad as — or even worse than — the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe.
The film revealed the violent behaviour of orca whales held in captivity at the park, focusing on the oil of trainer Dawn Brancheau, and was broadcast to a CNN audience of 20 million people. By Maythe company had brands been sued four times, and by August that year profits had plunged 84 percent.
Prospects are looking rosier than before, however: in March this year, SeaWorld announced the end forex its orca breeding programme and orca shows, in a move that was celebrated by animal rights activists across the world. This is a 10-year turnaround. Share prices fell eight percent in the second half of the year, profits dropped by 46 percent in the final quarter, and CEO Gregg Steinhafel was ousted. Where Target did go right was in its eventual transparency: Steinhafel apologisedgiving customers discounts across the store and providing a year of free credit monitoring.
It is this upfront communication that is at the forefront of reputation recovery, at least according to Oil Brooke, Managing Forex of Rooster PR. In the case of the recent hack of UK telecoms company TalkTalk, which saw the personal records of over 150,000 customers exposed, instant and open communication limited reputational damage, with fewer customers than expected ending their subscriptions.
But despite the old adage, there is such a thing as bad publicity, and Ryanair bore its brunt. Init was named the second-worst brand in the world by Which? It reported slowed growth and, for the first time in a decade, revised its profit forex twice in the space of two months. As I said myself, if I had known being nicer to our customers was going to work so well, I would have done it years ago.
For Ryanair, treating customers well has paid off — quite literally. From releasing racist T-shirts and discriminating against non-white job candidates, to forcing employees to do press ups brands barring certain workers from customer-facing roles, the list of accusations against the retailer was extensive. But it was in that it all came to a brand, when a interview with Jeffries resurfaced. Because good-looking people attract other good-looking people.
In the second quarter of this year, comparable sales dropped by eight percent, and the American Customer Satisfaction Index suggests the company still has a way to go before it can repair the damage that years of controversy and exclusivity appear to have done to its reputation. These six examples are fantastic as each certainly demonstrates the fragility of brands the most recognizable brands!
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