- January 13, 2012, Stephanie Millman
In the news today Coca-Cola announced that they found fungicides in their products containing orange juice and they were the first to break the news. Instead of denying involvement, waiting for someone else to prove it, or pointing the finger, they came out immediately and broadcasted the possible risk to the press and have been communicating openly with them. What would you do if you found an issue in your product that might either cause harm or erupt on the factory floor at your customer's site?
Legally, you have an obligation to inform your customers of any potential harm your product could cause. A low-risk method of informing your customers is to send them a letter. But there is a H-U-G-E brand opportunity you would be stepping over. What would happen if you informed the press and worked with your association and customers to alleviate any risks and problems? The answer is that most likely, your brand credibility will increase significantly. You will be perceived in the marketplace as accountable, trustworthy, strong and open. Think about the airline industry and how studies have shown that airplane crashes -- despite potentially tragic consequences-- most commonly increase the brand recognition of a company...
Think this through and consider the next time you have some bad news (hopefully nothing catastrophic) to turn it into a branding opportunity.